Pride Toronto denies it has agreed to ban police floats from future parades

Pride Toronto is denying it has agreed to ban police floats from its parades, saying it has committed only to having a “conversation” about the controversial demand made by Black Lives Matter after the group staged a sit-in that held up Sunday’s march and angered the police union.

While Pride’s executive director signed the list of nine demands and ended the 30-minute protest, co-chair Aaron GlynWilliams said Monday nothing was actually agreed upon and that the signing was done to get the parade moving again.

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GlynWilliams said Pride organizers will now turn to discussing the demands internally and with police and Black Lives Matter Toronto.

“We’ll continue that conversation,” he said.

Meanwhile, Rodney Diverlus with Black Lives Matter has indicated the demand concerning police —; the “removal of all police floats/booths in all Pride marches/parades/community spaces” —; is open to negotiation.

Black Lives Matter sees the proposed ban as strictly for police parading in uniform, while the group is open to LGBTQ officers participating out of uniform, the co-founder told Global News.

VIDEO: Black Lives Matter get Toronto Police kicked out of future parades says co-founder

Police Chief Mark Saunders refused to comment on the ban.

“Right now it’s all speculation. I’m waiting for the Pride executive to contact me. Until I’m informed as to what the circumstance is, there isn’t much I can say or offer,” he told reporters.

The head of the police union said he was outraged by the proposal.

The police force has been actively involved in Pride for years, and officers shouldn’t be excluded from future parades, said Toronto Police Association head Mike McCormack.

READ MORE: Black Lives Matter gets police kicked out of future Pride parades say co-founders

The idea of barring police led one openly gay officer to pen a public letter decrying the proposal as discriminatory.

“Basically the letter was about —; this was my first pride, and it was very powerful for me to see the police and how many officers were marching. I didn’t expect that and basically it was a display of how much we are supported, how much LGBTQ officers are supported,” Const. Chuck Krangle told Global News.

“Removing the floats and us from the parade … we’re part of the community. It’s not just about the police being part of the community, it’s about the police accepting their own.”

When asked whether he would attend next year’s parade if police in uniform are banned from floats, Krangle said that “Uniformed officers are LGBTQ, are part of the community as well.”

Krangle, who was not speaking for the force, said he wasn’t commenting on Black Lives Matter, though his letter was addressed to Pride Toronto over its perceived agreement with the protest group’s police float demand.

“Police officers are significantly represented in the LGBTQ community and it would be unacceptable to alienate and discriminate against them and those who support them. They too struggled to gain a place and workplace free from discrimination and bias,” wrote Krangle.

“Exclusion does not promote inclusion.”

Black Lives Matter’s list of demands also includes calls for greater space and funding for black queer youth, better representation of black LGBTQ in the event’s organization and a townhall with Pride for marginalized communities.

Police and Black Lives Matter have been at constant odds over the practice of carding, which disproportionately targets black youth, and the recent shooting deaths of black men in Toronto like Andrew Loku and Jermaine Carby.

Diverlus said “carding happens to LGBT black folks as well,” and defended the protest tactic.

“So folks might think this tactic is a bit too divisive or a bit out there, I just challenge them to think of which side of history they will be in 20 years and how they think of black inclusion within LGBT spaces,” he said.

With files from Tom Hayes, David Shum, Peter Kim and


Significant progress made fighting Burns Bog fire; 60% contained

Story highlights

Fire is estimated to be 78 hectares in size.

It is now 50 per cent contained.

Road closures remain in effect today and will likely last until Friday.

With help from the weather on Monday and overnight, the Burns Bog fire in Delta, B.C. has stopped spreading and is now 60 per cent contained.

It is hoped it will be 100 per cent contained by Tuesday night.

The latest estimates show the fire is approximately 78 hectares in size. Officials say the fire did not penetrate the peat line, which would allow it to burn underground.

Highway 17, between Highway 99 and the Highway 91 Connector, will remain closed until at least Friday due to the smoke created from the fire, said Delta Fire Chief Douglas Copeland. A business park near the Burns Bog fire was partially evacuated but the order was lifted Monday at 8 p.m.

Shortly before noon on Sunday, fire crews were called to fight the fast growing brush fire that sparked in the bog along Highway 17.

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Global News at 11 BC

Evacuation order lifted near Burns Bog fire

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Global National

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BC1

Danger of fire burning in Burns Bog

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Raw video: Firefighters work to contain Burns Bog fire

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Delta Mayor Lois Jackson on the Burns Bog fire

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Burns Bog no stranger to fires

02:27

Fire

Archive: 2005 Burns Bog fire

00:58

Burns Bog Fire

‘Full complement’ of Delta firefighters now battling Burns Bog blaze: chief



READ MORE: Burns Bog fire: How bog fires burn and why they’re difficult to combat

It was first reported as a small brush fire measuring roughly 100 square feet, but hot and gusting winds soon whipped the blaze into a much bigger threat.

The towering column of smoke could be seen several kilometres away from the heart of the fire on Sunday.

The blaze had leapt across Highway 17 by mid-afternoon Sunday, igniting grass near businesses in Tilbury Park.

Delta Fire Chief Douglas Copeland said in a press conference Tuesday that the Burns Bog fire has stopped spreading 

As of midnight Sunday, the evacuation order was scaled back on Progress Way between 76 to 80 Street, including approximately 25 businesses.

The Fraser River was also temporarily closed to marine traffic Sunday so airtankers could collect water.

There is no word yet on the cause of the blaze, but officials do not believe it was caused by lightning.

Burns Bog is one of North America’s largest peat bogs and it poses a challenge to firefighters because the flames can sink under the dry peat, where they will burn out of sight.

Burns Bog Fire Map

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READ MORE: If history is any guide, Burns Bog fire could be active for days

A Delta firefighter was hospitalized Sunday afternoon due to a medical condition aggravated by the environment at the scene of the fire. He is in Royal Columbian Hospital at this time but his current condition is unknown.

Provincial crews, including about 26 firefighters, five air tankers and four helicopters, were called in to help fight the blaze. Other departments from across Metro Vancouver also provided backup as the flames spread.

Firefighter sent to hospital as a result of Burns Bog fire:

No air quality advisory issued

Smoke from the fire could be smelled across the Lower Mainland Monday, with Vancouver and the North Shore getting the worse of it.

Metro Vancouver says it is monitoring the situation closely but at the moment it is not going to issue an air quality advisory.

Delta Mayor Lois Jackson said the highest concentration of particles per million in the air was 2.5, between the hours of 8 p.m. and midnight on Monday. “These were intermittent. The conditions overnight have improved and Metro Vancouver’s [particles per million] 2.5 objective is based on a 24 average concentration of 25 micrograms per cubic metres,” said Jackson. “So they’re monitoring this very closely but there’s no general advisory at this time from Metro Vancouver.”

But many people took to 桑拿会所 to complain about being awoken by the smoke.

Metro Vancouver says if you are experiencing symptoms such as chest discomfort, shortness of breath, cough or wheeze, follow the advice of your healthcare provider. Seeking shelter indoors may offer relief from air pollution.

Crews are battling a fire in Burns Bog.

Crews are battling a fire in Burns Bog.

The Burns Bog fire from the air.

Crews are battling a fire in Burns Bog.

A fire has broken out near Burns Bog.

The fire also knocked out radio transmitter towers in the area, including those for AM730.

The all-traffic station was taken off the air Sunday afternoon but you can still listen live on HD Radio 101.1 FM, sub-channel 3 in downtown Vancouver only, and online at am730traffic长沙夜网.

-With files from