Bridge to nowhere

Christy Clark's focus on costly yoga adventure on National Aboriginal Day created overwhelming backlash

Christy Clark yoga on the bridge project cancelled
FROM BRIDGE POSE TO CORPSE POSE: A week after Christy Clark announced the inaugural International Day of Yoga 'Om the Bridge' event, she and all her sponsors pulled out.

Backlash against a mass yoga session planned for a downtown Vancouver bridge prompted Premier Christy Clark to pull out, she announced Friday morning. Two major sponsors Lululemon and YYoga followed suit and Vancouver's inaugural International Day of Yoga was all but dead, despite lack of word from sponsoring energy giant, Altagas.

Christy Clark said in a Friday morning tweet that she will not participate in Om the Bridge on June 21 and that yoga is about celebrating peace and harmony, not politics. Her plan even drew the ire of children's author Raffi, while others say Clark should be focusing on aboriginal issues because June 21 is also national Aboriginal Day.

The communications department of the Office of the Premier issued a statement of quotes by Clark that attempted to quell what she called "the yoga haters" in an earlier tweet.

"Unfortunately, the focus of the proposed Burrard Street Bridge event has drifted towards politics – getting in the way of the spirit of community and inner reflection," she said. "It was for that reason, I decided not to participate."

The press release appeared to address the displeasure of First Nations communities, many of whom were calling for their members to drum or dress in traditional colours or regalia at the planned spectacle that was to occur on National Aboriginal Day, just days after the Truth and Reconciliation Hearings concluded.

"The United Nations designated June 21st as the International Day of Yoga and I'm pleased that there are events taking place across the province to celebrate it," she is quoted in the statement. "June 21st is also recognized in Canada as National Aboriginal Day, also with events across the province – and the country.

A look back at the week-long war of words:

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