The Airdrie Pride Society (APS) has announced that it will be joining other Pride organizations across Alberta and not allow the participation of the United Conservative Party (UCP) in its 2024 Pride activities.

In a written statement, the APS said that their position is the direct result of the UCP's recently proposed policies surrounding transgender youth.

"... Which directly target and harm our Two-Spirit, Transgender, Non-Binary, and Gender-Diverse community through the stripping away of fundamental human rights. The UCP's proposed policies and the significant amount of misinformation accompanying the announcement are not evidence-based, are misinformed, and have been created without the consultation of medical experts, mental health professionals, educators, community groups, or members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community," the statement read in part.

APS treasurer Kiersten Mohr said that it was a decision that was not taken lightly.

"It was a difficult decision, because we want to be inclusive, and we want to create an environment that is inclusive of everyone. So, it did certainly take a lot of deliberation, but we are very confident this is the right way forward for this year," she said. “I wanted to just make a note, that we're specific in saying participation in 2024 pride, festivals and activities."

In its written statement, APS also underlined that they felt that the UCP's tactics to date have and will continue to create a climate of fear and uncertainty and increase discrimination against the Two-Spirit, Transgender, Non-Binary, Gender-Diverse, and Queer community.

"Through leveraging a 100 [per cent] volunteer approach, APS works tirelessly to support and connect the 2SLGBTQ+ community in and around Airdrie. The cornerstone of our mission is fostering a safe and inclusive space for all members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community and we believe deeply that Two-Spirit, Transgender, Non-Binary, and Gender-Diverse Albertans of all ages deserve their human rights to be valued and respected. This includes access to evidence-based gender-affirming care, access to participation in sports, and their names and pronouns used and respected within our schools and community."

DiscoverAirdrie asked Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Airdrie-East, Angela Pitt, for comment on the society's announcement. In a written statement, Pitt said that the announcement was disappointing.

"These events are supposed to be inclusive to all, but that is not the case. I have met with the Airdrie Pride Society in the past and my door will continue to remain open to them. Alberta’s government stands against all forms of discrimination, full stop. Our government wishes to have an open dialogue with the LGBTQ+ community going forward," Pitt wrote.

However, Mohr said the statement was slightly misleading, saying that UCP members have not attended previous pride events.

"... Nor have they ever been the ones to reach out for consultation and conversation. We certainly have met with MLA Pitt in the past, to discuss challenges and issues with the direction of their government, but certainly, it has never been driven by the UCP side," Mohr added. "... In those conversations, there has been no outcomes or resolutions or follow-up to any of our asks for further information for further justification of their position."

However, Mohr said that she hopes there is room for dialogue in the future, which is also echoed in the APS's release.

"… The Airdrie Pride Society remains open for dialogue and discussion with MLA Pitt, MLA Guthrie, or other members of the UCP government, but until this happens, we must and will always prioritize the inclusion, safety, and comfort of the 2SLGBTQ+ community that we support," the APS statement said. 

The APS's decision comes several days after the Queer Citizens United organization released its statement, saying that they would also not allow participation of the UCP in their 2024 pride celebrations.

"This is a direct response to Premier Danielle Smith’s stated intention to infringe on the rights, freedoms, and healthcare of the transgender community in Alberta. Her policies, which do not reflect the desires of the Gender and Sexually Diverse community, contradict established medical practices governing transgender healthcare and represent a clear threat to the safety and well-being of our community. Given that no UCP MLAs have expressed their disagreement with these proposed policies, we must extend our decision to the entire UCP caucus," the organization wrote on May 17.

Organizations that signed the letter included Calgary Pride, Pride Corner of Edmonton, Lethbridge Pride, Canmore Pride, Banff Pride, Jasper Pride, Central Alberta Pride Society, Red Deer Queer CA, HOMES, Lacombe Pride, Fort Sask Pride. Okotoks Pride, Foothills Rainbow Connect, as well as Queer Alberta Safety Net.

Mohr, who is a transgender woman herself, said that she hopes that the government will rethink its strategy and policies on transgender youth.

"They're putting out a lot of misinformation about that population and they're doing so without any consultation with anybody that has any knowledge in this space," she said. "My request to both MLAs was to provide me with who they're consulting with and the research they're using to base the policy. To date, I have received nothing from them on that," Mohr said. "I think what I want to see them do, is consult with the groups that know what they're talking about, with medical professionals who support this community, with mental health professionals who support this community, with teachers who support this community."

APS's pride festival, which has been dubbed "Perseverance in Pride" for 2024 will be happening on June 22 in Nose Creek Park. 

Send your news tips, story ideas, pictures, and videos to You can also message and follow us on Twitter: @AIR1061FM

DiscoverAirdrie encourages you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this page and downloading the DiscoverAirdrie app. For breaking news, weather and contest alerts click here.