• By: Ottawalife Contributor

Celebrate Pride With UFCW Canada and the World in Toronto

Image by: ufcw.ca

Every year, Pride is celebrated across Canada as one of the largest and most colourful festivals in the country. Citizens flock annually to street fairs, marches, parades, picnics, and concerts to participate in a fun and inclusive experience that promotes tolerance and raises awareness of the human rights issues affecting the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, and Queer (LGBTQ) community in Canada. Messages of hope, optimism, and change are expressed through signs and costumes and the collective energy of the LGBTQ community and its supporters is palpable and attracts thousands of visitors from around the world.

This year’s Pride season will be particularly special because Toronto will make history as the first North American city to host a global, ten- day international Pride festival that seeks to honour the past, celebrate the present, and inspire a better future for LGTQ communities globally. As Canada’s leading and most inclusive union, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Canada will be playing a proud and prominent role in supporting and celebrating our LGBTQ sisters and brothers throughout the Pride festivities Toronto, which will be held from June 20 to 29.

To honour this historic event, and to inform both UFCW Canada members and the public of our union’s involvement in Toronto’s global Pride festival, UFCW Canada has launched a new web site resource. The web site will be filled with photos and videos of Pride activities, labour, jobs, employers and fairness/building a better canada by Paul Meinema as well as information on how UFCW Canada members and allies can get involved with the parades, conferences, and other special events at the international Pride gathering.

UFCW Canada is also hosting a special event for the festival – Celebrate Our UFCW Canada Pride. This free, all ages event will serve as a central gathering place for UFCW Canada Local Unions, members, and allies to drop in and celebrate Pride with our union and its community partners. Music, visual arts, and cultural activities will be at the heart of the event.

The response from participating UFCW Canada Local Unions to the UFCW’s plans for Pride has been very positive.

Eliminating homophobia, bullying, and transphobia is an enormous challenge. In solidarity with LGBTQ sisters and brothers, UFCW Canada members, staff, and community partners will be loud and proud at Pride to advance equality, diversity, and LGBTQ rights, both at home and abroad.

Paul-Meinema_UFCW-Canada-2014Paul Meinema is the National President of the United Food and Commercial Workers Canada (UFCW Canada), which represents more than 250,000 workers across the country.