Doug Ford says he'll march in Pride Parade when Toronto Police can
In the weeks leading up to the provincial election, Doug Ford dodged questions as to whether or not he would be attending Toronto's Pride Parade on June 24 this year.
Now that he's been elected, Ontario's Premier-designate has finally given a definitive answer.
In a live interview with CP24 the day after his election, Doug Ford suggested he might (for the first time ever) attend Toronto's Pride Parade on June 24, under one condition: that police services be allowed to join the march, too.
"I look forward to [Toronto Pride's] answer on if they're having our police back in the parade," he told CP24's Stephanie Smyth.
Friendly reminder that Ford & family refuse to march in the Pride Parade. This year, don’t make the same mistake. @fordnation, if you want to represent a province you need to represent a province inclusively. I’ll see you on June 24th.— cam (@ThatDramaGeek) June 8, 2018
Uniformed police officers have been banned from walking alongside protestors during Pride Parade since 2016, when Black Lives Matter halted the procession to demand rights for Black and marginalized communities, and – among other stipulations – a ban on police floats from future parades.
.@fordnation during his one term as a Toronto city councillor, he refused to attend the city’s Pride parade – describing it as “middle-aged men, with pot bellies, running down the street buck naked” - no Doug that's the mirror you look in— Robert Michael Todd (@Roberttodd) June 9, 2018
Ford has previously made controversial remarks about the Pride Parade, describing the protest as an an event where "middle-aged men with pot bellies" ran down the street "buck naked" in 2014.
His brother, the late Rob Ford, also had a volatile relationship with the LGBT community: he publicly shunned the yearly event during his run as mayor and once demanded a Pride flag be taken down from City Hall during the Sochi Olympics.
If his conditions for attending the parade hold true, it's pretty unlikely that you'll be seeing Ford marching down Yonge Street in two weeks.
@fordnation I adore your view on marching in the Toronto Pride Parade! If they allow the police back in in full uniform and taking care of the people on the street during the Parade, I won't have to boycott the Parade anymore!— Rita L (@ChihuahuaCheech) June 9, 2018
Despite discussions between Toronto Pride and Toronto Police, the ban on uniformed officers is still in effect. Police were asked to withdraw their request to appear in the parade this April, and the issue still divides many Torontonians surrounding the inclusivity of the event.
The relationship between police and the Church-Wellesley LGBT community are particularly strained this year in the wake of the Bruce McArthur killings, spurring some participants to opt for all-black clothes as opposed to the event's standard colourful attire.
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