Toronto mayor threatens gay pride parade funding


TORONTO (JTA) — Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he will withhold more than $100,000 in city funding to the annual gay pride parade if an anti-Israel group again is allowed to participate.

Ford, who was elected on a right-wing, waste-slashing agenda last November, told the Canadian Jewish News last week that he will cut funding to the annual Pride Toronto event if Queers Against Israeli Apartheid is allowed to participate in this summer’s parade.

"Taxpayers dollars should not go toward funding hate speech," Ford told the weekly, repeating a pledge he made while campaigning for the mayor’s post.

Pride Toronto received $123,807 from the city last year.

To counter the presence of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid in last year’s parade, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and the Canadian Jewish Congress marched in solidarity with members of Kulanu Toronto, the Jewish community’s main gay advocacy group.

The loss of city funding would be a blow to Pride Toronto, which emerged from last year’s festival with a debt of nearly $110,000 due to alleged financial mismanagement and the loss of a $400,000 federal grant, reported Xtra, a Toronto newspaper for gays and lesbians.

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