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1 min

O’Brien on Pride, queer space and the critics

On the Village:

“If the gay community came to me and asked me to give them my business advice on how to create a sustainable business neighbourhood, I would be there — I won’t say with bells on my feet because that sounds a little gay — but I would certainly be more than willing to see how that develops — but as a business person. It’s all about creating sustainability. You don’t do that by putting up flags and lines on the street. You do that by creating a nucleus of business that makes sense, and the rest happens by definition.”

On the mayor’s town-hall meetings, formerly held during Pride Week (there was not one on his agenda this year, and last year he “was in the penalty box,” facing now-dismissed criminal charges):

“I enjoyed it. I got to make all the novice mistakes when someone hasn’t been dealing with the community, but I made them early and I believe I was both respectful and I learned a lot. The wonderful thing from my perspective about the GBLTTQ — whatever it is — community is that it is integrated all over the city; it’s part of the mosaic of our city.”

On eliminating Capital Pride’s debt to the city:

“A deal is a deal,” he says. He fully expects it to be paid back.

On the critics:

“I do eat with a knife and fork, contrary to some of my opponents’ comments. I get to enjoy the heart of the city, and I want the heart of the city to be a place that embraces and brings everyone together.”