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Sundre council denounces float depicting racialized caricature of Jagmeet Singh

Sundre's mayor says "council does not condone racism in this community of any kind" at first meeting following controversial parade float.
MVT-Mayor WarnockJPG
Sundre mayor Richard Warnock read aloud during the Monday, June 27 meeting, a statement prepared by council and issued on behalf of the municipality denouncing the controversial float that appeared in the Sundre Pro Rodeo Parade. File photo/MVP Staff

SUNDRE, Alta — The municipality has taken a stance against a controversial float that appeared on Saturday, June 25 during the return of the Sundre Pro Rodeo parade.

Pictures of two men on a manure spreader labelled “The Liberal” pulled by a tractor – one wearing a mock turban and fake beard and the other donning a mask presumably mocking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his cohort a racialized caricature of Jagmeet Singh, the leader of the federal NDP – quickly went viral after the images were posted by spectators on social media.

Widely circulated screenshots of publicly shared posts on a local social media page make clear those who prepared the float had been making plans to do so since late May.

Images of the two men pictured posing among the parade procession lineup in the lead-up to the start time were also publicly posted on social media.

Parade committee organizers said the float – one of nearly 100 entries among only eight volunteers – was not approved. They posted on social media a commitment to in the future more thoroughly screen entries.  

Mayor Richard Warnock read aloud during the Monday, June 27 meeting prior to getting into the business at hand on the agenda, a public statement prepared and issued by council on behalf of the municipality.

“The Town of Sundre council does not condone racism in this community of any kind,” he said. “We are extremely disappointed to learn an unauthorized float and their attempt at a political statement gained access this past weekend to an event our community has celebrated for years.”

The mayor went onto express pride for the town and those who work to put on the event for the community as well as businesses and visitors to enjoy.

“We feel confident that the parade committee will review their procedures and make the needed changes to prevent issues like this from happening in the future,” he said.

Warnock encourages anyone to come out and see the community for themselves and to take in the landscapes, stop by local businesses, and meet the people.

“We will not let this one bad apple spoil what we are, which is an amazing place to visit, live and explore,” he said.

Simon Ducatel

About the Author: Simon Ducatel

Simon Ducatel joined Mountain View Publishing in 2015 after working for the Vulcan Advocate since 2007, and graduated among the top of his class from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology's journalism program in 2006.
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