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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Revellers at a past Caribana event. (File Photo)

Hardbeatnews, TORONTO, Canada, Thurs. May 4, 2006: The Caribbean Cultural Committee, promoters of Caribana, are not taking the city’s plans to push them over lightly.

The group plans to take their grievances to the streets in protest this Saturday, over the city’s move to push them aside this year over accountability issues. The CCC’s ‘Hands Off Caribana Action Committee,’ plan to lead a march on Toronto City Hall, beginning at Dundas Square at 1 p.m. on May 6.

They claim the city’s move to take over the festival; shut them out and hand it over to another group is merely political. Charles Roach, Caribana's founding chairman told the Toronto Star this week, "It seems to me that if a corporation, even the city, messes up on handling some financial matters, I don't think that that's a reason to take control of something from their hands, as much as it's a reason for not giving them money. Just name some people to run it, just like that? That bothers me a lot."

The planned protest comes as the new Toronto Caribbean Carnival tries hard to get its plans in place for the August 5 event. The Festival Management Committee has named Joe Halstead, Toronto's former commissioner of economic development, culture and tourism, to lead the city-endorsed Festival Management Committee.

Also on the board is Glen Grunwald of the Toronto Board of Trade, Ed Peters of the Ontario Steelpan Association and Curtis Eustace of the Toronto Mas Bands Association.

But there has been no attempt to involve members of the CCC even as their officials continue to remind the media to refer to the upcoming carnival being promoted this year as the TCC and not Caribana. –