May 24, 2024
Press Coverage

Jesse Rau, Calgary Transit Driver, Says He’s Being Targeted Over Pride Bus Stance

A Calgary Transit driver, who created controversy over his refusal to drive a rainbow Pride bus, claims he’s become the target of unfounded allegations at work.

“I feel like people at Calgary Transit are now against me because I stand firmly for my Christian faith and won’t compromise my values,” said Rau in a news release on Sunday.

The annual Calgary Pride Festival kicks off this week, and a Calgary Transit bus has been wrapped in a rainbow flag as a show of support.

But Rau publicly said he would have to quit his job if he was assigned to drive the bus because it goes against his Christian beliefs.

On Monday, Rau’s pastor said that the driver was told that a complaint had been filed against him, alleging that he was texting while driving on the job.

“I am very careful not to text while driving,” Rau said, refuting the allegation. “I am aware that public transit is a blessing to many and I always want to keep the people on my bus safe and secure.

“It seems like I am being targeted for speaking out for my faith.”

Rau’s pastor, Artur Pawlowski, also alleged that Calgary Transit had been monitoring Rau’s personal Facebook page. He said the bus driver has stopped using the social platform altogether because he’s afraid of losing his job.

Rau is still under probation with Calgary Transit as he’s only been working for the company for less than a year, said CTV News.

City manager Jeff Fielding said he couldn’t speak about specific personnel matters, but added he has not received any formal complaints about Rau. Fielding also said Rau has not come to management to talk about not wanting to drive the Pride bus and why.

“Anybody, at any point in time, can write me an email or make an appointment to see me. If these were issues of concern to them personally in terms of their own beliefs and practices, I would have dealt with it appropriately.”

The Pride bus will drive different routes in the system throughout the festival, up until the Pride Parade, which takes place on Monday.

With files from The Canadian Press;ir=Canada+Alberta

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