The media made a big deal about the heads of three levels of government attending the July 3 Toronto Pride parade as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier Kathleen Wynne, and Toronto Mayor John Tory took part in the march through downtown Toronto and other events celebrating the homosexual lifestyle.
The Trudeau Liberals promoted their involvement in the parade for weeks before the event, highlighting it was the first time a sitting prime minister would take part in the festivities. Trudeau has attended before, but it was as Liberal leader.
Other prominent Liberals included federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau — whose Toronto Centre riding hosts the parade — and Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa and Environment Minister Glen Murray, the latter who represents the riding.
Federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May also took part in Pride.
A contingent of about 120 conservatives marched under the banner of LGBTory, including Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown and interim federal Conservative leader Rona Ambrose. Three declared Conservative leadership contenders also attended: Kellie Leitch, Michael Chong and Maxime Bernier.
Lisa Raitt, the federal finance critic and rumoured leadership contender, also took part, as did MP Peter Kent.
Three provincial MPPs joined Brown: Lisa McLeod, Lorne Coe, and Gila Martow.
LGBTory pushed for Brown to take part in the 2015 Pride parade. After successfully convincing Brown to take part last year, the group was emboldened to lead the policy fight at the Conservative’s Vancouver convention to remove language defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
Andrew Donovan wrote on the LGBTory Symposium that the number of high profile MPs and MPPs at Pride signaled “the changing face of Canadian conservatism.” He said, “let’s face it, the old guard’s time is dwindling.”
Campaign Life Coalition vice president Jeff Gunnarson told The Interim that such claims by Donovan is evidence that social conservatives must become more involved in the political process to ensure their voices are heard.