A group representing LGBTQ Toronto police officers is asking the city to remove $260,000 in funding for the 2017 Pride parade.
The request comes after Pride Toronto voted to remove police floats at this year’s parade. The conflict began last summer when Black Lives Matter demanded that Pride Toronto ban police floats from the 2017 Parade.
The group staged a sit-in during the pride parade, causing the parade to shut down for 30 minutes, continuing only after Pride Toronto executive director Mathieu Chantelois signed a document agreeing to the group’s demands.
In an open letter to the city released on April 19, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer internal support network for the Toronto Police Service said that it was “unacceptable” for the City of Toronto to remain a sponsor of Pride.
— Mike McCormack (@TPAca) April 19, 2017
“How can we possibly feel appreciated by our employer while they sponsor an event that its own employees have been disinvited from participating in as full, equal, and active participants in their role as city employees,” said the group.
“We can think of no other examples in Canada where either a public or private employer has been a lead sponsor for an event their employees were asked not to participate in.”
In February, Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders announced that the police service will be holding their own annual Pride reception instead of taking part in the parade.