MONTREAL – Thousands of cheering spectators lined the streets of Montreal on Sunday as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau continued what has become a yearly tradition of walking in the city’s colourful Pride parade.
Wearing white pants and a pink button down shirt, the prime minister yelled “Happy Pride” as he marched alongside his wife, Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, as well as Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard and other dignitaries.
Less than a week before the kickoff of Quebec’s election campaign, politicians from all three levels of government could be spotted among the amid the parade’s sequins, rainbow flags and whirling dancers.
At a press conference ahead of the event, Trudeau called for an end to the use of the word “tolerance” as a benchmark for the treatment of diverse communities.
“We need to talk about acceptance, we need to talk about openness, we need to talk about friendship, we need to talk about love — not just tolerance,” he said to cheers.
Trudeau began his day at an upscale hotel in Old Montreal, where he attended a Pride-themed Liberal fundraising brunch in the company of Montreal-born “Queer Eye” TV personality Antoni Porowski.
As guests snacked on foie gras appetizers and lobster rolls, the prime minister and Porowski discussed topics ranging from Montreal’s food scene to the continued importance of Pride events.
Trudeau noted that LGBTQ youth are still more likely to be homeless or have suicidal thoughts, despite the progress that has been made towards equality.
The prime minister planned to end the day in his home riding of Papineau, where he was set to announce his nomination as a candidate for the 2019 election.