Since last week’s announcement from Queers Against Israeli Apartment stating that they would not march in this year’s Pride parade, some have advanced the idea that we shouldn’t trust QuAIA or Pride because they pulled a tricky bait-and-switch last year, where Pride temporarily banned the controversial group, accepted the city’s money, then unbanned QuAIA and allowed them into the parade.
Even the mayor is mistaken about the nature of the motion council adopted last year, as reported in My Town Crier by Kris Scheuer.
If the organization doesn’t participate, then Ford said that Pride Toronto can still get a city grant of about $125,000.
“Last year council agreed if they don’t (participate), they (Pride) will get their money after the parade. That’s what we agreed on,” the mayor said at an April 15 media scrum. “If (Queers Against Israeli Apartheid) does march in the parade (Pride) won’t get their money.”
For the record, there is no such agreement in place. There never was. Council has never even considered a motion that would specifically ban QuAIA from the parade.
Two items came before council last year related to this issue, both moved by Giorgio Mammoliti. First, he attempted to ensure that Pride Toronto enforced the City of Toronto’s anti-discrimination policy if it wanted to continue to receive city funds. When that got punted to the executive committee and then ruled redundant after Pride announced they would tighten review standards for parade participants, Mammoliti later moved a second motion that made Pride’s funding contingent on their being compliant with the city’s anti-discrimination policy — the city would only deliver funds after the parade. This passed 36-1.
This is why the news last week that staff had ruled that the phrase ‘Israel Apartheid’ did not violate the anti-discrimination policy was so important. It makes the motion irrelevant, at least as far as QuAIA goes. Without adopting a new motion that explicitly bans QuAIA, Council has no grounds to deny Pride funding this year, even if the group does march.