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Ford will skip Pride flag-raising again

Rob Ford made time Friday to fete 12 young people heading to the United Kingdom to represent Canada in a cricket match but the mayor won’t be available to attend another event at city hall on Monday — the official kickoff to Pride Week festivities.

The annual Pride flag-raising event happens at noon Monday on the podium roof at city hall. Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam will lead the event, along with Pride co-chairs Francisco Alvarez and Luka Amona.

Ford showed up at a Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) flag-raising event at city hall last month after saying he didn’t plan to attend. The move earned Ford praise from some of his loudest critics, including councillors Adam Vaughan and Gord Perks.

The mayor made his long weekend plans clear back in April when he said he wouldn’t be attending the Pride parade on July 1 because he’s going to his family cottage in Muskoka, as he does every year. He was criticized for not attending the parade or any Pride-related events last year.

Back in April when he was asked if he’d attend any Pride-related events this year, other than the parade, he said “We’ll take it event by event.”

On Friday, Ford attended an event to celebrate the 12 youths chosen to represent Canada at a cricket match in London on July 17 as part of the Across the Pond scholarship program. It was his first public appearance since he wrapped up his Cut The Waist challenge on Monday.