A parade float depicting a Sikh man riding a fertilizer spreader named “The Liberal” is sparking outrage on social media.
The controversial float took part in Saturday’s beautiful Pro Rodeo Parade. Didsbury resident, Mike Crampton was at the parade with his family when they took pictures of the float.
“My wife pointed it to me and I was a little shocked and quickly snapped a few pictures because I wasn’t sure what I was looking for,” Crampton said.
Crampton described what he saw as a low point.
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“It’s so frustrating that people think it’s okay to do that, you know,” he said. “It’s like this generalized casual racism that they just roll out and think it’s a good thing to put in front of a community event.”
The photos have since gone viral and sparked outrage among local leaders on Twitter and Facebook.
Center of Newcomers CEO Anila Lee Yuen tweeted that the float was “outrageous … which is why we as people of color, Albertans have to keep defending our decisions to stay in the province.”
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Calgary Forest Lawn Conservative MP Jasroy Holden condemned the float on Twitter, calling it “absolutely disgusting”, adding that “these acts have no place in Canada.”
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Calgary Skyview Liberal MP George Chahal called those responsible “shameful”. Chahal – who is a Sikh – says the float is an open attack on his people and his community.
“As Canadians and Albertans, we should be concerned about what we saw on display yesterday that people think it is okay to target my community and racial communities.”
In a Facebook post, Sundar Pro Rodeo, which does not oversee the floats for the parade, issued a statement apologizing, saying that “if we had known about the float, we would never have approved it.”
“We send our deepest apologies and nothing like this will ever happen again,” the statement said.
According to a statement posted by the parade committee that oversees the event, the Beautiful Pro Rodeo Parade is a community celebration that showcases a “positive family experience.”
The statement said an investigation was conducted and it was found that the float “attended the parade without any registration. To be clear, it was not approved.”
Chahal said that he plans to visit Sundarre in the coming days.
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