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Frog Follies organizer urges MP Falk to attend Pride Parade

Conservative incumbent Ted Falk during an at-times heated all-candidates forum Thursday in Steinbach. 151002 - Friday, October 02, 2015 - TYLER WALSH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p>

Conservative incumbent Ted Falk during an at-times heated all-candidates forum Thursday in Steinbach. 151002 - Friday, October 02, 2015 - TYLER WALSH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/6/2016 (1154 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Organizers behind the St. Pierre-Jolys Frog Follies are calling out MP Ted Falk for using their event as a reason to skip Steinbach's inaugural Pride Parade.

Frog Follies president Marie-Christine Bruce said she was shocked Falk, the Conservative MP for Provencher, cited a previous commitment to attend the frog jumping festival for not being able to attend the July 9 parade.

"This is the first Pride event (for Steinbach). It is historic and important," she told the Free Press Sunday. "It is 2016. Don't hide your feelings behind a prior commitment."

Her remarks come in response to a Free Press story that noted that the local representatives of the three levels of government were all skipping the parade. Falk told the Free Press in an email statement he couldn't attend the parade because he was attending the Frog Follies on that date.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/6/2016 (1154 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Organizers behind the St. Pierre-Jolys Frog Follies are calling out MP Ted Falk for using their event as a reason to skip Steinbach's inaugural Pride Parade.

Frog Follies president Marie-Christine Bruce said she was shocked Falk, the Conservative MP for Provencher, cited a previous commitment to attend the frog jumping festival for not being able to attend the July 9 parade.

"This is the first Pride event (for Steinbach). It is historic and important," she told the Free Press Sunday. "It is 2016. Don't hide your feelings behind a prior commitment."

Her remarks come in response to a Free Press story that noted that the local representatives of the three levels of government were all skipping the parade. Falk told the Free Press in an email statement he couldn't attend the parade because he was attending the Frog Follies on that date. 

Steinbach MLA Kelvin Goertzen and Steinbach's mayor Chris Goertzen will also not be at the parade, with little reason given when asked by the Free Press.

A request for comment sent to Falk Sunday morning was not returned. 

The Pride March for Equality in Steinbach has been billed as a way to show a united front and commitment to LGBTTQ safety within Manitoba’s Bible Belt community. The march will begin in the morning at the Steinbach United Church and end at city hall.

Falk was on the losing side at the Conservatives’ recent convention when he voted against changing the party’s long-standing opposition to same-sex marriage. The vote removed the traditional definition of marriage from the party’s policy book.

"The definition of marriage as one man and one woman is part of that value proposition of family, faith and community," Falk told the Carillon newspaper in an interview after the May 28 convention. "And if you want to change marriage to mean something other than that, it’s not sustainable. The society in general is not sustainable in the long term; it’s just a matter of natural cause and effect."

Bruce didn't dismiss the importance of Frog Follies, which has been a tradition for the community since 1970, but argues it shouldn't take precedence over an important "human rights" event. The recent mass slayings of 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., only increases its importance, she said.

"It has to make it (more important) because you can't just ignore a massacre like that. It makes it even more important," she said. 

She said they invite all local dignitaries to attend the four-day Frog Follies festival, but said politicians are able to "pick and choose" when and what events they attend.

"We've been around since the 1970s. We are running around, having a good time, listening to music. We are not fighting for our human rights," she said. 

kristin.annable@freepress.mb.ca

 

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