WARNING: This story contains images that readers may find distressing and offensive.
A float at the Sundre Pro Rodeo’s parade in southern Alberta is facing backlash and being called racist.
Photos of the float, taken on Saturday, show a man wearing a mask driving a tractor.
The tractor is pulling another man with a fake beard and a turban. He is seen to be riding in what appears to be a manure spreader, with the words ‘The Liberal’ pasted on the side.
In a statement posted on the rodeo’s Facebook page, organizers said they were not aware that this float was going to be in the parade.
One of the entrants at the Sundre Pro Rodeo parade, this morning. Yikes! 😬 pic.twitter.com/g7IdkpWIuq
“The entry was not approved and upon further investigation joined the parade without passing through any registration. To be clear it was not approved,” read the statement from the parade committee.
The committee added that they are committed to making sure future entries are reviewed and this doesn’t happen again.
In a second Facebook postrodeo organizers wrote, “if we knew about that float, we would have never approved it! We do send our deepest apologies and something like that will never happen again.”
Photos of the parade entry have sparked condemnation from many online, including members of the Sikh community and MPs across the political spectrum.
The Sikh community in Canada, of which I am a proud member, has a wide diversity of political perspectives.
More importantly, Sikhs have been a steadfast force for good in Alberta and across the country.
Shame on those responsible for this despicable display of racism. https://t.co/WMYa46IIN0
George Chahal, the Liberal MP for Calgary Skyview, tweeted, “Sikhs have been a steadfast force for good in Alberta and across the country. Shame on those responsible for this despicable display of racism.”
Jasraj Singh Hallan, Conservative MP for Calgary Forest Lawn also spoke out on Twitter about the float.
“This is absolutely disgusting. These kinds of acts have no place in Canada. This should be condemned in strongest terms by all,” he wrote.
This is absolutely disgusting. These kinds of acts have no place in Canada. This should be condemned in strongest terms by all. https://t.co/y9OZNcXbYI
Organizers for the rodeo, which takes place about 90 kilometres northwest of Calgary, said the parade “is meant to be a celebration of community.”
“The committee is committed to celebrating community and showcasing a positive family experience,” they added.