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Pride Cape Breton announces police will continue to walk in parade

FILE: Hamilton, Ont. police officers march along the parade route during the annual Pride Parade in Toronto, Sunday, July 3, 2016.
FILE: Hamilton, Ont. police officers march along the parade route during the annual Pride Parade in Toronto, Sunday, July 3, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch

Pride Cape Breton, a group dedicated to LGBTQ education and awareness, announced on Thursday that they will continue to have police walk in their pride parade.

The joint statement from Cape Breton Regional Police Service and Pride Cape Breton acknowledge that there are concerns over discrimination and violence to marginalized groups throughout Canada,  but said that police in Cape Breton do not take part in the discrimination.

“When it comes to policing here, there is absolutely zero tolerance for discrimination,” reads the statement.

Pride Cape Breton’s decision comes after pride organizations throughout Canada asked police not to attend their annual parades. Toronto Pride was the first group, voting to remove police floats and uniformed officers from their parade earlier this year. Halifax Regional Police have announced they won’t attend the city’s event this year while St. John’s Pride confirmed that police are welcome.

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READ MORE: Pride Toronto votes to remove police floats, marches from parade

Thursday morning’s press release says the decision for Pride Cape Breton was made easier due to the group’s collaboration and progressive working relationship with the police.

“Pride Cape Breton Society has worked to hear both sides of the argument to remove police and uniforms from our festival,” wrote Patrick MacNeil, co-chair Pride Cape Breton, in the press release. “Our hope is that during the 2017 Pride Festival, we can acknowledge the existence of discrimination and violence against minority groups while setting a precedent for inclusion and protection of all people.

This year’s parade is scheduled for Aug. 5, 2017.

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