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Pride Toronto receives $450,000 to improve safety for the LGBTI community

Pride Toronto receives $450,000 to improve safety for the LGBTI community

Men march at Toronto Pride in 2016

Canada’s federal government announced a $450,000 grant to help Pride Toronto develop strategies to improve the safety of LGBTI communities in Canada.

Federal Minister of Finance Bill Morneau and Olivia Nuamah, executive director of Pride Toronto, announced the deal at an afternoon news conference on Saturday 24 November.

‘For too long, the [LGBTI] community has encountered injustice from various institutions in our society in ways that have prevented people from living their lives more fully and contributing their strengths to our country,’ said Morneau.

Morneau is also MP for Toronto Centre, home to the city’s LGBTI Village.

Improving the relationship between the LGBTI community and police

Pride Toronto will use the funding to run a new initiative that seeks to address ‘institutional and systemic barriers that lead to negative outcomes for [LGBTI] communities, especially those that they have when encountering the criminal justice system’.

Nuamah said the organization is taking a ‘two-pronged’ approach. First, it will host consultations with LGBTI people in cities and towns across Canada to hear their concerns.

The action plan will aim to improve the relationship between Toronto’s LGBTI community and the criminal justice system.

Toronto Pride banned police from marching in uniform

According to cbc.ca, Morneau never explicitly mentioned Bruce McArthur but made several allusions to his case.

Police arrested McArthur in January 2018 and charged him with first-degree murder for the deaths of eight men. The victims were most connected to Toronto’s Church and Wellesley, well-known LGBTI areas in the city.

Some within the community have criticized the way police have handled this and similar cases involving LGBTI people. This led to a police ban from Pride which lasted two years, before being lifted last month.

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