A Regina member of Parliament who was roundly criticized earlier this year for making anti-gay remarks says he was too busy to attend a gay pride parade in the city on the weekend.
"I was tied up in meetings all day on Saturday, had events in the evening as well as during the day," Regina-Lumsden-Lake Centre MP Tom Lukiwski said Monday.
Members of the city's gay and lesbian community who are celebrating Pride Week said they were disappointed Lukiwski was a no-show at the Saturday parade.
They also noted his absence at City Hall on Monday, where a rainbow flag was raised at noon, an event attended by city councillors and NDP and Saskatchewan Party members of the legislative assembly.
"Tom, where are you?" one organizer said into a microphone.
Lukiwski's name was in the news earlier this year when an amateur video from 1991 surfaced, showing him making offensive remarks about homosexuals. Lukiwiski apologized and said he'd spend his life making up for it.
However, he didn't respond to a written invitation to attend Saturday's parade.
In a phone interview from Ottawa, Lukiwski insisted he has been reaching out to the homosexual community.
"Well, I have started the process," he said. "I have met with a great many of individuals already and that's what I felt was the appropriate thing to do to start off with. We will be meeting with organizations representing the gay and lesbian community in Regina."
Nathan Markwart, a spokesman for a coalition of groups that has been formed in light of Lukiwski's remarks, said he wasn't impressed that after an invitation was sent on April 11, Lukiwski never got back to him.
"He's had a great chance here to show a concerted effort, to show that his apology meant something, and he's failed miserably," Markwart said.