Halifax, NS ー Through collaboration and discussion with the Halifax Pride Society, Halifax Regional Police (HRP) has decided not to march in this year’s pride parade. HRP will explore alternative ways to engage with the LGBT2Q+ community during the 2017 Pride festival.
“We feel that stepping away temporarily from the parade will best support the LGBT2Q+ community by helping to allow for meaningful discussion of this divisive issue,” says Chief Jean-Michel Blais. “After several months of discussion with Halifax Pride, we recognized that our participation in the parade may contribute to divisions in the LGBT2Q+ community which is contrary to our intent of building a strong and sustainable relationship.”
“The HRP is being sensitive to the needs of our community and listening to their concerns,” said Adam Reid, executive director of Halifax Pride. “We have discussions with all of our community partners about how they wish to participate in the festival, and we’re happy that HRP is committed to growing and strengthening our relationship.”
“To my knowledge, HRP is the first police service in Canada to take this community-minded approach to its pride participation,” says Reid.
There is a debate in local and national LGBT2Q+ communities about the role of police in pride festivals. This is why we continue to consult with members of our local community and partners like HRP to create a festival in which everyone feels welcome.
HRP’s participation in the 2017 Halifax Pride Festival will be shaped by input from the LGBT2Q+ community and HRP employees. Ideas being explored include a community barbecue and a public lecture. HRP will continue to provide traffic duty and ensure the security of those participating in and attending the pride parade.
Note to media:
Adam Reid and Chief Jean-Michel Blais will be available for questions on Monday, February 6 at 2 p.m., HRP Headquarters, 1975 Gottingen Street.