The Toronto Pride director who promised Black Lives Matter activists he would ban police floats in future parades has resigned.
Mathieu Chantelois oversaw this year’s festival – the first to include the participation of a serving Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.
However, Chantelois also faced criticism following the disruption of the parade by a contingent from Black Lives Matter Toronto.
Toronto Pride yesterday posted a statement to its Facebook page: ‘Today Pride Toronto announces that Mathieu Chantelois resigned from his position as executive director to pursue an opportunity with another organization.
‘In the coming weeks, Pride Toronto will begin the search for a new executive director.’
Chantelois, who was appointed executive director in January 2015, confirmed the news yesterday on his own social media, saying on Facebook: ‘Yep, it’s true: I presented my resignation to the board of Pride Toronto and I currently work at Cineplex Media. I decided it was time for me to move on and I wish Pride the best in the future. Love you all.’
I presented my resignation to the PT board and I currently work at Cineplex Media. It was time for me to move. I wish Pride the best!
— Mathieu Chantelois (@MChantelois) August 10, 2016
His departure leaves the commitments he made to Black Lives Matter activists in even greater doubt.
Black Lives Matter Toronto was invited to participate in Toronto Pride on 3 July as this year’s ‘Honoured Group’.
However, they staged a sit-in midway during the parade and demanded Chantelois sign-off a list of demands. These included more funding for black and minority ethnic pride-related events, and – more controversially – a ban on police floats at future Pride festivals.
Chantelois signed off the list of demands, saying on the day they seemed ‘reasonable’, and the Pride parade resumed. He later indicated he’s signed in order to get the parade moving again, and the demands were not set in stone.
‘One thing needs to be really clear. I don’t decide who goes in the parade. Black Lives Matter doesn’t decide who goes in the parade. Our community decides,’ he told CityNews the day after the main pride parade.
Gay Star News has approached Chantelois and Pride Toronto for further comment.
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