Toronto’s Gay Pride Week may have seen its last cheque from Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government after this year’s $400,000 contribution provoked a backlash from within the ranks of MPs and Conservative supporters.
And Tourism and Small Business Minister Diane Ablonczy appears to have been disciplined for the controversy, losing her power to announce handouts from the $190-million Marquee Tourism Events Program, which funded the event.
Brad Trost, a Saskatch-ewan Conservative MP, spoke out publicly this week against federal support for the Pride parade, arguing the government caucus and Harper’s own office was caught off guard by Ablonczy’s announcement of support for the event.
“The pro-life and the pro-family community should know and understand that the tourism funding money that went to the gay Pride parade in Toronto was not government policy, was not supported by — I think it’s safe to say by a large majority — of the MPs,” Trost said in an interview with LifeSiteNews.com, a website founded by the Campaign Life organization.
Darren Cunningham, a spokesperson for Industry Minister Tory Clement, confirmed yesterday that future funding of Toronto’s Pride parade was “under review” but said the reassessment was not directly related to Conservative dissent.
“We’re in the midst of doing a review of the program and that review is to ensure that the funding is providing genuine stimulus to the economy and we’ll have to look at it in that light,” Cunningham said, noting that federal support of the Calgary Stampede and the Vancouver Jazz Festival, for example, are all facing the same review.
COC drops logo challenge
• The Canadian Olympic Committee has dropped its legal challenge of a logo belonging to a Vancouver chat-line company for gay and bisexual men after concluding that two black circles hovering over a chunky M doesn’t resemble Olympic sporting-event symbols. Interactive Male’s logo is meant to symbolize two men connecting.