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

Water movement increased in Houston reservoirs

Measure in response to 2019 boil water notice

Crown won’t appeal sentence in child sex assault case of former Burns Lake mayor

B.C. Prosecution Service said sentence doesn’t meet standard for appeal

Miscommunication led to three people turned away at pipeline checkpoint: RCMP

Mounties were installing new access procedures after checkpoint was set up for Coastal GasLink site

Pipeline at centre of B.C. conflict is creating jobs for First Nations: chief

All 20 elected band councils along the Coastal GasLink pipeline route have signed benefits agreements

Coastal GasLink makes new request to meet with First Nation pipeline opponents

President writes letter following Premier John Horgan’s comments on law needing to be followed

Canada to bolster screening of central China passengers for virus at 3 airports

Additional measures will include messaging on arrivals screens in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver

Coastal GasLink repeats desire for meeting with hereditary chiefs

Coastal GasLink says they’re ready to meet with the hereditary chiefs at their convenience

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

B.C. pair ordered to pay $55,000 for oil tank discovered four years after selling home

Judge says defendants breached contract, despite being unaware of tank until basement flooded

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Most Read