This year’s decision regarding the Calgary Pride Parade and the Calgary Police Service has presented an opportunity for further collaborative discussion.
Following the announcement in July that CPS members were asked to attend the parade out of uniform, the Mayor’s Office convened a meeting with representatives from Calgary Pride, the Calgary Police Service, including Chief Constable Roger Chaffin, the Chief’s Gender and Sexually Diverse Advisory Committee as well as members of LGBTQ+ community, and the Calgary Police Commission.
The intention of this meeting was to develop a better understanding of the legitimate issues and concerns raised by members of the LGBTQ+ community about how CPS works with their community. The outcome of the meeting was a commitment by the participants to work together over the next year to address those issues and concerns. The goal of the meeting was not to change Calgary Pride’s decision with respect to the participation in the parade.
“I’m pleased that we’ve had the opportunity to continue discussions focused on creating impactful and inclusive solutions to positively enhance the relationship with all members of Calgary’s gender and sexually diverse community,” said Jason Kingsley, President and Executive Producer of Calgary Pride. “There is clearly a desire on all sides to work together and find ways to develop the relationship between all segments of the GSD community, and we’re proud to be a part of a long term, positive outcome for everyone.”
“I am extremely proud and appreciative of the work that both our members and the volunteers on our Sexuality & Gender Diversity Chief’s Advisory Board do every day to build relationships with Calgary’s diverse communities and openly discuss any concerns raised by those who feel marginalized,” said Chief Constable Roger Chaffin with the Calgary Police Service. “We want Calgary to be a place where all people feel safe, especially when it comes to interacting with police officers. We look forward to ongoing conversations with those in Calgary’s LGBTQ+ community that have concerns so we can find ways to improve our relationship and address their concerns.”
“The Chief’s Gender and Sexually Diverse Advisory Committee was happy to be engaged in the conversation, and looks forward to continuing to operate in an advisory capacity to continue fostering a positive relationship between Calgary Police and the gender and sexually diverse community,” said Aaron Thorsten, member of the Chief’s Gender and Sexually Diverse Advisory Committee.
“As a civilian police commissioner, participating in this dialogue allowed me to see community policing in action,” said Commissioner Brian Thiessen with the Calgary Police Commission. “Continuing to respectfully engage with Calgary Pride is an essential part of upholding the trust and confidence of citizens, and will build on the momentum CPS has gained with diverse communities over many years.”
“These conversations are not always easy, but they are incredibly important,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “It’s crucial that we have an open dialogue and I’m encouraged that Calgary Pride and CPS, with support from the Calgary Police Commission and the Mayor’s Office, are committed to building on this relationship to better serve all Calgarians.”
Jason Kingsley, President, Calgary Pride
Roger Chaffin, Chief, Calgary Police Service
Aaron Thorsten, member of the Chief’s Gender and Sexually Diverse Advisory Committee
Brian Thiessen, Chair, Calgary Police Commission
Mayor Naheed Nenshi