Calgary Pride bus and right-wing opportunists

800px-double-rainbow.jpgUPDATE: In an earlier version of this report, I overlooked the fact the article referred to on the Globe and Mail site is a Canadian Press wire report. Sorry for any confusion I may have caused. This report has been changed to add Canadian Press as the original source of the article on the Globe’s site.

By Jillian Page
LGBT Perspectives editor

QUEBEC — You’ve probably heard about the magic rainbow bus that will be seen in the streets of Calgary during the city’s Pride festival, running until Sept. 7.

Several media outlets are reporting that the Calgary Transit company has very kindly repainted a bus in LGBT rainbow colours, or as a report on the Globe and Mail site puts it, “a Calgary Transit bus has been wrapped in the symbol of inclusiveness.”

It’s a nice gesture, isn’t it. It raises awareness, and it shows support for sexual and gender diversity.

But, perhaps in the interests of finding a different angle to the story, the same Globe and Mail article — a Canadian Press report — focuses on one bus driver’s refusal to drive the vehicle if he is assigned to do so, citing his Christian principles. He says he will quit his job, if necessary.

So, why is this worth reporting on the Globe and Mail site? How did the Canadian Press get the “story,” such as it is? They don’t mention that in the article. Did the driver in question come to them? Did he hold a press conference? Did a CP reporter look specifically for drivers who would refuse to drive the bus? We don’t know.

I haven’t seen any other media outlets reporting on this angle yet, though it wouldn’t surprise me if some do jump on the yellow buswagon. And you can be sure that right-wingers in Calgary and beyond — think United States — will seize the opportunity to air their exclusionary (and superstitious) holier-than-thou views and opinions to anyone who will listen.

In fact, it all smacks of a right-wing agenda conspiracy to me . . . yes, I just used the “c” word. I’m surprised that the Canadian Press, and in turn the Globe and Mail, took what appears to be bait. After all, the bus driver’s concern should be nothing more than an internal matter for Calgary Transit. In the article, the company responds by saying it would take the driver’s feelings into consideration.

So why is the driver making a public issue out of a hypothetical, and improbable, personal situation? And why did the Globe and Mail feel the need to give him a platform?

(Credit: Photo at top from Wikimedia Commons)

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“Let harmlessness be the keynote of your life.” — Alice Bailey

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2 thoughts on “Calgary Pride bus and right-wing opportunists”

  1. This story is now being reported by other media outlets, so I think it’s simply the case of Globe and Mail getting there first, or at least showing up first on Google. If there is a conspiracy, I doubt Globe and Mail are part of it.

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    1. I doubt the Globe or CBC or any of the others are part of a conspiracy. But their reasons for running the piece are somewhat questionable: is there any real news value to that story? It seems they are just trying to generate clicks for their sites. Meanwhile, the homophobes and the transphobes get major platforms they don’t deserve to have.

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