Pride Toronto is a signature event in Toronto's cultural calendar. It signals to the world that Toronto is a leader in the recognition of the importance of diversity. It is also a premiere celebration that draws hundreds of thousands of visitors and contributes tens of millions of dollars to the local economy.
Notable benefits for Toronto included $41.7 million spent by local residents, the equivalent of over 600 year-round full-time jobs in Toronto, and a contribution of $29.7 million to Toronto’s GDP. According to the 2009 Economic Impact study conducted by Enigma Research Corporation, Toronto’s hospitality sector enjoyed tremendous benefits, with $12 million spent at Toronto hotels and $33 million at restaurants and bars across the city. More on the economic impact can be found here: Link
This year, Mayor Rob Ford and his ‘inner circle’ of city councilors are going to war with Pride Toronto by attempting to cut off all public funding to the festival.
Worse, the right wing media has joined in the fight. Sue-Ann Levy, a writer for the Toronto Sun and MEMBER OF THE LGBT COMMUNITY, sent out this email calling on the Mayor and Council to rescind funding: Link
Pride Toronto will not permit hate speech in this year's Parade. They have adopted the same rule as the City uses to ban hate speech, and have created a new system to enforce that ban.
We believe that cutting Pride Toronto support is a strong indicator of future cuts to LGBT organizations, HIV/AIDS organizations and arts & culture events across the City. Such cuts could affect thousands of jobs and even more lives.
It’s time to STAND UP and FIGHT. Our community needs Pride and the city that reaps the benefits of the event should also be paying for the event.
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