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London, Ont. – March 7, 2016 – UFCW Canada activists recently participated in the 2016 Fierté Canada Pride conference to discuss plans for the upcoming Pride season. The annual conference brought together Pride co-ordinators and more than 150 activists from LGBTQ advocacy groups from across the country.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne gave her first-ever formal address on the importance of Pride and inclusion for LGBTQ-identified Canadians in her keynote presentation. Her emotional address supported Pride’s mission and vision to eliminate systemic discrimination, advance access to services for the LGBTQ community, and to celebrate diversity through the annual cross-country Pride celebrations.
The conference was also featured educational workshops such as Making Pride More Accessible, How Pride Organizations Can Impact Politics and Political Change, Engaging LGBT Seniors, as well as a special presentation from PFLAG (Parents, Families, Friends and Allies of the LGBTQ community). UFCW Canada’s research in the realm of transgender health service access was also discussed and shared with conference participants.
“Over the past year we have advocated for an increase to the provision of transgender-inclusive health care services, particularly in New Brunswick which continues to deny access,” says UFCW Canada National President Paul Meinema.
“Fierté Canada Pride provides an opportunity to celebrate hard fought victories for the LGBTQ community," says Brother Meinema. “It also serves as a powerful reminder that allies and partnerships within the grassroots movement are pivotal in changing the discourse from one of discrimination to one of inclusion for all LGBTQ workers and their families.”
This year Pride parades will take place across Canada from March until the fall of 2016. In August 2017, Montreal will play host to the first-ever Canada Pride ten-day festival, as a nation-wide celebration of Canada’s LGBTQ movement.
Look for ways on how your local union organization can get involved in this year’s upcoming parades and activities. For more information about UFCW Canada involvement in Pride see UFCW Canada Pride.