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Pride Week not on list of city proclamations

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Pride Week not on list of city proclamations

Former Toronto mayor David Miller at last year's flag-raising ceremony and proclamation at city hall. IMAGE 1 OF 1
UPDATE: Ford signed the proclamation, but no plans to be at ceremony
UPDATE - JUNE 13: Mayor Rob Ford has now signed the 2011 Pride Toronto proclamation, the mayor’s press secretary has confirmed to Xtra.

Adrienne Batra didn’t go into details about the signing or offer comment. She simply sent an email replying to Xtra’s request with “yes.” On June 8, Xtra reported that Pride Week was not on the list of 2011 city proclamations, and no one at city hall could say when the mayor planned to sign it.

There was also no confirmation whether Ford would attend the rainbow flag-raising ceremony on June 27, a tradition that marks the start of the festival.

At the Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans Youth Line Community Youth Awards Gala June 10, Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam told the audience that Ford's office has confirmed that he will not attend the ceremony.

In his place, Councillor Frances Nunziata will read the proclamation, Wong-Tam says.



JUNE 8: Will Mayor Rob Ford proclaim Pride Week and raise the rainbow flag this year?

The City of Toronto list of proclamations for 2011 includes Red Tape Awareness Week, Bob Marley Day, Veterinary Week, Administrative Professionals Week, Foot Health Month and Foursquare City Day, to name a few.

But Toronto Pride Week -- an event that brings in $136 million in economic revenue, including approximately $40 million spent by local residents -- is curiously missing from the list.

Reach for the Rainbow Week? Nope, that’s not Pride, either.

When Xtra called Ford’s cellphone June 7 to ask if he will read the proclamation and raise the rainbow flag, he said, “You have the wrong number” and promptly hung up.

Adrienne Batra, press secretary to the mayor, says Ford hasn’t signed the proclamation yet. She “believes” it will be done on Friday.

Peter McHugh, spokesperson for Pride Toronto (PT), says the flag will be raised at city hall June 27 at noon. But there's no guarantee Ford will be at the ceremony.


Ford was also a no-show at the Proud of Toronto event at city hall in May and the proclamation for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia at city hall with PFLAG Toronto.

Kristyn Wong-Tam, councillor for Ward 27, sent a letter to the mayor’s office requesting that he sign the proclamation soon. “Why is this not a priority? Why is the mayor keeping the queer community on pins and needles over this?”

“The mayor hasn’t signed it yet,” she says. “I’ve reached out in so many ways to get the mayor to Pride. I even offered to host a Pride brunch for him on July 2.”

“Let’s hope the mayor realizes Pride is right around the corner. Everyone has picked out their Pride outfits. He should too.”

Wong-Tam says she hasn’t received any invitation to read the proclamation on behalf of the mayor. “I hope when the flag raises, the mayor is present,” she says. “If not, it could set the city’s relationship with the LGBT community back.”

If Ford doesn’t attend or send a delegate from his office, she says the community should rally around the rainbow flag anyway.

The rainbow flag is especially significant this year, Wong-Tam says, as news surfaced June 6 that one Catholic school in Mississauga blocked a group of youth from displaying any rainbows at their anti-homophobia event on June 3.

“It’s even more important this year, so we should fly the flag high,” she says. “Let’s set an example for the rest of the city.”

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Comments

Who cares?
I'd rather not have the opening ceremonies marred by this homophobe's presence. It would be a contrived joke. the best thing he could do for the LGBTQ community is stay at home eating pounds and pounds of wings, as usual.
well - I was 1/2 right!
Frod is sending Lackey #5. Not even his TOP lap dog!

Why is anyone surprised?
Unauthorised Luminato Art Instillation?
How many watercolour-filled condom water balloons would it take to decorate City Hall as a giant rainbow flag?
Ford is a weenie.
Will Rob Ford raise Pride Flag???
When pigs fly.
Tsk tsk tsk
For a man so interested in money and the bottom line, you think he could out aside his own homophobia and bias and support Pride if for no other reason than economics!
WHY?!?!
does it suprise you that not EVERYONE and their mother has to give their blessing to the "queer" community!!?!?! Get on with your lives! Why do you need validation constantly?!
take the power back
We have given him tooo much power. We have censored groups for him, and changed our ways to comply with his ridiculous conservative ideas. He feel he can dictate and be absent from his responsibilities as a mayor and we must bend over for him. Is time to take the power back, is time to take pride back. If we decided to suspend the event and not bring the amount of revenue we bring, let's see who would hold the power then. And maybe on election year we will elect a true representative of diverse Toronto.
Totally not surprised.....
The fact that Mayor McCheese has not signed the proclamation yet does not surprise me in the least. The day he was elected Mayor of this City was one of the saddest days in my life as a Torontonian...almost 25 years now. He and his cronies are trying to bring the rabid, right-wing sensibilities of the American "Tea Party" to Toronto and it sickens me. "Stop the gravy train" may have won him the election but that was but the tip of the iceberg...just wait. He's a redneck in the very worst connotation of that word...as are his City Hall cronies. The worst, I'm afraid, is yet to come.
I'll fall off my dildo if he proclaims Pride Week!
Frod show up & raise the flag? I doubt it. He thinks he'll "catch something" ... The man does not support or even acknowledge LGBT citizens, let alone "Pride". At best he'll send one of his lackeys with a lame apology stating that he's too busy celebrating "Perogie Day" or something ...
who can blame him
I'm no fan of the mayor, but if I were him and Xtra called my unlisted number I'd hang up too. Frankly so would a growing list of politicians and activists.

Let's be honest, without the GSA issue no one would read it.

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