VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community are taking to the streets of Vancouver today in a colourful celebration of equality, and love at the Pride Parade.
But this year, a cloud of controversy still looms over the big parade, with a few prominent organizations banned from marching.
Those include UBC and the Vancouver Public Library, after they hosted a speaker opposed to SOGI 123, an LGBTQ-inclusive education resource used in B.C. schools. The Pride Society said in doing so, UBC and the VPL failed to meet the society’s criteria for participation. The society uses a scoring system when it decides whether to allow groups to participate.
UBC clubs and associations are also not permitted to officially walk today, but they can walk with other groups or as individuals.
Last year, the Vancouver Pride Society decided not to allow the Vancouver Police Department in the parade if they were in uniform and has previously barred political parties who did not sign a pro-trans rights pledge.
The Prime Minister is among those marching today. He became the first sitting PM to march in the Vancouver Pride Parade in 2016, and was back again last year. Trudeau also visited a gay bar on Davie Street when he was in Vancouver last week.
However, we still have more to do to create a place where everyone feels safe & free to express themselves.
— John Horgan (@jjhorgan) August 4, 2019
Federal NDP leader and Burnaby South MP Jagmeet Singh is attending, as is B.C. Premier John Horgan. Horgan released a statement about the event, saying:
“We march to show that love is love, and we march so everyone can feel safe and free to express themselves, no matter what their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.”
650,000 people are expected to march through the streets of Vancouver. 2019 marks Pride’s 41st anniversary in Vancouver, and the parade begins at noon.
— Nathan Durec (@ndurec) August 4, 2019
There will be multiple road closures throughout the day. Closures for the parade begin at 7 a.m. and roads will be open again by 3:30 p.m.
- Thurlow will be closed from W. Georgia to Nelson
- Alberni will be closed from Burrard to Bute
- Robson will be closed from Burrard to Denman
- Denman will be closed from W. Georgia to Beach
- And Beach will be closed from Denman to Burrard.
Local traffic should exit the West End via Nelson at Comox, Thurlow or Burnaby Street. Local traffic can enter the West End via Thurlow at Burnaby.
There are also transit reroutes to Bus #5, #6, and #23 west of Burrard.
Stick with NEWS 1130 traffic reports to avoid closure routes, every 10 minutes on the ones.
With files from Lauren Boothby and Lasia Kretzel.