Ford finally takes yes for an answer in Pride Toronto funding controversy

Ford finally takes yes for an answer in Pride Toronto funding controversy

Pride is set to receive city funds (Image: Stephen Weppler) 

Well, this proved to be a pleasant surprise at council yesterday: instead of insisting on new funding conditions for Pride Toronto, Rob Ford and his executive committee decided to proceed with the status quo—for now, at least. This ought to be good news for everybody: Queers Against Israeli Apartheid aren’t going to march in the parade this year; Pride still receives city funds; and Giorgio Mammoliti is on the record defending Israel from its critics.

From the CBC:

A city staff report in April had ruled the term “Israeli Apartheid” does not violate the city’s anti-discrimination policy, and that funding for Pride should not be contingent on the participation of QuAIA. But some councillors, including Doug Holyday and Giorgio Mammoliti, disagreed…

But after hearing assurances from Pride Toronto on Tuesday that it would escort QuAIA members from Pride-sanctioned events, Mammoliti decided against introducing such a motion.

City funds are still being held until the festival ends, so it’s actually not a sure thing quite yet. But if the parade and other Pride events go according to plan, the issue should be put to rest—at least until next year.

In addition to cheering on Ford and Mammoliti for letting this one go, we’d like to single out Peter Milczyn for earning some sanity points last night. While Milczyn stopped short of supporting QuAIA’s message, he did decry any effort to silence it. “Once you censor one group, one idea, even if you disagree with it violently, it starts a slippery slope,” he said. “Because what will be the next idea, the next group?”

It’s a shame that we’re not sure that’s a sentiment everyone at city hall can actually get behind.

Pride likely to receive city funding after threats over controversial group [Toronto Star]
Pride funding safe for now, city to monitor Queers Against Israeli Apartheid [City News]
Pride funding approved by city committee [CBC]
Executive does not impose additional restrictions on Pride [National Post]