Capital Pride officially kicks off

Capital Pride 2017 is officially underway.

The Rainbow flag is flying at City Hall and other buildings across town, kicking off with a flag-raising ceremony at City Hall Monday afternoon.

This year's Grand Marshal of Pride, Indigenous comedian and activist Candy Palmater, says being able to walk in Ottawa’s parade carries special meaning for her.

 “Ottawa’s the city I came out in when I was 31,” she says.

Palmater will be leading this year's pride parade which is the grand finale of the week-long Pride celebration.

The parade has drawn controversy in recent weeks after the festival asked Ottawa Police to participate in its events without their uniforms. Palmater says she feels for both sides of the issue.

“I thought of my sisters and brothers who are in service who want to come in their uniform. I totally understand that,” she said. “I also understand my sisters and brothers who are persecuted by law enforcement.”

She says he’s relieved they’ve reached a compromise.

Chief Charles Bordeleau was initially defiant in the face of Pride’s request but has since changed his tune, announcing police will march in the parade wearing branded golf shirts instead of uniforms.

- with files from CTV Ottawa.