Main | Monday, May 10, 2010

Feds Defund Pride Toronto

Pride Toronto, already in a pitched battle with the city over the inclusion of an anti-Israel group, has lost its federal funding for this year's event.
The announcement came Friday when Industry Minister Tony Clement released the government's list of events that will receive federal funding under the Marquee Tourism Events Program, a temporary two-year stimulus measure to support tourism during the recession. The gay pride festival was not on that list, despite having received $400,000 from the government last year. Clement told the National Post that just because projects received money last year did not guarantee funding would continue this year. He said the lion's share of marquee tourism funding went to Toronto and Montreal last year, so the government decided to spread money to smaller urban centres with "meritorious" projects this year and put a limit on the number of projects -- two -- in major cities that it would fund. "Quite frankly, the pride parade is a successful event. In our estimation, it needed the money less," Clement said. "There's nothing more to it than that. I'm sure there are people yelling and screaming about possible motives, but I'm telling you what I'm telling you."
In Pride Toronto's unrelated battle with the city, late last week Toronto City Councilor Giorgio Mammoliti introduced this motion (PDF): "City Council direct the City Clerk to advise the Pride organizers that the City of Toronto’s 2010 funding and support will be revoked if Pride Toronto does not invoke the City of Toronto’s anti-discriminating policies and if Queers against Israel Apartheid participates in this year’s Pride Parade."

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