Medicine Hat bakery’s pro-LGBTQ doughnuts a message to UCP MLAs

A bakery in Medicine Hat sent pro-LGBTQ doughnuts to UCP MLA Drew Barnes on Tuesday as a protest over a vote on gay-straight alliances at the party’s policy convention.

McBride’s Bakery delivered two dozen rainbow-sprinkled doughnuts, decorated with the words “acceptance” and “it’s OK to be gay” to Barnes’s constituency office.

“It was a fun, light way to start a conversation,” said Carol Hillson, who owns McBride’s with her husband, Brendan.

On Sunday, 57 per cent of members who voted were in favour of a resolution to reinstate parental consent if a student joins a GSA. The resolution is in response to Bill 24 which was passed into law last fall. 

LGBTQ advocates say this could out kids before they are ready to tell their parents about their sexual orientation.

Hillson said she and her husband were upset with the outcome of Sunday’s vote so they decided to share their opinion with a box of rainbow-coloured confections.

Calgary-Hays MLA Ric McIver was jeered Sunday when he urged delegates to vote against an amendment to require schools to tell parents if their child joins a gay-straight alliance. (Michelle Bellefontaine/CBC)

Brendan isn’t the bakery’s usual decorator but he put the messages on the doughnuts, and took them to the constituency office. Hillson said her husband told the constituency staff the reason for the gift.

“It’s one of the ways that we facilitate conversation,” Carol Hillson said. “When you bring a box of doughnuts somewhere, the door is always open.

“If you want to have a serious conversation with somebody, hand them a doughnut and talk to them while they are chewing because doughnuts aren’t crunchy and they’re able to listen.”

Tweet prompts backlash 

Barnes sent a tweet thanking McBride’s for the delivery.

“The @alberta_ucp is a diverse broad tent coalition with a variety of beliefs,” he wrote.” All are welcome regardless of who they love or how they worship. We will continue to represent all Albertans when we form government in 2019.”

The tweet provoked backlash from people who suggested Barnes wasn’t aware the bakery was trying to send him a message.

Hillson said the response to the doughnut delivery has been overwhelmingly positive. She said she was also pleased with Barnes’s response.

“I look forward to seeing the follow-up on that, especially with the other members of the UCP,” she said.

Hillson said she knows Barnes and his family and joined the UCP to vote on policies. She urges people not to see people with differing opinions as “the enemy.”

“Start by having reasonable conversations with people,” she said. “And sometimes a nice gesture is a great way to start that.”

As for people who say they plan to drive to Medicine Hat to buy a box of McBride’s doughnuts, Hillson asks them to consider supporting their local independent bakery.

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Sherwood Park

Sherwood Park is a large hamlet in Alberta, Canada within Strathcona County that is recognized as an urban service area.[7] It is located adjacent to the City of Edmonton’s eastern boundary,[8] generally south of Highway 16 (Yellowhead Trail), west of Highway 21 and north of Highway 630 (Wye Road).[9] Other portions of Sherwood Park extend beyond Yellowhead Trail and Wye Road, while Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) separates Refinery Row to the west from the balance of the hamlet to the east.[9]

Sherwood Park was established in 1955 on farmland of the Smeltzer family, east of Edmonton. With a population of 70,618 in 2016,[6] Sherwood Park has enough people to be Alberta’s seventh largest city, but technically retains the status of a hamlet. The Government of Alberta recognizes the Sherwood Park Urban Service Area as equivalent to a city.


Sherwood Park, originally named Campbelltown, was founded by John Hook Campbell and John Mitchell in 1953 when the Municipal District of Strathcona No. 83 approved their proposed development of a bedroom community east of Edmonton. The first homes within the community were marketed to the public in 1955. Canada Post intervened on the name of Campbelltown due to the existence of several other communities in Canada within the same name, so the community’s name was changed to Sherwood Park in 1956.

The Sherwood Park Urban Service Area is located in the Edmonton Capital Region along the western edge of central Strathcona County adjacent to the City of Edmonton.[8] The majority of the community is bound by Highway 16 (Yellowhead Highway) to the north, Highway 21 to the east, Highway 630 (Wye Road) to the south, and Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) to the west. The Refinery Row portion of Sherwood Park is located across Anthony Henday Drive to the west, between Sherwood Park Freeway and Highway 16. Numerous developments fronting the south side of Wye Road, including Wye Gardens, Wye Crossing, Salisbury Village and the Estates of Sherwood Park, are also within the community. Lands north of Highway 16 and south of Township Road 534/Oldman Creek between Range Road 232 (Sherwood Drive) to the west and Highway 21 to the east are also within the Sherwood Park urban service area.

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