"It was not approved": Parade float in Alberta rodeo condemned as racist

Jun 27 2022, 3:17 pm

A parade float that appeared in a southern Alberta rodeo over the weekend has come under heavy criticism after it depicted a man with a fake beard and turban riding in a manure spreader with the words “The Liberal” pasted on its side.

Photos of the float, taken Saturday at the Sundre Pro Rodeo, show a man wearing a mask driving the tractor that’s pulling the manure spreader.

Sundre is approximately 90 kilometres northwest of Calgary.

In a statement posted on the parade organizers’ Facebook page, officials said they were not aware that this float was going to be in the parade.

“The entry was not approved and upon further investigation joined the parade without passing through any registration. To be clear, it was not approved,” read the statement from the parade committee.

The committee added that it is committed to making sure future entries are reviewed and this doesn’t happen again.

Some people who commented on the apology questioned the accusation of racism, pointing out that the man in the turban and beard, who was not in blackface, was meant to depict federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.

The float has been condemned by a Sikh group and political leaders across the spectrum, including Jason Nixon, Alberta finance minister and MLA for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre, and Jasraj Hallan, member of parliament for Calgary Forest Lawn.

Laine MitchellLaine Mitchell

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