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Debate over Amherstburg's 'True Fest'

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At Amherstburg council Tuesday night, a request to approve a town event proved contentious.

"There were some members of the community that do take offense to it and don't think it's family-friendly and inclusive,"said Coun Peter Courtney.

He was raising concerns around the includoin of drag queens as part of a winter festival villed as an inclusive winter dance party – sponsored by Windsor-Essex Pride Fest.

The event is called True Fest and the inaugural event was held in 2020. The 2024 edition was up for approval for a noise exemption and road closures

Courtney flagged concerns he said he’s heard from residents over the event.

At Tuesday’s council meeting, he said, “I guess my question is… when we promote all of our festivals as inclusive and we get something like drag queens, being males dressed as females and dressed provocatively… I guess what’s the benefit versus not doing it?”

Deputy Mayor Chris Gibb also spoke and said, “I believe in an open, inclusive, loving Amherstburg and if you talk the talk you gotta walk the walk. And Amherstburg needs more love so I’m going to be in support of this.”

In the end, council voted 3-2 in favour of the needed true fest approvals - with Courtney and Coun. Diane Pouget opposed.

True Fest is scheduled for Jan. 27.

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