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Politicians put differences aside for annual Lunar New Year parade

Last Updated Feb 18, 2018 at 12:57 pm PDT

Vancouver Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown. (Hana Mae Nassar, NEWS 1130 Photo)

Leaders of all party stripes come together for annual Lunar New Year Parade in Vancouver

Thousands enjoy the sun and celebrate the Year of the Dog in Chinatown

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Tens of thousands of people lined the streets of Chinatown in Vancouver to celebrate the Lunar New Year Parade.

Political leaders, on both civil and provincial levels, dressed in traditional garb to participate in the festivities.

Among those in attendance were BC Premier John Horgan, BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.

For many the highlights of the parade include the firecrackers, costumes, giant dragons and even the candy, however, for Minister of Advanced Education, Melanie Mark, it’s always about community and embracing diversity.

“It’s about family. It’s about the Year of the Dog, loyalty, hard work, determination — which I hope is what I hope our government stands for.”

Standing side-by-side, at one point, with leaders from other parties, Mark adds culture is unifying. “I didn’t get into politics to tow party lines and I don’t think many of us did. I think we got into politics because we want to make our communities better.”

Robertson, who is marking his last year as mayor of Vancouver, was handing out envelopes of candy. He says he looks forward to this day every year. “It’s my favourite part. All these wonderful people and just seeing all this great Chinese culture here on the streets of Vancouver.”

Horgan stopped for a moment to speak to reporters. “The Year of the Rooster was pretty good to me personally and I’m hopeful the Year of the Dog brings hope, prosperity and health to all British Columbians.”

People of all ages gathered to celebrate the New Year and as for what made this year’s parade different the last — there was a lot more sun.