Toronto to keep funding Pride parade amid controversy over police participation
TORONTO - Canada's largest Pride parade will continue to receive an annual grant from the City of Toronto despite calls to cut the funding over a decision to ban uniformed police officers from the event.
The majority of city council members voted Friday to uphold the $260,000 grant, rejecting a motion to have it revoked.
A Toronto city councillor had called for the grant to be pulled over Pride Toronto's decision to ban police floats from the colourful summer parade, saying the event had become exclusionary.
The union representing Toronto police officers had also pushed for the funding to be withdrawn, arguing it would be unacceptable for the city to sponsor an event that shuts out certain municipal employees.
Pride Toronto, meanwhile, has consistently said police officers are welcome at the parade so long as they appear as civilians rather than in an official capacity.
Toronto Mayor John Tory had said he would support moving forward with the grant, noting both Pride Toronto and Toronto's police chief told him cutting it would not help resolve the issue.