Pride parades: Feds offer $1.5 million for more security

Nabil Anas

Global Courant

The federal government will provide $1.5 million this year to Pride organizations across the country for increased security at parades and other events, CTV News has learned.

The funding, which will be announced later today by Minister of Women and Gender Equality and Youth Marci Ien, is being provided Fierte Canada Pride to hand out to local event organizers requesting assistance.

In mid-May, the National Association of Canadian Pride Organizations sent the federal government an “emergency funding proposal” asking for $1.5 million to help cover increased safety and security costs amid concerns about an increase in anti-LGBTQ2S+ hate , violence and dangers.

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“Every day we witness attacks in person at events and online targeting community leaders, event organizers, elected representatives, venues, artists and performers, families and youth,” reads the Fierté Canada Pride proposal.

Among the measures that the organization says will cost more for the 2023 Pride season: security and police forces, training of volunteers, insurance premiums and emergency planning materials.

This funding goes towards expenses related to:

Vehicle and crowd control; barricades and fences; Municipal emergency service costs; Paid police or private security; Training for employees and volunteers; and safety equipment such as high visibility vests and radios.

This one-time emergency funding will come from an equality program within the Department of Ien, and fits into the federal government’s LGBTQ2S+ “Action Plan” unveiled last August.

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The funding, sources tell CTV News, will be allocated to festivals seeking it, based on their size.

For example, major Pride events like those in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver will pitch for their share of a $750,000 budget, while another $600,000 would be split between medium-sized festivals in cities like Calgary, Ottawa and Halifax. as well as Pride events at smaller venues.

While some larger Pride festivals are used to accounting for the security costs associated with hosting their events, some smaller towns and communities are facing security hiring for the first time.

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With planning for the 2023 Pride season in full swing, funding is expected to move out quickly.

Fierté Canada Pride will also receive $150,000 for training, support and program management, which is expected to include the development of emergency planning and safety-related guidelines that can be used across the country.

In the past few months alone, protests at drag brunches and drag story time events across Canada have led to clashes between participants and demonstratorssome require police intervention, while other events had to be canceled or postponed due to security concerns due to violent threats.

In making this request to the federal government, Fierté Canada Pride cited several recent incidents, as well as Statistics Canada’s latest hate crime report with an increase of 64 percent in hate crimes against individuals because of their sexual orientation between 2019 and 2021.

Pride parades: Feds offer $1.5 million for more security

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