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

LETTER: Different taxation system necessary

Langley Township taxpayer argues that taxes shouldn’t be based on assessed home values

VIDEO: Maple syrup taffy among treats and demos at 11th annual Vive les Voyageurs festival

Fort Langley National Historic Site celebrated French Canadians and Métis fur traders

Surrey-Langley SkyTrain business case to go to mayor’s council next week

Also plans for agreement that ‘commits’ Surrey to policies, initiatives to help ensure project’s success

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

Man clings to roof of car driving along busy road in Maple Ridge

The man was also seen jumping on the vehicle

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Most Read