CALGARY — A man says he has been fired from his Calgary Transit job after refusing to drive a city bus wrapped in rainbow colours in support of gay pride.
Jesse Rau says his religious beliefs prevented him from driving the Pride bus and he shared his views with reporters and on social media.
Rau says a supervisor chastised him for speaking out and told him that bus drivers would have to drive the bus.
But in his termination letter that he released, city officials say Rau was never asked to drive the Pride bus and that he was losing his job for breaching the city’s code of conduct and media relations policy.
Rau had been driving for the service for less than a year and was still on probation.
He says he was fired for something that was unrelated to his job.
“Prior to this issue, I was told that, due to my good work performance, I was supervisor material,” he said in a written statement Friday. “To go from awaiting promotion to facing joblessness simply for standing for my Christian faith in a supposedly free country is horrible.”
The city has said it does not comment about specific personnel matters.
In his termination letter city officials say Rau has proven to be unsuitable for continued employment.
“To be clear, you are entitled to your religious beliefs and to express them freely,” reads the letter. “However, you went beyond that and made false and misleading comments during various media interviews which resulted in undue controversy and put the reputation of the city at risk.”
The Pride bus was driven on different routes in the city until the Pride Parade, which took place Sunday. (CHQR, The Canadian Press)
The Canadian Press