How Toronto's Papers Covered The Fallout From The Pride Parade Protests
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How Toronto’s Papers Covered The Fallout From The Pride Parade Protests

In Front Page Challenge, Torontoist analyzes the best and worst of Toronto’s major dailies.

Today’s Front Page Challenge is all about the repercussions of the protest at last Sunday’s Pride Parade, with Black Lives Matter Toronto shutting the festivities down with a sit-in at Yonge and College and extracting concessions from the organizers on the spot, which predictably enraged many columnists who had never before demonstrated any major engagement or solidarity with the LGBTQ movement. Which of Toronto’s papers best represented this historical moment, and which papers offered up a bonus glass of controversial lemonade on the side?

Globe July 5
The Globe and Mail

Canada’s National Newspaper™ has bigger fish to fry this morning than Toronto’s Pride Parade fallout. Its top story is a potential free-trade deal between Ottawa and most of the provinces being held up by Alberta, which seeks an exemption to allow a percentage of contracts tendered by the province to go to out-of-province companies. The Globe‘s main image is of U.K. Independence Party leader Nigel Farage, who announced yesterday he is stepping down from politics; with the collapse of the pound and the country thrown into chaos and uncertainty in the wake of the Brexit vote, Farage feels “I’ve done my bit.” Ontario’s Health Minister Eric Hoskins has overruled the findings of his bureaucrats and has ordered the opiate antidote naloxone to be distributed to recently released inmates, a high-risk group for opiate overdoses. And the arrival of Canada’s Milos Raonic to the quarter-finals of Wimbledon is good enough to get him a tiny little photo in the bottom right of Page One.

post July 5
National Post

A classic Post front page this morning: the main image is of five similar-looking ISIS gunmen who were purportedly behind last week’s terror attack in Dhaka, Bangladesh, an attack that ensnared a Canadian student who was taken hostage and rescued by a commando unit. The Post gets in on the silly controversy out of Ottawa where two little girls had their “unlicensed” lemonade stand shut down by the National Capital Commission, a story tailor-made for the “bureaucracy has gone too far this time” crowd. And it’s a beautiful morning for Christie Blatchford: the protests that held up Sunday’s Pride Parade have given her a chance to get in on a two-for-one jackpot as a contrarian columnist, the opportunity to bash gay pride and Black Lives Matter in one column “Pride Bows To Prejudice.” Blatchford does admit to feeling a little shame about the joy she feels watching conflict play out in public between two marginalized groups, noting that she is a “white straight person with no dogs in the race” (“dogs”? “race”? Paging Dr. Freud!).

Star July 5
Toronto Star

The Star keeps the Pride controversy alive on the front page in an interview with the executive director of Pride Toronto who says he signed off on BLMTO’s list of demands to end the parade shutdown but has no plans to honour them without first consulting with his community. This includes agreeing to one of the most contentious stipulations, banning Toronto Police floats from future parades. The Star‘s punmeisters get every drop of juice out of the Ottawa lemonade stand controversy, describing the young girls as achieving “sweet victory” in the face of the “squeeze play” they faced. And the Star also features Farage’s sudden (and somewhat convenient) departure from the U.K. political scene in their article “Brexit, stage right.”

Metro July 5
Metro Toronto

Metro is excited about the latest booming Toronto tourism figures, with predictions that the city will even beat last year’s total (which included attendance to the Pan-Am Games). The weak Canadian dollar has led not only to a spike in American tourist visits, but also visits to the city from within Canada. Also featured on the front page today are the lemonade girls and a somewhat naughty word cloud of modern online dating terms that seeks to decipher such mystery terms as “benching,” “tuning,” and the somewhat-alarming “softboy“.

Toronto Sun

Sun July 5

The Toronto Sun, a paper not known for its historical support of the LGBTQ movement, and which regularly ran columns such as Jerry Agar’s “Why Rob Ford Should Avoid Gay Pride Parade,” has suddenly become a passionate defender of the event after the promise by parade organizers to prevent Toronto Police from directly participating in the march. This morning the Sun published a heartfelt open letter to parade organizers from police constable Chuck Krangle, a gay cop who is particularly upset that Black Lives Matter’s demands are excluding him and other LGBTQ police from marching in what should be an inclusive event. If only Pride’s organizers had used reverse psychology on Rob Ford during his mayoralty and tried specifically outlawing him from the parade, the Sun might have passionately demanded Ford be allowed to attend!

This week’s winner: The Sun is having a weird week, with yesterday’s front-page Sue-Ann Levy article insisting Black Lives Matter picked the wrong event to make into a political situation (!), and today’s front-page defence of a cop’s right to march in the Pride Parade. Let’s crown the Sun with this week’s Front Page Challenge trophy in the spirit of acceptance and love.

Newspaper Number of Wins
Metro 9
Toronto Star 9
Toronto Sun 9
National Post 5
Globe and Mail 4

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