Crowds gathered at Red Deer City Hall in support of the 1 Million March 4 Children protest. The protest occurred across Canada to oppose teaching Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in schools.
The protest hosted notable speakers such as MLA for Red Deer South, Jason Stephan and Red Deer Catholic Regional School Board Trustee, Monique LaGrange.
“We are here today because it is not right for our government inserting themselves between our children and keeping secrets from us,” said Stephan in his speech at the protest.
The MLA believes parents know what the best course of action is when it comes to teaching their children about gender and sexual diversity.
“Our foundational principle of the United Conservative Party says we affirm the family as the building block of society and the means by which children of citizens pass on their values and beliefs and ensure that families are protected from intrusion by government,” said Stephan.
Monique LaGrange has been facing public backlash after comparing LGBTQ2S+ students to nazi children in a photo on Facebook with a caption that read ‘brainwashing is brainwashing.’ The Alberta Teacher’s Association has recently released a statement calling for LaGrange to resign from her role.
“Know what your children are learning, know what's going on in the school, know what's going on in the division. We need to take back that authority, keep standing. This is today. We need to keep standing for tomorrow,” said LaGrange in her speech.
LaGrange added that she has received several letters of support following the backlash to her social media post.
Over 300 people attended the event at Red Deer’s City Hall. However, the protest was also met with a counter-protest from central Alberta’s LGBTQ2S+ community and allies. Over 50 people stood in counter-protest across the street from City Hall.
“Their movement means that they think it is okay to encourage the murders and deaths and removal of people from our society. They are akin to Nazi movements. They are akin to the worst of the worst, because historically they always come for the queer people, either first or shortly after the disabled folks. Their mission is to eradicate us,” said a counter-protester who wished not to be named.
The counter-protestor noted that they were trying to eradicate hate in central Alberta.
“Our mission is to show that we love them, that we love them completely. We love their children, but also that safe spaces aren't grooming. Safe spaces are suicide prevention,” they added.
Several Red Deer RCMP officers were on scene ensuring the safety of both parties in the downtown area of Red Deer.