Item - 2010.EX45.34

Tracking Status

  • This item was withdrawn from the agenda of the Executive Committee meeting on June 14, 2010. No further action will be taken on this item.

EX45.34 - 2010 Funding to Pride Toronto

Decision Type:

Committee Decision

The Executive Committee withdrew from the agenda, the letter (May 17, 2009) from City Council, the letter (May 27, 2010) from the General Manager, Economic Development and Culture, and all related material respecting 2010 Funding to Pride Toronto, given that Pride Toronto has complied with the City's requirements with respect to this matter


(May 17, 2010) Letter from City Council


Pride Toronto was incorporated in 1995 but has been in existence as the organizer of Pride Week in Toronto since 1971. Pride Week is the pre-eminent venue for the cultural and artistic expression of Toronto’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, intersex, queer, questioning and two-spirited community. Pride Week hosts an annual event in downtown Toronto each year.

The City of Toronto provides financial support through the Community Partnerships and Investment Program to enhance major cultural organizations, such as Pride, that are recognized as essential cultural ambassadors and infrastructure for the City.  Funding is provided for cultural attractions that have a significant impact for the benefit of Torontonians and towards cultural tourism enhancement. These organizations play a major role in enhancing a local cultural ecology and in developing Toronto as a worldwide cultural destination.

Major cultural organizations such as Pride are recognized as essential cultural ambassadors for the City whose programs have a significant impact on the regional economy by playing a major role in tourism attraction through the development of Toronto as a worldwide cultural destination.


Last year, The City of Toronto provided financial support via the Culture and Access and Equity Grants totalling $126,370.00 as well as $170,000.00 for clean-up and policing of the event.

Over the last number of years, Pride’s organizers have allowed a controversial anti-Israel group calling itself Queers Against Israel Apartheid (QuAIA) to march in the Pride Parade.

A video, Reclaiming Our Pride, recently created by Lawyer Martin Gladstone shows footage from the 2009 parade where QuAIA marchers carried signs condemning Israel with their members chanting the slogan, “Fist by Fist, Blow by Blow, Apartheid State, Has Got to Go.”


The City of Toronto has very strict policies that surround the granting of funds to groups such as Pride.  All groups that accept funding grants must declare that their organization adopts and upholds the City of Toronto’s policy statement which prohibits discrimination and harassment while protecting the right to be free of hate activity based on age, ancestry, citizenship, creed (religion), colour, disability, ethnic origin, family status, gender identity, level of literacy, marital status, place of origin, membership in a union or staff association, political affiliation, race, receipt of public assistance, record of offences, sex, sexual orientation or any other personal characteristics by or within the organization.


In addition to adopting this Declaration, all recipients of funding or other support, are required to develop a Policy on Anti-Racism, Access and Equity, and develop Action Plans, pursuant to the City of Toronto Policy (Clause 5 of Strategic Policies and Priorities Committee Report 6). This Declaration is in keeping with the City of Toronto Human Rights and Harassment Policy and Procedures and Hate Activity Policy and Procedures (Clause 2 of Report 19 of Corporate Services Committee adopted by City Council on December 16 and 17, 1998).


(Submitted to City Council on May 11 and 12, 2010 as MM49.12)


Background Information


(May 13, 2010) E-mail from Elle Flanders, Tony Souza and Tim McCaskell, Members of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (EX.Main.EX45.34.1)
(May 17, 2010) E-mail from Sarah Gayman (EX.Main.EX45.34.2)
(April 20, 2010) E-mail from Abby Deshman, Project Director, Canadian Civil Liberties Association (EX.Main.EX45.34.3)
(May 12, 2010) E-mail from Rick Telfer (EX.Main.EX45.34.4)
(June 14, 2010) E-mail from Shawn Syms (EX.Main.EX45.34.5)
(June 14, 2010) E-mail from Zahra Dhanai (EX.Main.EX45.34.6)


1 - Motion to Withdraw an Item moved by Mayor David Miller (Withdrawn)


Ruling by Mayor David Miller
Mayor Miller ruled this Item as Redundant in that the item was withdrawn from the Agenda given that Pride Toronto has complied with the City's requirements with respect to this matter.

34a - Status of compliance by Pride Toronto with City of Toronto anti-discrimination requirements


(May 27, 2010) Letter from the General Manager, Economic Development and Culture


As a result of inquiries received by the City regarding compliance by Pride Toronto with City of Toronto requirements for all funded agencies to adopt an anti-discrimination policy and to implement access, equity and human rights policies, the City Manager wrote to Pride Toronto requesting documentation on how these requirements were being met.



Staff have met with representatives of the Pride Board who have provided a plan that includes the following:  a rigorous review of applications, enhanced training of volunteers, the addition of consequences should any participant not comply with the terms and conditions of participation and vetting of parade participants at the point of marshalling.



In addition, Pride Toronto has now also issued a release (attached) outlining the Board’s decision (May 21, 2010) to prohibit the use of the term “Israeli Apartheid” or any combination of this notion in the Pride Parade as being disruptive to the event and contrary to the notion of an “all-inviting, inclusive space” for Pride participants.


In view of the foregoing, staff are satisfied that the decisions of Pride Toronto meet the City’s requirements.


Background Information

Status of compliance by Pride Toronto with City of Toronto anti-discrimination requirements
Pride Letter - Pride Toronto Disallows Phrase 'Israeli Apartheid' in 2010 Parade
Source: Toronto City Clerk at