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Celebrating Canada's 2SLGBTQI+ Communities

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FLASHBACK: Pride Flag Raised On Canada’s Parliament Hill For The First Time (June 1, 2016)

Today in LGBTQ+ history…

To kick off Canada’s first-ever nationwide Pride Month, and for the first time in Canadian history, the rainbow-coloured Pride flag was raised on Parliament Hill in Ottawa by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on June 1, 2016.

“This is a great day for Canada and it’s part of a long series of milestones this country has hit over the years. It hasn’t been easy, it hasn’t been automatic. A lot of people fought for a long time for this day to happen,” Trudeau said at the time, after he had the distinct honour of raising the distinctive flag.

“Canada is united in its defence of rights and it’s standing up for LGBTQ rights,” Trudeau said, noting that politicians from all the parliamentary parties – not just his own Liberal MPs – were in attendance. “And quite frankly…we still have more work to do,” he said, adding that his government was pushing a transgender rights bill to extend protections to trans Canadians.

At the event, Trudeau announced that he would be marching in Toronto’s 2016 Pride parade, the first time a sitting prime minister had taken part in any Pride festivities in Canada. 

“It’s not going to be my first time,” Trudeau said to laughs from the crowd about his upcoming attendance. (Trudeau has been a regular at Pride in past years; he actually launched an election campaign the previous August at Vancouver’s Pride parade.) 

A year later, on June 1, 2017, history was made yet again when the Transgender Pride flag was raised on Parliament Hill.

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