By Patrick B. Craine 

TORONTO, June 18, 2009 ( – Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism Diane Ablonczy announced Monday that the Federal Government of Canada would be funding the Toronto Pride Week, which will run from June 19th– June 28th this year, with the theme “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop.”

The $400,000 grant is part of the government’s new Marquis Tourism Events Program, which is geared toward assisting major Canadian tourist events. The money is said to be going to improve the event’s website and accessibility to the event by those with disabilities.

“We are thrilled by the federal government's announcement that we will be receiving much-needed funding,” said Tracey Sandilands, Executive Director of Pride Toronto. “Investments like these are key to the festival's success and support our efforts in growing the festival each year, especially as we prepare for our 30th anniversary next year!”

This annual event, now being supported by the Canadian Conservative government, is notoriously and unapologetically grotesque, featuring people walking down the streets semi-nude or completely naked, and homosexuals engaging in public sex acts. Despite the widespread flaunting of public decency laws, however, the police annually refrain from laying any charges against participants.

Pro-life and pro-family leaders say they are shocked that a government with the name “Conservative” would give money to such an event. According to Brian Rushfeldt, Executive Director of the Canada Family Action Coalition (CFAC), in a interview, this event is “not a gay parade, it’s a sex parade … People are marching down the street nude and doing all kinds of things.”

“The reference to the $400,000 for the Toronto sex parade is, I think, appalling,” he said. “That we’ve got the financial crisis that we do and we give that kind of tax money, taxpayer’s money, to such an event. I think when we give away the taxpayer’s money, we have to ask, what does it contribute to society and to the public? What does the public benefit from it?”

“There isn’t any public benefit” from the Gay Pride event, Rushfeldt said.

Campaign Life Coalition’s (CLC) Jeff Gunnarson commented to “Given the fact that the Conservative government supports marriage as a union of one man and one woman in Section 68 iii of their Policy Declaration, I am concerned that they find it prudent to give nearly half a million dollars to a group that diametrically opposes that very section of the policy.  

“Secondly, I am profoundly disappointed that the Minister of Tourism, who is pro-life and voted against so called same-sex marriage is ‘pleased’ to give this money to an unabashedly anti- traditional family group.”

In making the announcement, Minister Ablonczy stressed the economic benefits of the event. “Today's funding announcement will not only benefit the festival but also the thousands of local businesses that provide services to event attendees,” she said. “The Government of Canada is proud to show its commitment to the tourism industry, particularly during this difficult economic period.”

Gunnarson, however, questioned the economic benefits of giving money to the homosexual event. “How can homosexual behaviour be good for the economy?” he asked.  “Homosexuals do not produce children.  In fact, a long term economic analysis would likely show that investing in organizations that promote homosexuality is a bad one as there is no long term growth in that market.”

“This ‘economic stimulant’,” he said, “is short sighted and will cost the economy more in the aftermath that is higher medical costs with fewer children to pay for it.”

Rushfeldt said he wonders why the government chose to make the funding so public. “What concerns me is that they’ve given a lot of money out to various projects and various events,” he said, but “not often do they go and make a big splash and do a news conference to announce that. 

“So why the Minister would not just send the check off if she’s going to give the money out, which may be required because of the way the program’s set up, but certainly to make a big splash of it, I think is very inappropriate.”

As reported last July, numerous politicians regularly join in the Toronto Gay Pride event.

Contact Information:

The Honourable Diane Ablonczy – Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario  K1A 0A6
Telephone: 613-996-2756
Fax: 613-992-2537
Email: [email protected]

Prime Minister Stephen Harper
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa K1A 0A2
Fax: 613-941-6900

E-mail: [email protected]