'Misunderstanding' blamed for last-minute cancellation of Montreal Pride parade

'Misunderstanding' blamed

A new report says communication problems and a simple "misunderstanding" were at the heart of the decision to cancel this year's Montreal's Pride parade hours before it was scheduled to begin.

Report author Philippe Schnobb finds that the cancellation of the Aug. 7 event was announced hastily without the approval of the organization's executive director or board of directors.

A timeline of the events in the report shows that unnamed staff members realized at around 7:45 a.m. that someone had forgotten to hire some 96 security staff needed for the parade later that day.

A "misunderstanding" meant that some people were told the event was cancelled, which led to volunteers being dismissed and the news announced to Montreal police and the media before the executive director could arrive on site to make an official decision.

Schnobb notes that organizer Montreal Pride was understaffed and key people were overworked leading up to the event, which may have contributed to the errors and the failure to hire security.

He recommends that Montreal Pride create an emergency plan with clear steps to follow when problems come up, clarify the roles and responsibilities within the organization and work with a governance expert to overhaul its structure.

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