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PM Trudeau to march in Ottawa Pride Parade Sunday

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will march in the Capital Pride Parade for the first time this Sunday. The Prime Minister’s office confirmed that he would be at the annual parade on Aug. 27. Trudeau’s participation marks the first time ever a sitting prime minister has marched in Ottawa’s pride parade, Capital Pride confirmed. His participation comes the weekend after Trudeau marched in the Montreal Pride Parade alongside Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, which was the first time a foreign head of government walked in a Canadian pride parade. Trudeau’s office says it doesn’t have any details on who will be walking alongside the Prime Minister at the parade. After being unable to attend last year’s parade because of a cabinet retreat, Ottawa Centre, Ont. MP and Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna said she’d be bringing the Prime Minister to the parade in 2017. The Liberal government announced earlier this year that it will formally apologize to public servants, members of the RCMP, and military members that were kicked out or demoted because of their sexuality, before the end of 2017. In June, Parliament passed Bill C-16, the trans bill of rights, which provides transgender Canadians the same human rights protections as everyone else by adding gender identity to the Canadian Human Rights Act. Canada is also seeking to co-chair the Equal Rights Coalition, a worldwide network of 33 governments focused on protection the rights of LGBTQ people. Critics have called on the federal government to go further when it comes to LGBTQ rights, including helping persecuted communities internationally, and to follow through on its promise to end the blood ban that prohibits men who have sex with men from donating. Ottawa’s Capital Pride tweeted the of Trudeau’s participation. The group garnered headlines earlier this year after calling on Ottawa Police not to participate in the parade in uniform. Trudeau became the first sitting prime minister to march in the Halifax Pride Parade on July 22, and marked his second time marching as the sitting prime minister in the Toronto Pride Parade when he participated alongside his family in June 25. According to the Canadian Press, Alberta musician k.d. lang has invited Jason Kenney to Calgary’s Pride celebrations, but a spokesman said he’s busy. Kenney is running for the leadership of Alberta’s United Conservative Party. Calgary Pride begins this and ends Sept. 4.

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