Mathieu Chantelois interview

Mathieu Chantelois interview (video only), CP24, 2016.07.04.

Chantelois on camera

Yes, his English really is this decrepit, and no, he never ever managed to articulate “Black Lives Matter” correctly. (Posted 2016.07.10; updated 2016.07.13, 2016.08.19.)


INTERVIEWER: Let’s talk about what happened that was – or was not – expected with the sit-in with, uh, BLM, and this document that we saw you signing –

CHANTELOIS: Yep.

— which is of much discussion and concern right now.

— Yes.

— What did you sign away on, or sign on for or up to?

— Well, to answer your first question, Black Live Matters did a sitting at the Trans March, at the Dyke March, and on Sunday. So we were expecting something like this. We were not expecting a document. My priority yesterday was to make the parade move. We had a million people waiting, including people from marginalized communities, and the show and the parade had to go on by respect for all these people.

So yes, I sign a document, and the document is saying things – most of the request were really reasonable. Frankly they could have send me an E‑mail and I would agree to all these things. The police and the floats, that’s the one that is really controversial. And frankly, Black Live Matters is nots gonna tell us that there’s no more floats anymore in the parade. I will not tell you that there’s no more float in the parade, because Pride is bigger than Black Live Matters. It’s definitely bigger than me and my committee. That’s the kind of decision that needs to be made by the committee.

So yesterday we agree to have a conversation about this. We agree that we will bring this to the community and to the membership, but, at the end of the day, if my membership says “No way we want the police to have floats,” they decide. Whatever document I’m signing or that Black Live Matters is putting in the front of us, Pride will always be what its community is. So of course we gonna consult with the communities. We gonna have some town halls, some serious conversation. And the final decision will come from – from our community, not from me.

— OK, so when Black Lives Matter put on their Facebook page last night that you’d signed off on this, that’s not the case, then. You signed off onto a discussion, not to a decision there.

— Well, I sign off – I sign off this document right now, not right away. But right now what my community is asking is to be consulted about this. So any decision that I make, if the community and my membership is telling me that I’m wrong, they the one that have the last word.

— Is it news to you, though, that you’d want to actually have the discussion to pull out police floats and police participation from the parade?

— I’m never heard of this before. We never never even talked – even Black Live Matters hasn’t even talk about cutting the police from the parade, right? They just don’t want them to have big floats, because they think they are very present. So that’s a conversation.

— But you were comfortable with the floats in the parade.

— I was personally comfortable, but some people of my community are not, because they think it is too much of a presence of police in the parade. So I think that as a community, we have to come together and make some important decisions together.

— So, uh, we saw so many police officers —

— Yes.

— there, in uniform.

— Yes.

— Uh, and Chief Saunders spoke today about the progression they’re making —

— Mm-hmm.

— with the community.

— Absolutely.

— And he admits that with the trans community there’s work to be done.

— And the black community.

— But still, you know, everything happened without incident yesterday, and do you think that people were still uneasy with what they saw yesterday in the parade and the floats? Besides Black Lives Matter?

— Uhh, other people from the trans community have some concerns as well. We got these E‑mails this morning as well. That’s why we all have to come together and make a decision that is, makes the most sense for the community.

So yes, I agree yesterday to look at all these concerns. Most of these things I can do because they’re simple and they’re operational. But for something big like this, if the community doesn’t agree with the decision that we are making as an executive, we need to all sit down together and we need to make the right decision. So I can[’t] wait to have these conversation. And at the end of the day, I’m not making any decisions for Pride. All the big decision should be made by the community.