Fierté Montréal is investigating.
Montreal Pride this year was supposed to be a big one. Two years of pandemic cancellations had set high expectations for this year’s march, cancelled only hours before it was scheduled to begin.
Although proud Montrealers gathered in droves regardless, the last-minute axing of such a prominent event raised confusion and concern. Some even speculated that there was something suspicious about the closure.
\u201cWhy'd they cancel Montreal pride HOURS before the parade, wtf. Something's suspicious.\u201d— Xiran\ud83c\udf3bTired & Busy (@Xiran\ud83c\udf3bTired & Busy) 1659898028
Speaking to MTL Blog on the day of the would-be parade, spokesperson Nathalie Roy claimed that the issue was a lack of volunteers. But in an appearance on Radio-Canada's Tout un matin Monday morning, Fierté Montreal Director Simon Gamache said that someone in the organization had also fumbled the coordination of hired personnel.
"[Sunday] morning, at 8 a.m., we discovered that we were missing almost 100 employees," he explained. These hired individuals were supposed to be assigned to the march but this process fell through — someone simply forgot to assign them to work the parade, Gamache said.
"We were also missing volunteers," he added, echoing the initial explanation provided by the organization.
An email to volunteers shared with MTL Blog suggests Fierté Montréal had anticipated a full roster of festival volunteers for at least some events up to a week before the parade day. The July 31 message told recipients to expect fewer shifts "due to the very large number of volunteers" interested in supporting the event.
Gamache also clarified that the SPVM, who some had speculated was behind the cancellation, were in fact completely prepared to begin the parade.
In a statement shared with Narcity Québec, Fierté Montréal said it has "set up an internal post-mortem committee to investigate the events that led to the cancellation of the parade." The organization added that further statements would come later this week.
Mayor Valérie Plante responded to the situation on Twitter, explaining that "the city and the SPVM were ready to welcome the parade."
"We've waited for it for two years, and were looking forward to it." She, like the rest of Montreal, is also waiting for a full explanation.