Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who had sent his regrets earlier, literally surprised the guests as well as the media when he showed up to read the city's proclamation at the rainbow flag raising at City Hall earlier this week. His small gesture was a great mayoralty civic obligation that needed to be fulfilled.
If Rob Ford were to attend the parade, the city's LGBT community might think the mayor is suddenly concerned with the issues that affect them, which would be a departure from 10 years avoiding the parade as councillor. By not going, Ford's at least being consistent. Suddenly changing streams might just be confusing to everyone.
Toronto's mayor has announced he won't be attending this year's Gay Pride parade, but imagine what a few hours at the event might look like from his point of view. It would be hard to fabricate a more fertile ground for humiliation than a crowd of dancing, naked and half-naked critics with the mayor mounted on an open vehicle leading the way. I think it's fear disguised as "Screw you!" that underlies his tenaciousness.