Rainbow Flag Raising Pride Toronto

Ford skips Rainbow Flag raising, meets with Leafs GM Brian Burke

The 2011 City of Toronto Rainbow Flag raising to kick off Pride Week took place at Nathan Phillips Square this afternoon. Notably if unsurprisingly absent was Mayor Rob Ford, who had Councillor Frances Nunziata attend as his representative. Also attending in the mayor's place was a member of the crowd wearing a Ford mask and carrying a sign that read, "I'm not here."

During the ceremony itself, some of those assembled could be heard shouting "where's the mayor — we want the mayor," but this eventually faded when Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam took the microphone and expressed sympathy in saying, "I'm waiting too, my friends." Also in attendance were Pride Week co-chairs Francisco Alvarez and Margaret Ngai as well as International Grand Marshal Angie Umbac.

Where was Ford? In a move that might be cause for hope that the Mayor will participate in Pride in some capacity, he was meeting with Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Brian Burke, who's become an increasingly vocal supporter of gay rights following the death of his son Brendan in 2010. Ford refused to reveal what the two men discussed, but it's possible that Burke used a bit of his signature "truculence" to convince him to adjust his attitude when it comes to Pride.

PHOTOS FROM THE FLAG RAISING

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Photos by Tony Chen / Twitpic by Jacskon Proskow of Global News.


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