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Reaction to Edmonton Pride decision to ban police, military from parade
The Edmonton Pride Festival Society is under scrutiny after it decided to ban police and military members from future parades.
Edmonton Pride Festival Society banned the Edmonton Police Service, RCMP and the military after a group that included trans people and people of colour protested their presence at Saturday’s parade on Whyte Avenue.
The protesters demanded that police and military members would not be invited to future parades, that Edmonton Pride hired and included more trans people and people of colour in the festival, and that the history of police oppression against the LGBTQ community be more acknowledged.
Edmonton Pride agreed to their demands, and the parade resumed shortly after.
Ward 3 Councillor Jon Dziadyk, a military reserve force member, regrets the society’s ban.
“I hope significant strides can be made for full inclusion in next year’s parade,” Dziadyk told CTV News. “I would like to see uniformed military members and police officers be invited to participate.”
Ward 6 Councillor Scott McKeen, a member of the police commission, says he feels bad for EPS officers but believes changes may be needed.
“We can take some time to find out what’s going on here,” McKeen said. “Who’s feeling marginalized and work with them.”
An RCMP staff sergeant thinks more dialogue with LGBTQ groups is required to improve their relationship.
“It is important that we look at this as an opportunity to have more dialogue and to create hopefully a strong relationship with everyone involved,” Jeremie Landry said.
With files from Angela Jung