Alberta Premier Danielle Smith’s controversial photo posing with a man wearing a “straight pride” shirt drew ire from Canadian singer Jann Arden on Thursday.
Smith was photographed with the man at a Calgary Stampede event last weekend as did federal Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre.
In the photos, the man is wearing a green T-shirt with the words, “Thank a straight person today for your existence” and “straight pride” written on the front.
Smith’s press secretary Sam Blackett said the premier didn’t read the man’s shirt “and obviously doesn’t agree with its message.”
Arden pushed back against Smith’s denial in a Twitter post.
Arden retweeted video of an interview Smith gave to the CBC’s “Power & Politics.”
When asked about the photo, Smith told the CBC that she supports the LGBT community.
“I’m not going to be a political billboard for anybody’s messages. I don’t agree with the sentiments expressed on the shirt. I get thousands of pictures,” Smith said, adding that she would be more mindful in the future.
Arden wasn’t buying it.
“I’ve probably taken 200,000 pictures with people in my life and I don’t have one with someone wearing a disparaging T-shirt with a very obviously easy to read hate-filled message on it,” the singer wrote.
Arden said Smith “shouldn’t be leading a parade never mind a province.”
Poilievre was at the same event and also took a photo with the man.
A spokesperson for Poilievre said the leader does not agree with the message of “straight pride.”