The Beaches Easter Parade has occasionally, weirdly, been a magnet for political trouble. Former councillor Sandra Bussin was pilloried in the press for using part of her office budget to buy a bunny suit for use in the parade, and in 2012 Rob Ford is believed to have injured his back while performing his annual photo-op ritual: tossing candy to kids on the sidelines.
This year, according to the Sun, the parade’s organizer, the Toronto Beaches Lions Club, is taking preemptive action: with the 2014 mayoral election in full swing, all politicians are banned from marching.
“We’ve just found it too hard to manage because they don’t adhere to our rules,” parade director Keith Begley told the Sun. Politicians will still be allowed to work the crowd if they wish, but they won’t be permitted to participate in the actual festivities. Begley denies that the decision was made specifically to avoid an awkward encounter with the mayor (who has shown up for the past four years), but the timing suggests Ford was a major factor. This is the first post-crack-scandal Easter.