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Again this year, tens of thousands of participants marched proudly together along René-Lévesque Boulevard at the Montreal Pride parade to celebrate diversity and the LGBT community.
The August 19 event was filled with great weather, bright costumes, a joyful, party atmosphere, as well as a UFCW Canada contingent of activists, members, staff and officers including Local 500 President Tony Filato, Local 501 President Alain Lachaîne, Local 503 Secretary-Treasurer Alain Langlois, and Louis Bolduc, UFCW Canada Executive Assistant to the National President.
A number of politicians also marched in the parade, including NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair. Other representatives from every major party and level of government in Quebec also attended — except the federal Conservatives.
The day before the annual parade, Local 501 representatives Nicolas Jean and Local 503 representative Louise Lefebvre greeted visitors and distributed materials at the UFCW Canada booth in the LGBT Village that is part of the festival. “Many people came to talk to us about the problems they are having in their workplaces because of their sexual orientations," says Brother Jean. "As trade unionists we have an important role to play to defend the equality rights of our LGBT brothers and sisters in the workplace and in the community.”
At the end of the parade, a minute of silence was observed to commemorate those who have died of AIDS during past year — but also to emphasize the fact that in a number of countries LGBT individuals remain the victims of government and community persecution. It was a particularly moving reminder that the LGBT community still faces many challenges.
“Although we are fortunate to live in a province where diversity is accepted, recognized, and legally protected the struggle is far from over," said Brother Bolduc. "Many people are still targeted for discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation, so we must remain vigilant in our solidarity with our LGBT brothers and sisters."