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Tuesday 5 December 2023 Dublin: 5°C
AP Photo A rainbow flag.
Rainbow Rumble

Raising of a rainbow flag sparks row in Toronto

Controversial Mayor Rob Ford wants the flag taken down, but fellow councillors are refusing to budge.

THE RAISING OF a rainbow flag has led to a political row in the Canadian city of Toronto.

Toronto, along with Edmonton, Vancouver, Montreal and Ottawa, had raised a rainbow flag in solidarity with gay people in Russia.

The flag is a symbol of LGBT people, with Toronto particularly familiar with it. The city holds one of the world’s largest Pride festivals.

However, the controversial mayor of the city Rob Ford wasn’t impressed.

He said that he would be attempting to have the flag removed.

“This is about the Olympics. This is about being patriotic to your country. This is not about someone’s sexual preference,” he said.

Ford later tweeted that he was supportive of Canada and Canadian athletes.

I am proud of all Canadian Olympians #Toronto #CanadianFlag #Olympics2014.

Ford’s Deputy Norm Kelly disagreed with the Mayor, however.

“I think it shows the city of Toronto respects and includes all communities,” he said. “There is nothing un-Canadian about that.”

Councillor Josh Matlow tweeted that Ford was “ignorant”.

“I’m proud of our Canadian athletes. I also believe it’s important to take a stand against Russia’s persecution of their LGBTQ community,” he said.

“We’re proudly flying Canadian & Rainbow flags at Toronto city hall. What won’t fly is Rob Ford’s shameful ignorance. Diversity our Strength.”

Read: Crack-smoking Toronto mayor is more liked than any Irish leader

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