Mayor confirms he will not be attending 2016 Pride Parade

The Saskatoon Pride Festival is just weeks away, and in the past Saskatoon Mayor Don Atchison’s absence from the Pride parade had people talking. Once again, scheduling will keep the mayor from attending the event.

READ MORE: Letters ask mayor to apologize for lack of pride week support

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    Mayor Atchison told Global News that though he will be unable to attend the 2016 Pride Parade, he will be present at other festival events such as the Gaybourhood family barbecue. “We attend some of their events,” said Mayor Don Atchison, adding “we can’t make it to everything.”

    This year Saskatoon’s Pride Parade falls on Saturday June 11, a day Atchison says he will be celebrating his father’s 90th birthday.

    “I think there are a lot of priorities in life,” says Atchison, “and as a matter of fact I can tell you right now my father is celebrating his 90th birthday, and I think my dad’s 90th birthday takes priority over everything.”

    “And if people have a problem with me celebrating my dad’s 90th birthday, too bad for them. Because my dad’s a special guy, he’s 90 years old and I don’t know how much longer he’ll be with us. He’s a great man and he deserves to have that day too.”

    Atchison says there are priorities throughout the city of Saskatoon.

    “I find it interesting, people who don’t show up to the Friendship Inn Christmas lunch, they don’t serve there so does that mean they don’t like people who can’t get Christmas dinner at home?”

    WATCH: Mayor Don Atchison joins Global News Morning after yesterday’s council meeting

    The Saskatoon Pride Festival runs from June 3 to 11.

    May city council meeting

    Tuesday’s city council meeting also came with a bombshell announcement that veteran Coun. Tiffany Paulsen will not be seeking re-election.

    Mayor Atchison has a number of fond memories of serving alongside Paulsen.

    “Tiffany was great to work with, and she was very astute. She kept the administration on its toes.”

    This leaves Ward 9 open in the upcoming civic election.

    READ MORE: Saskatoon city councillor to retire after 16 years of service

    Civic election

    This year’s civic election falls on Oct. 26. So far, two candidates have officially announced they are running for mayor: Don Atchison and Charlie Clark.

    At this time, Atchison does not have much to say about the race, saying “we’re still trying to run the city,” adding “there are sidewalks to fix, roads that we are looking after.”

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