Topless blogger keeps Kelowna mayor abreast of equality issue

Some people in Kelowna are wondering what their mayor was doing in chatting with a topless blogger after the interview was posted to YouTube two days ago.

The video starts out in routine manner, with Mayor Walter Gray being interviewed by Lori Welbourne, a columnist with The Province, a Vancouver daily, about whether it is legal for women in Kelowna to go topless.

But things take a turn when Welbourne asks Gray to hold the microphone while she makes a wardrobe adjustment.

"What are you doing?" the mayor asks as the buxom blonde pulls down her halter top.

"It's really hot in here," Welbourne responds as she picks up the interview.

"Really," the mayor replies, doing his best — but failing — to keep his eyes up.

The mayor goes on to explain there are no longer any laws in Kelowna preventing women from being topless in public.

The mayor later told CBC News the segment was a gag and he was just playing along, but some Kelowna residents aren't laughing.

Mark Provoncher wondered whether it was appropriate for Gray to be involved in the video.

"I'm not sure that that's a fair thing for him to be a lightning rod for," Provonchier told CBC News.

But residents Dave and Ellen Thomas weren't as bothered.

"I don't have a problem with it. Well, he's doing that and [federal Liberal Leader] Justin Trudeau has come out saying he smokes pot. They are supporting what they believe in."

International Go Topless day is held every year on the Sunday closest to Women's Equality Day, which falls on Monday this year .

There is no word whether Kelowna's mayor plans on participating.

Women in Canada won the right to bare their breasts in public in 1996 when the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned the 1991 conviction of Gwen Jacobs, saying "there was nothing degrading or dehumanizing" about her decision to take off her shirt in public.