Pride Toronto apologizes to Black Lives Matter

Commits to all demands made at Pride parade

Pride Toronto issued an apology statement to Black Lives Matter — Toronto Coalition (BLMTO) for its “history of anti-blackness.”

The statement was signed by Pride Toronto’s Board of Directors. It addresses how they are planning to handle the demands by BLMTO after its protest at the Pride parade on July 3.

A public town hall is to be held this winter to discuss progress on the issues raised.

“Pride Toronto remains committed to all of the demands agreed to and presented by BLMTO, Blackness Yes, Black Queer Youth, and others,” the statement reads. They said they are committed to “demonstrating progress on each and every item” that was agreed on.

Reactions to the statement online have been varied.

Human rights advocate Kevin Bourassa says BLMTO deserves more than just an apology from Pride Toronto.

Pride Toronto read over 1,000 emails and heard from over 700 community members before issuing this apology. They admit they have not done enough.

“Through this debate, all of you have turned to Pride Toronto for clear and decisive leadership and support through this issue and we have stayed quiet,” the statement reads. “For that, we are sorry.”

BLMTO supporter Devon Wilson says this apology isn’t enough. He says they should have done something a long time ago.

“These are just words on a screen,” Wilson said. “We want something to actually be done. Just saying that you’re sorry and that you want to start making things better isn’t going to cut it.”

The statement says a new executive director will be recruited and four positions in the board of directors will be open for election.