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Security increased for Montreal Pride parade in wake of global attacks

Click to play video: 'Tighter security for this year’s Pride festival' Tighter security for this year’s Pride festival
WATCH ABOVE: Organizers of the Pride Festival in Montreal say they are spending three times more on security this year in light of recent terrorist attacks around the globe. Matt Grillo reports – Aug 18, 2017

Thousands are expected to attend Montreal’s Pride parade Sunday afternoon.

Given recent terrorist attacks around the world, this year’s parade will feature ramped-up security, organizers say.

“So far we’ve been lucky in Montreal, but we never know when it’s going to happen, so you always have to be prepared,”said Montreal Pride vice-president Jean-Sébastien Boudreault.

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The cost of security has tripled for Sunday’s parade.

Trucks and cement blocks will be in place to serve as barriers.

Bag checks will also take place and staff will look through garbage for suspicious items.

Montreal police will also play a supporting role.

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“When the site is open, we have security [at and around] the site,” Boudreault said. “We have eyes pretty much all over.”

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The parade kicks of at 12 p.m. on René-Lévesque Boulevard and will span from Drummond Street to Alexandre-DeSève Street.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre says people’s approach to the parade shouldn’t change despite recent events elsewhere.

“The people who are in charge of the safety are there,” Coderre said. “We will send [a message] that there’s no way we’re going to let anybody… change our way of life.”
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Additional safety measures are also in place elsewhere throughout the city.

Plaza St-Hubert has increased security for its sidewalk sale this week. Cement blocks have been added to access points.

“It’s just a question of making sure they take the necessary precautions so that our visitors that come to our festivals — whether here or anywhere else in Montreal — have a safe and secure environment,” Mike Parent, director general of SDC Plaza St-Hubert, said.

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