City's economic development committee approves $260K grant for Pride Toronto

May 8 2017, 6:39 pm

The City’s economic development committee approved Pride Toronto’s request for a $260,000 funding grant.

At Monday’s City Hall meeting, the committee, along with members of Pride Toronto, discussed the issue of funding, which comes after months of controversy following the announcement that Toronto Police pulled out of participation at the 2017 Pride Parade.

This news arrives just 24-hours after Pride Toronto issued a statement in regards to including police offers in this year’s parade. In the statement, Pride clarifies that “police are not banned, that they are invited to participate with select conditions and that they will be providing necessary services to ensure the festival is secure.” The statement also says that LGBTQ+ police officers and their allies are not banned from the parade.

They have, however, requested that the participation not include uniforms, weapons, and vehicles.

Earlier this year, Pride Toronto hired Olivia Nuamah to replace Mathieu Chantelois who resigned last summer.

With a new management and board in place, the City’s economic development committee said that Pride Toronto and the Toronto Police Service should be given an opportunity for dialogue and future cooperation that is focussed on rebuilding and restoring relations.

The committee’s report states that Pride Toronto has not violated any existing City policy which would result in withholding funds from the local organization, and with that, it recommend that the City continue to fund Pride Toronto.

“Pride is a hugely important event for our city, and one that is supposed to send a message of inclusion and equality to the world,” said Mayor John Tory in a statement. “From Day One, I have been consistent in saying that I considered Pride a celebration all about inclusion and that as such, police should be welcomed in the parade. I continue to hold this view.”

Tory said that withdrawing Pride funding would not be helpful in finding a resolution, and that he will support maintaining full funding for Pride this year.

“Pride is an important city event, and one that must reflect the diversity and vibrancy of our city,” said Tory.

The funding request will be considered by City Council on May 24.

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