With the support of Halifax Pride, Halifax Regional Police will revamp its participation in the Halifax Pride Festival this year.
HRP, following discussions with Halifax Pride, will increase its participation in the 2017 Halifax Pride Festival but not participate in this year’s parade. The decision came after ongoing discussions with Halifax Pride about HRP’s involvement in the festival in consideration of a national debate about police participation in pride parades.
“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.”
Halifax Pride Executive Director, Adam Reid, supports HRP’s proactive decision. “To my knowledge, HRP is the first police service in Canada to take this community-minded approach to its pride participation,” says Reid. “Halifax Pride works with all of its community partners to discuss how they wish to participate in the Pride Festival, and we’re very happy that HRP is committed to growing and strengthening our relationship.”
HRP’s participation in the 2017 Pride Festival will be shaped by input from the LGBT2Q+ community and HRP employees. Ideas being explored include a community barbecue, public lecture and a plenary session. HRP will continue to support the parade by providing traffic duty and ensuring the security of those participating and attending.