Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders has released the following statement regarding police participation in PRIDE events going forward.
Although police won’t take part in the parade, they will still host an event.
Last month’s general meeting for Pride Toronto saw a majority of attendees vote in favour of adopting a list of demands made by Black Lives Matter – Toronto, including the banning of police floats from the annual parade.
“We have made great strides with the LGBTQ communities. It’s an inclusive relationship I’m proud of and I know the men and women of the Service feel the same way.
We understand the LGBTQ communities are divided. To enable those differences to be addressed, I have decided the Toronto Police Service will not participate, this year, in the Pride Parade.
What we will do is continue to hold our annual Pride reception.
I want to make it very clear that this will have no impact on our ongoing outreach to LGBTQ communities. We will continue to develop respectful relationships and build new ones, focusing on those who feel marginalized, with the trans and racialized communities. I will sit down with any group who feels marginalized, who comes to the table with ideas on how to make things better.
We have come a long way. We have much to do.”