Doug Ford will not attend this year's Pride parade in Toronto
Ontario Premier Doug Ford will officially abstain from Pride celebrations in Toronto this year, according to one of his spokespeople, out of support for local police.
Uniformed officers were famously banned from participating in Toronto's annual pride parade in 2017, one year after members of Black Lives Matter halted the procession with a list of demands that included banning police floats from future parades.
The relationship between Pride Toronto and Toronto Police Services has been strained ever since, with LGBTQ+ community leaders asking police to stay away from the parade in 2018 as well over how they handled the investigation into alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur.
Police voluntarily pulled out of last year's parade and, in October, the ban was tentatively lifted by Pride Toronto — only to see the organization reverse its stance after an incredibly tight and controversial vote a few months later.
As it stands now, uniformed police officers won't participate in Toronto's Pride parade for at least two more years — and thus, neither will Ford.
UNREAL. The biogtry being brought into politics that control our lives is painful. It is a Premier's job to demonstrate desired behaviour, acceptance, equality, LOVE. All I feel coming from @fordnation towards me is frustration and oppression. #bipride #ONpolipriorities https://t.co/vwlHNBagOx— Megan Ball Rigden (@1_Non_Blonde) June 3, 2019
"Premier Ford has always said he will attend Toronto's Pride parade when our front-line police officers are allowed to participate in uniform," said Ford spokesperson Ivana Yelich to Global News on Monday morning.
"He wishes all the organizers of Pride Toronto all the best for a successful month and festival weekend."
The move isn't being well received by people in Toronto, but at least this Ford's excuse (however nonsensical) is based in policy.
His brother, the late, former Mayor of Toronto Rob Ford, famously said in 2014 that he would never attend a Pride Parade because "I can't change who I am."
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