Edmonton MP demands apology for Canada Day snub
Published Monday, July 2, 2012 8:45AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, July 2, 2012 4:09PM EDT
An Alberta MP is demanding an apology after a display promoting national unity was rejected from a Canada Day celebration at the provincial legislature.
Edmonton East MP Peter Goldring says he was being patriotic when he tried to register a booth at the legislature during its 145th birthday celebration.
Goldring, currently sitting as an independent MP, says he has promoted national unity as a part of the Canada Day festivities since 1996 and is concerned about why his attendance was blocked this year.
He said he uses the display to hand out Canada flags and pins, and talks to people about the importance of having a strong, united country.
He said the legislature’s Sergeant-at-Arms Brian Hodgson refused to allow the display this year and said Goldring, as a politician, should never have been allowed to participate in the event.
“He has to decide is he for Canadian unity or is he for some sort of separation? What does he really stand for?” Goldring told CTV Edmonton.
“I fail to see how promoting national unity can possibly be political.”
Hodgson said the decision was made that Goldring’s message was not appropriate, saying that the display was political, not patriotic.
“We don’t see that there’s a requirement to have organized political groups setting up booths here,” Hodgson said.
“In recent years any kind of activity that involved an organized political group setting up a presence here was not considered appropriate and consistent with what we’re trying to do on Canada Day.”
In a letter to Alberta’s House Speaker Gene Zwozdesky, Goldring demanded an apology and an official explanation for why his Canada Day display was rejected.
“I find it odd that a celebration of Canada’s birthday, particularly in this year when we celebrate 60 years of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, excludes arbitrarily a member of our federal government and his group of volunteers,” Goldring wrote in the letter.
Goldring, a former Conservative Party member, is sitting as an independent MP in the House of Commons.
He is currently facing impaired driving-related charges and is expected to appear in court on impaired-driving related charges in November.
With files from CTV Edmonton’s Sean Amato