Toronto's 2010 Pride Week festival passed the test for federal stimulus funding before it got passed over, The Canadian Press has learned.If there's any Conservatives out there that would like to explain this away without using the words "LIEberal," "CBC propaganda," or "Rob Ford," please, give it a shot. I really want to believe that our federal government isn't purposefully ignoring the Pride Festival, despite all its benefits and the fact that its fully eligible, because of personal views and outright discrimination. I really do.
Federal bureaucrats declared the festival a good candidate for stimulus funding before federal Industry Minister Tony Clement ultimately announced the bid was rejected.
Toronto Pride, the organization that runs the 10-day gay and lesbian festival, was successful a year earlier in scoring a $400,000 grant under the Marquee Tourism Events Program, or MTEP.
For 2010, organizers asked for $630,000 to pay for initiatives that would bring in more high-profile performers, improve facilities, boost marketing and better train volunteers.
A team of civil servants at Industry Canada studied the lengthy application, which included an independent economic impact study.
The study concluded federal help in 2009 increased visitor spending by $6 million, with 200,000 more tourists pouring into Toronto than the year before.
Another 275,000 people were projected to attend if the festival got a second year of funding, bringing total attendance close to 1.5 million.
Industry Canada officials who reviewed event applications were satisfied Toronto Pride week, one of the three largest gay and lesbian events in the world, was a good bet for a second year in a row. The marquee program wanted applicants who would bring in more tourism and also attract international media attention.
"The Tier Advisory Committee had reviewed the proposed project and the Committee is satisfied it meets the eligibility criteria and program objectives of the MTEP," an internal project summary notes.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Toronto Pride Met Federal Test But Got Nothing: CBC
Here's your Sunday dose of shame: