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Premier says province 'forced' to cancel yoga event on Burrard Bridge

Last Updated Jun 12, 2015 at 2:53 pm PDT

(Jill Drews, NEWS 1130 Photo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Christy Clark says the province has been “forced” to cancel the mass yoga class scheduled for June 21st because the focus “drifted towards politics – getting in the way of the spirit of community and inner reflection.”

Earlier today, the premier and Lululemon both announced they will not take part in the mass yoga class, which would have shut down the Burrard Street Bridge for hours on Father’s Day.

Lululemon, the main sponsor for the event, tweeted it has “heard the feedback and decided not to participate.”

Christy Clark also took to Twitter to say she will not be attending the event, saying “it’s not about politics.”

The premier’s full statement:

“In April, I had the privilege of welcoming Prime Minister Modi to Vancouver. We discussed trade, investment – and yoga. India is rightfully proud of their gift to the world, and how it has become part of the cultural fabric of British Columbia.

“Yoga is about attaining inner peace and harmony. Our intention was to join with other centres around the world in celebrating the United Nations’ International Day of Yoga in that spirit.

“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. It was for that reason, I decided not to participate.

“I want to thank our sponsors for organizing an inclusive event with the very best of intentions. Though we are forced to cancel the Burrard Street Bridge event, I hope British Columbians will still feel encouraged to participate in their events elsewhere.

“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. June 21st is also recognized in Canada as National Aboriginal Day, also with events across the province – and the country.

“B.C.’s greatest strength is our diversity. I hope June 21st will be about celebrating the best part of us all.”

The announcement of #OmTheBridge last week sent fingers typing on social media, with many unhappy the Burrard Bridge would be closed for the event.

Protests were planned by people upset with the fact it coincides with National Aboriginal Day. Things became so heated, people online were threatening Clark and Lululemon founder Chip Wilson with violence.

The premier fanned the flames yesterday, with a tweet in which she said “Hey Yoga Haters- bet you can’t wait for international Tai Chi day.” She called it tweet “self-deprecating humour.”