A huge discussion is now underway by several Toronto city councillors to have Pride Toronto denied city funding because of its decision to exclude the Toronto Police Service from this year’s Pride Celebration.
Councillor John Campbell (Ward 4, Etobicoke Centre) has drafted a motion, which he says he’ll present at an upcoming city council meeting, that requests city staff to withhold Pride’s $260,000.00 grant “pending Pride’s reaffirmation of its core value of inclusivity.”
Last year the Pride Parade came to an abrupt stop by Black Lives Matter until Pride organizers agreed to a list of demands, including a promise to keep uniformed police from participating in all future Prides.
Many questions are coming up now at city hall. Most importantly, “Why is the city of Toronto funding it, when they’re using these tactics of exclusion against the police?” Councillor John Campbell said Toronto Pride “got bullied into it by Black Lives Matter, and it was wrong.”
John Campbell said he’s had support for his motion from 5 other councillors including: Mark Grimes, Justin Di Ciano, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Stephen Holyday and Jon Burnside.
Jon Burnside, who represents Ward 26, Don Valley West, was a police officer from 1991 to 2001. He told CBC Toronto he has participated in the Pride parade several times as a police officer and later as a politician.
“If Pride wants to exclude the police, it’s absolutely their business,” he said Monday. “But Campbell says part of my job is to decide on funding, and I think that [the ban on police] not only sends the wrong message, it’s counter-productive.”
He presents his motion when Pride’s funding request gets to council in April or May.
What do you think? Can Toronto Pride survive losing a$260,000.00 grant from the city?
Will Toronto Pride ever be the same?
Source: CBC News