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Friday, February 18, 2011

Toronto Pride Community Advisory Panel Report - passes buck on al-QuAIA participation to City

The Community Advisory Panel for the Toronto Pride Committee, after months of consultations, meeting and surveys, has issued its recommendations.

On the one issue that people were really curious about, whether they would allow the anti-Israel hate group "Queers Against Israeli Apartheid" (al-QuAIA) to participate. City council and the current mayor have threatened to withhold city funding if the group that seeks to deligitimize and boycott the Jewish state is allowed to participate, and the Panel;s report throws the responsibility for that decision back to the City to determine if Toronto's anti-discrimination policy is violated by their inclusion.

Two relevant sections from the report are point 14 below:

"Pride Toronto establish a Board Advisory Committee on governance and that membership on this committee consist of at least one Board representative, but consist mainly of people from the community who have the skills and experience necessary to carry out the responsibilities specifically allocated to this committee and to ensure that Pride Toronto’s governance structure, its bylaws, and its operations reflect the best practices of not-for-profit corporations. The Board Advisory Committee will assist the Board and its membership in overseeing Pride Toronto’s compliance with the applicable municipal, provincial and federal laws; its obligations imposed by its Letters Patent and Bylaws; and with obligations under funding agreements including the reporting obligations imposed by those agreements, e.g., City of Toronto Equity Guide. Furthermore, this committee will ensure that Pride Toronto creates the policies and practices imposed by the City Of Toronto on funding recipients, including as priorities robust equity policies, conflict of interest policies, and a dispute resolution process."

And the related section from Appendix A:

"All groups applying to participate in the Parade or a march must complete an undertaking to abide by Pride Toronto’s anti-discrimination policy. Included in this undertaking will be the following phrase “The applicant will not present images or messages that promote or condone, or may promote or condone, violence, hatred, degradation or negative stereotypes of any person(s) or group(s).” Allegations that this undertaking has been or will be violated by any group, like other allegations of rule violations, will be resolved through the Pride Toronto dispute resolution process. Groups violating this undertaking or other Pride Toronto rules may be subject to sanctions, including being denied the right to participate in the current or future Parades or marches. (Appendix A)"

Since al-QuAIA very clearly promotes a message that encourages hatred towards Israeli Jews, it seems a no-brainer that they should not be allowed to participate. Pride shouldn't need to pass the buck to the City to make a determination on that. But experience shows that in some quarters, even a "no-brainer" should not be taken for granted.


Anonymous said...

Pride will never be free of QuAIA.

Richard K said...

They can be removed, like any other nasty fungus. It just takes some scrubbing, and maybe chemicals.

CanadianSense said...

Perhaps the new Mayor will allow them to rent a booth or some field at cost including clean up.

The city, province and federal donors need to withdraw all funding for parades and parties.

Let the hotels and businesses that benefit step up and fill the void.