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Pride Toronto Director Who Snubbed Black Lives Matter Has Resigned

Mathieu Chantelois made some super controversial moves during this year's parade, and now says it's "time for me to move."

by Sarah Berman
Aug 11 2016, 12:29am

Mathieu Chantelois with Toronto mayor John Tory. Photo via Facebook

His Twitter bio still says he's executive director of Pride Toronto, but Mathieu Chantelois' latest tweet announces that he's just resigned.

"I presented my resignation to the PT board and I currently work at Cineplex Media," reads the tweet. "It was time for me to move. I wish Pride the best!"

That news comes a month after Chantelois made some super controversial moves during this year's parade. When Black Lives Matter Toronto held up the march for half an hour and presented a list of demands including the "removal of all police floats/booths," Chantelois signed off on the request, but later changed his position.

"Frankly, Black Lives Matter is not going to tell us that there is no more floats anymore in the parade. I will not tell you that there is no more floats in the parade because Pride is bigger than Black Lives Matter. It is definitely bigger than me and my committee. That is the kind of decision that needs to be made by the community," Chantelois told CP24 at the time.

According to Global, staff in the parade have also sent an email to the board alleging a whole bunch of abuse. "We have been subject to racist, sexist and transphobic comments, sexual harassment and personal attacks," reads the email,which Global has published.

"He has tokenized staff members, volunteers, and members of the community, he has been afraid to have difficult conversations about community politics or with community, and he has crafted the festival in his own image rather than in the best interests of the community."

The email also mentions "controlled substances" in the office, hiring friends without interviews, and threats to fire staff after the parade. Pride has not confirmed the email, and Chantelois has denied the allegations.

Rodney Diverlus, one of the founders of Black Lives Matter Toronto, responded to Chantelois' resignation on Twitter: "If ur not committed to making pride accessible & safe 4 black queer/trans people & communities, then make space for someone who is #bai."

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