On Monday, Pride Toronto released a statement requesting Toronto Police withdraw their application to march in the 2018 Pride Parade.
And the Toronto Police Service has announced they are fulfilling that request.
“It is an incredibly complex and difficult time,” said Pride Toronto, citing the recent arrest of alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur as one of the reasons for their request.
And on Tuesday morning, Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders confirmed they will not be taking part in this year’s march.
“In light of the concerns expressed in yesterday’s letter to me, I will be withdrawing the application we have made to the organizing committee of the Pride Parade,” said Saunders in a statement.
“My hope is that this move will be received as a concrete example of the fact that I am listening closely to the community’s concerns and I am committed thoroughly to building a better, stronger relationship between us.”
Saunders added that the Toronto Police Service “will work hard over the course of the next year toward that end and, ideally, the 2019 Pride Parade will offer an opportunity to demonstrate that progression.”
Toronto Mayor John Tory said that Chief Saunders and the Toronto Police have withdrawn their participation so that they “can focus on the objective of unity and restored confidence.”
“I thank the LGBT2Q community organizations who are engaged in improving relations with police at this difficult time,” said Tory in a statement. “The annual Pride celebration remains an important time for our city, and I look forward to an event that once again reflects the vibrancy, diversity and strength of our LGBT2Q community and indeed the entire City of Toronto.”
Last year, in response to the banning of uniformed police officers participating in Pride Toronto festivities, roughly 100 officers from Canada accepted an invitation by the Gay Officers Action League (GOALNY) to march in the New York City parade on the same weekend.