Source: Facebook

A Newfoundland business is backing away from a planned Pride event in protest of St. John’s Pride’s decision to make an anti-Israel group this year’s parade grand marshal.

Harvey’s Home Heating was set to sponsor “Pride on the Pier” for the fourth year in a row on July 22 but dropped support after St. John’s Pride invited Palestine Action YYT to lead its July Pride Parade.

Palestine Action YYT agreed to lead the parade, but its demands involved excluding any company which puts money into Israel as part of the Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement against the Jewish state.

The general manager of Harvey’s Home Heating, Chris Forward, dropped out of the event he had helped host since 2021, and as a consequence, it was cancelled. He said the move to have Palestine Action YYT in charge was done too quickly and with little contributor input.

Pride on the Pier was billed as an annual “all-ages event” featuring drag performers on the Alt Hotel terrace. It is just one stop in the weekend-long Pride festival in St. John’s.

Pepsico is on St. John’s Pride’s boycott list as part of its agreement with the anti-Israel activist group. Harvey’s Home Heating is associated with another company that bottles Pepsi for the boycotted brand.

Although Forward’s company is not on the list itself, he would have been prevented from showing any Pepsi logos on clothing or otherwise or distributing any Pepsi products, which the company has come to rely on as part of hosting the event.

McDonald’s, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, Loblaws, Amazon and Google also made the boycott list and are not welcome at this year’s inclusive Pride season events in St. John’s.

Neither St. John’s Pride nor Harvey’s Home Heating responded to a request for comment from True North. 
However, in an interview with CBC, Forward said St. John’s Pride should be focused on “the ongoing improvement to the civil liberties of the LGBT population” and not geopolitics.