Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, right, cheers while waiting to march in the Vancouver Pride Parade with Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, left, and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, centre, in Vancouver, on Sunday August 4, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Three federal leaders march together at Vancouver Pride

Conservative Andrew Scheer was the only one missing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau extolled on the importance of unity as he marched in Vancouver’s annual Pride parade with two of his political rivals on Sunday.

The prime minister took the opportunity to offer his condolences to the victims of two mass shootings that left a combined 29 people dead in Texas and Ohio over the weekend, before he joined NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Green Leader Elizabeth May on the parade route.

“It’s so important that we all stand together in moments like this,” Trudeau told reporters. ”We’re standing up for human rights, standing up for communities who are marginalized.”

He, Singh and May walked side-by-side for several blocks near the beginning of the parade, surrounded by crowds decked out in rainbow-hued beads and glitter. Trudeau was also joined by his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, and their children.

But despite the talk of unity, the prime minister used the opportunity Sunday to take jabs at Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, widely regarded as his top challenger in October’s federal election.

“It’s just unfortunate that there are still some party leaders who want to be prime minister, who choose to stand with people who are intolerant instead of standing with the LGBT community,” he said.

“I really wish Andrew Scheer were here today to pass that message to kids in rural areas who might be suffering bullying, suffering challenges, that we support them right across the board, but I’m here with politicians who do.”

Scheer has so far been absent from the country’s Pride parades, and a spokesperson previously said he didn’t have plans to join any.

And while Scheer’s press secretary Daniel Schow did not acknowledge the leader’s absence Sunday, he defended his party’s track record on human rights.

“Canada’s Conservatives have a proud history of fighting for the rights and protection of all Canadians, including those in the LGBTQ community, at home and abroad,” Schow wrote. ”There are many ways to support these communities, and it is vital that the rights all Canadians are protected regardless of race, gender or sexual preference.”

READ MORE: #Loveislove: 41st annual Pride Parade kicks off in Vancouver

But May and Singh both echoed Trudeau’s concerns about Scheer’s absence, with the former saying that Pride celebrations are an expression of some of Canada’s core values: empathy and inclusion.

“The Conservatives weren’t there. Their complete boycott of Pride parades is disturbing. But I want to concentrate on the positive,” May said. “This is not about partisanship. This is about who we are as a country.”

Singh added that when leaders march together at Pride, it’s a show of solidarity with Canada’s queer community.

“But we need to go beyond that to make sure policies also celebrate people,” he added, pointing to restrictions on blood donations from men who have sex with other men.

The NDP have also promised a national action plan to ban so-called conversion therapy for minors in Canada, according to a statement from Singh on the day of the parade.

Later on Sunday evening, Trudeau was expected to address supporters at a Liberal fundraiser in Surrey, B.C., that required a $500 donation to attend.

Brenna Owen, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Q&A: Interior Health CEO answers questions on COVID-19 response

Susan Brown, president and CEO of Interior Health, answers questions regarding COVID-19

Positivity rocks! Golden resident brings positivity to community through painted rocks.

Brandi Romano hand crafts the rocks with her kids as a distraction from COVID-19

6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes the Kootenays

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout parts of B.C. and Alberta

Avalanche blocked Highway 1 yesterday

Highway 1 over Rogers Pass was closed for most of the day

West Kootenay couple escapes Spain – safe, sound, and in self-isolation

BC couple Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

B.C. couple celebrates 61st anniversary through seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

World COVID-19 update: Six million U.S. jobless claims; Russia sends medical aid to U.S.

Comprehensive update with COVID-19 news from around the world

A look at some of the B.C. inventors creating life-saving tools in fight against COVID-19

Groups across B.C. are working together to create what they hope will help people affected by the pandemic

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

Interior Health confirms five additional cases in Okanagan COVID-19 outbreak

The total amount of confirmed cases at Bylands Nurseries Ltd. is 19; no further cases expected

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

ANKORS East Kootenay details concerns surrounding harm reduction amid COVID-19

Harm reduction providers are having to keep up with rapidly changing situation

Most Read