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Montreal Pride organizers cancel parade, citing lack of security as disappointed mayor says city ‘had no clue’

Global News logo Global News 2022-08-07 Alessia Simona Maratta
People march in the Vancouver Pride Parade, in Vancouver, on Sunday, July 31, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck © Provided by Global News People march in the Vancouver Pride Parade, in Vancouver, on Sunday, July 31, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Pride Montreal says the city's iconic parade that closes the festival's celebration of LGBTQ+ communities has been cancelled due to a lack of staff.

Festival Executive Director Simon Gamache says the event scheduled for Sunday was called off over "security reasons.''

Pride Montreal issued a statement saying it made the decision with the support of city police because there were not enough volunteers to ensure safety along the parade route.

When asked about the cancellation during a presser on Sunday, Mayor Valérie Plante said the city had "no clue" there were any issues ahead of the event that was called off just hours before it was scheduled to take place.

"I'm really disappointed, as the mayor and as a Montrealer. I was on my way to city hall. I opened the news and I [saw] that [it was] cancelled -- I did not understand," Plante told reporters.

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She said the first thing she did was call her team and talk with the police department to find out what happened.

"We didn't know. Nobody told us ahead of time that there were issues. We had no clue. I'm really disappointed that we didn't hear about this before."


Video: Montreal Pride organizers cancel parade, citing lack of staff (Global News)

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Plante assured that the issue was not with the amount of police officers -- "they were ready to go, it was all good."

She added that the city has been "amazing and financially supportive in terms of logistics for the parade."

"So I think at this point we'll have to hear what the pride organization has to say."

Tens of thousands of people, including tourists who travelled to the city for the event, were expected to march through the downtown core Sunday afternoon.

Pride Montreal says other activities are still set to take place at the Olympic Park in the city's east end.

Montreal's Pride Parade has been celebrating the progress of LGBTQ+ rights, diversity and inclusion for the last 40 years.

The mayor added that she's frustrated that the event is called off because the parade is accessible to everyone, including kids, and is a chance to see what diversity and inclusiveness looks like.

More to come.

--with files from The Canadian Press

Video: Vancouver Pride Parade returns after two-year hiatus

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