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Duly Quoted: Rob Ford on Skipping WorldPride

Mayor won't be attending the event, and Ford family tradition might not be to blame.

“I’m not going to go to the Pride parade. I’ve never gone to a Pride parade. So I’m not going to change the way I am.”

—Mayor Rob Ford, responding to a question about WorldPride last night at the first candidates’ debate of the election campaign. Ford has never marched in a Pride parade during his mayoralty; in past years, he’s indicated that’s because tradition demands he spend the Canada Day weekend with his family at a cottage. This is the first time he’s suggested his absence might be due to personal preference rather than family obligation.

The event, which will run from June 20–29, will be the first WorldPride held in North America. “The whole world is coming to Toronto,” said Councillor Paula Fletcher (Ward 30, Toronto-Danforth) this morning at City Hall. “It’s a major economic boon to Toronto. Tens of thousands of people [will be] coming to our city to celebrate Pride, and we should all be there.” Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly also plans to attend, and told CP24’s Katie Simpson that he thinks the mayor should change his schedule and participate in the festivities.