Ottawa's police chief says he'll leave it up to officers to decide whether they want to attend Pride festivities in uniform, or obey a request from festival organizers to leave their police attire at home.
In their statement released Friday, Capital Pride said the decision came after months of consultations with stakeholders and members of Ottawa's LGBT community. People for and against the decision to exclude uniformed police officers were at these consultations, but ultimately the decision was made in favour of the exclusion.
Officers will still be allowed to participate in Pride events this August, as long as they wear plain clothes, according to the statement.
Ottawa police Chief Charles Bordeleau said he plans to give officers the option to attend in uniform or in plain clothes that day.
"Capital Pride made a request to us and we acknowledge that request," he said Tuesday on Ottawa Morning. "We don't enter a float into the parade and usually we put a police car in it, and we've made the decision not to put a police car in it.
"We will be marching alongside other first responders. Our fire services, our paramedic services, we'll be marching alongside with them."
Pride's decision has drawn criticism from police and is dividing the city's LGBT community. Read more via CBC