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Canada Halifax police will not participate in Pride parade amid ‘national debate’

A Pride flag flies at Queen's Park in Toronto on Feb. 18, 2014.

Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

Halifax's police force says it will not participate in the city's Pride parade this year after considering the "national debate" about law enforcement involvement in such events.

A news release from Halifax Regional Police says the decision was made after several months of discussions with Halifax Pride.

Police Chief Jean-Michel Blais says participating in the parade may contribute to divisions in the Pride community, and stepping away from it will allow for meaningful discussions on the issue.

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Halifax Pride executive director Adam Reid says he supports the proactive decision, and believes the Halifax force is the first in Canada to take such an approach.

The force says it will be involved in other Pride activities, to be determined through consultation with the "LGBT2Q+ community," such as a community barbecue or public lecture.

Last month, Pride Toronto members voted to ostensibly ban official police floats from marches and parades, adopting a list of demands put forward by that city's chapter of Black Lives Matter.

Pride Toronto issued an apology in September for what it described as a "history of anti-blackness" and "repeated marginalization of the marginalized."

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