UCP Leader Jason Kenney will attend party's Pride breakfast in Edmonton
Official Opposition party is hosting pancake breakfast prior to start of Edmonton Pride Parade on Saturday
Jason Kenney says he will attend a Pride pancake breakfast organized by the United Conservative Party after the party's application to march in this Saturday's parade was rejected by organizers last month.
"We will be hosting a breakfast that morning for members of the United Conservative Party who want to celebrate Pride," Kenney told reporters at the Alberta legislature Monday.
"I look forward to being there along with some of our MLAs. So we'll be doing our best to support the broader community while respecting the decision of the organizers."
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Kenney's decision to attend Saturday's breakfast may signal the party is trying to revamp its position on LGBTQ rights.
The UCP is the only major provincial political party whose leader will not be in this Saturday's parade. The UCP's application was rejected because it wasn't specific about what actions it would take to include all parts of the LGBTQ2S+ community.
Last summer, organizers of the Calgary Pride parade rejected the UCP's application because the party lacked policies supporting the LGBTQ community.
The UCP pancake breakfast at the McKernan community league in Edmonton is scheduled for Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. But Kenney will not attend the parade itself.
"My mom told me not to show up at a party I'm not invited to," he said.
Notley, Mandel, Khan in parade
The leaders of Alberta's other main political parties will be in the parade, which starts making its way down Whyte Avenue at 11 a.m.
Premier Rachel Notley has been a regular participant and will be attending again this year along with members of the NDP caucus.
Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan is one of the parade's grand marshals.
Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel and MLAs Greg Clark and Karen McPherson are also taking part.
As an MP, Kenney voted against the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2005 and has been a consistent no-show at Pride events across Alberta.
At the UCP convention in Red Deer last month, a resolution supporting a parent's right to be informed when their child joins a gay-straight alliance passed with 57 per cent support.
LGBTQ advocates say such a policy is damaging to gay youth, as it could out them to their parents before they are ready to discuss their sexual orientation.
Kenney tried to distance himself from the resolution afterwards, telling reporters that party resolutions wouldn't necessarily become part of the UCP platform.