nl-gay-pride-cb-2009

Gay Pride supporters raise a flag in Corner Brook in 2009. (CBC)

A gay activist says Corner Brook Pride celebrations scheduled for this weekend have been cancelled because of a lack of co-operation from city officials.

Corner Brook Pride 2011 was going to celebrate the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered community and its supporters on Newfoundland's west coast with a flag raising at City Hall, a parade in the city's downtown and a number of parties.

But Christian Corbet, the founder and chairperson of Corner Brook Pride Incorporated, said a lack of co-operation from municipal and police officials forced his group to cancel events scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

Corbet said he got an email from municipal officials on Sunday indicating uncertainty over the location of some Pride events.

"They have no idea whether we can commence our events at new city hall or old city hall," said a disappointed Corbet. "They have no idea what's going on. They have no idea where they're going to be."

Corner Brook municipal staff and officials are slated to move into a new building later this month.

Corbet said his group also contacted the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary by email and telephone to get the required police support for their public activities, but the police never got back to organizers. 

Corbet added that his group had trouble finding enough volunteers to help with this year's events.

We don't know where the people are actually," said Corbet. "We're very concerned about that."

Corbet speculated that a bit of prejudice and lack of information about the local gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community may have contributed to this year's cancellation.

"I knew that there was a fundamental problem last year in dealing with an employee of the city when they said to me 'How do you spell LGBTQA?'" Corbet lamented.

Corbet's group plans to put together information sessions for city officials, similar to the session his group did for the local school boards. 

Corbet also said he's going to throw a private party this weekend for the people who tried to organize this year's events and to figure out what his group can do for Corner Brook Pride 2012.