Chaotic internal communication led to cancellation of Montreal Pride parade: report

Recommends that the organization come up with a better way of managing its logistics and to improve its internal communication.

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A report ordered by the City of Montreal has concluded that the Montreal Pride parade was cancelled in August because of a series of confused exchanges among organizers. Philippe Schnobb, who conducted the investigation, writes that the communications were so chaotic that “it’s impossible to point the finger at one person who was responsible (for the cancellation).”

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Writes Schnobb: “On Aug. 7, 2022, the Pride parade was cancelled following a series of confused exchanges that went too quickly, and which led to actions that made the cancellation inevitable. It’s a deplorable misunderstanding. You ask who turned off the lights? It’s impossible to know. The lights were turned off.”

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Schnobb suggested this happened because prior to parade day certain key personnel left, others were overworked, and there was a lack of support for the people organizing the parade.

Montreal Pride executive director Simon Gamache said the day of the parade that it was being cancelled for security reasons. On Aug. 7, Gamache and his colleagues realized they were short 80 people, most of whom had been assigned to close streets alongside police and provide security. That represented about one-third of the staff needed to run the parade.

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The same day Mayor Valérie Plante said she was taken aback by the cancellation, and Montreal police tweeted that morning to say they had not taken part in the decision to cancel the parade.

Despite the cancellation, hundreds of people marched on downtown streets to celebrate diversity of sexuality and gender.

Schnobb recommends that the organization come up with a better way of managing its logistics and to improve its internal communication.

“It’s essential for our administration to assure you that Montreal Pride has all of the tools necessary to ensure the success of the upcoming Pride parades,” Plante said in a statement Wednesday. “The work of Philippe Schnobb, done with rigour and sensitivity, will contribute to re-establishing the confidence of the public in this organization. We salute the collaboration of Montreal Pride, which is already set to follow the recommendations and improve the way it works.”

Said Gamache on Wednesday: “We are determined to continue our work to rebuild and solidify our links with our communities, the population and our partners.”

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