It’s a prime example of what happens when boards abuse their power and have little oversight by their political masters.

The beleaguered Pride Toronto organization – already battling possible insolvency because of its policy decision to ban the police from the parade based on demands from BLM – did everything it could to cover its tracks before, during, and after a heated AGM in January 2020.

Self-appointed meeting chair Michael Erickson – the owner of Glad Day bookshop – obfuscated about an investigation into allegations of financial improprieties. He even claimed that the investigation was complete and any wrongdoing found has been “addressed.”

He and his interim board – who had installed themselves into three-year terms – ran out the clock that night to evade scrutiny.

I was at the meeting as Erickson declared a lot of things I reported in the weeks before were “false and trash.”

Erickson is long gone but evidently the reports were neither false, nor trash.

The federal government has ordered Pride to repay $505,000 in grant money after a KPMG study, conducted in 2021, confirmed that many of the projects for which it received $1.8-million in funding were not completed.

According to reports, Pride could not produce evidence it they had completed the promised deliverables.

There were three separate grants – $1-million from Public Safety Canada to develop better relations with the police; $250,000 to tell the story of the 50th anniversary of decriminalization of homosexuality in this country; and $600,000 to put together an exhibit of Indigenous artwork.

The $1-million grant came with the agreement to allow police back into the parade. But in January of 2019, Pride members voted 163-161 to renege on the agreement and uphold the ban.

Another $1-million grant from the Federal Economic Development Agency was not studied by KPMG but is thoroughly documented in an independent review by Pride Toronto member and York University ethics professor Tom Hooper.

Hooper put together his extremely comprehensive review at

He alleged fraud and forgery – namely that the organization never delivered the art exhibit and forged letters of support for the Indigenous grant from the Assembly of First Nations, the TDSB, the Peel Region District School Board and the Waterloo Region District School Board.

He also alleges that funds meant for Indigenous artists were redirected to cover expenses for VIP party passes and Pride staffers.

He found that much of the $1-million grant from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario was used to cover wages for Pride Toronto staff and its contractors.

By the time the entire amount was released to Pride Toronto, Hooper discovered – using documents traced through FOI requests –  that some $900,000 of the $1-million was used to cover staff salaries instead of a 2020 Pride pavilion and a partnership with Indigenous artist Kent Monkman (which fell through) among other things.

However, he reported on his website that KMPG, regrettably, did not investigate the fraud and forgery claims or the $1-million grant from the Federal Economic Development Agency

According to reports, Pride Toronto has already paid back $100,000 and has tightened up its financial oversight.

But frankly from years of covering this organizational train wreck – which is heavily subsidized by the city of Toronto, the province and the federal government (especially during the Trudeau era) – I have my doubts.

To repeat, this is a perfect example of what happens to a woke organization with staff more worried about their proper pronouns than diligently managing their fiscal resources – one that shuns gay people like myself for demanding accountability.

Let’s remember, the Toronto police are still banned from marching in the annual Pride parade.

They can provide security but gay and lesbian officers are not permitted to march.

That tells me everything about the mindset of those purporting to run Pride.


  • Sue-Ann Levy

    A two-time investigative reporting award winner and nine-time winner of the Toronto Sun’s Readers Choice award for news writer, Sue-Ann Levy made her name for advocating the poor, the homeless, the elderly in long-term care and others without a voice and for fighting against the striking rise in anti-Semitism and the BDS movement across Canada.