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Toronto police submit application to participate in Pride Parade

Members of the Toronto Police Service dance to the Village People's song "YMCA" during the annual Pride Parade at Yonge and Dundas streets in Toronto on July 3, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michael Hudson

Could Toronto police make a return appearance at the upcoming Pride Parade?

It’s too soon to say, but the Toronto Police Service confirms with CityNews that it has submitted an application to participate in this summer’s parade.

Toronto police spokesperson Meaghan Gray told CityNews in an email that she’s hopeful police will be back after their glaring and controversial absence last summer.

“The Toronto Police Service has been engaged in very meaningful discussions with Pride Toronto since last summer relating to our relationship with the LGBTQ2S communities, and a portion of that discussion included the Service’s desire to participate in this year’s Pride Parade,” Gray wrote.

“The Service will respect the final decision of the Pride committee. It will also continue developing its partnerships with the LGBTQ2S communities, one that is strong and enhances confidence and trust, no matter what the outcome. This has always been our main priority and aspiration.”

Related stories:

Toronto police union wants Pride funding pulled after floats banned

Toronto police won’t participate in Pride Parade, Black Lives Matter responds

Council votes against pulling Pride funding

Last year, members voted at a Pride Toronto’s annual general meeting to adopt Black Lives Matter demands, including the banning of police floats from Pride marches and parades.

Chief Mark Saunders later voluntarily bowed out.

“We understand the LGBTQ communities are divided,” he said in a statement. “To enable those differences to be addressed, I have decided the Toronto Police Service will not participate, this year, in the Pride parade.”

The union representing Toronto’s police officers responded by urging the city to pull its yearly Pride funding of roughly $260,000.

City council ultimately voted against pulling the funding.