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Prime minister to march in P.E.I. Pride parade

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will march in the P.E.I. Pride parade Saturday in downtown Charlottetown, according to his official itinerary.

The parade begins at noon at the provincial government buildings on Terry Fox Drive. It continues down Euston Street to Great George, Grafton and Rochford before ending on Kent Street

The announcement by the PMO of Trudeau’s participation comes months after parade organizers said it no longer wanted provincial politicians and political leaders to participate.

That came in the wake of some audio that emerged of Premier Dennis King while he was on the campaign trial. Prompted by a question from an unknown person on the voice track, King said that, in an ideal world, people would agree to disagree about things like drag storytime events. He later apologized for his remarks.

Map of parade route.
(Pride P.E.I.)

In a statement to CBC last week, organizers clarified to say provincial politicians could march, but “only in a non-partisan fashion.” Federal Liberal MP Sean Casey kicked off Pride week with a barbecue July 21.

“We understand the significance, in light of recent events across the country and the world, to see elected officials visibly demonstrate support for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, but we also acknowledge that while individual politicians have taken action to be a better ally, partisan political parties still have much work to do to become inclusive organizations that reflect the diverse population of Epekwitk/P.E.I.,” the statement said.

Trudeau faced some hostility, cutting short an event short in Belleville, Ont., last week, when protesters swarmed his motorcade. That event was not tied to Pride festivities.

A record 75 entries are registered for the parade, including the first marching band to participate.

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