Protecting our rights and keep progressing

  • National Newswatch

Recently we have been peppered with news from different parts of Canada and the USA regarding rights of the 2SLGBTQI+ community being threatened or revoked.  Over the last decades much progress has been made, why would we tolerate any idea that would send us backwards?Too many times in our collective human history we have witnessed human rights being taken away and we have stayed silently in shock about what was going on.  We cannot stay silent anymore. This government has known that for quite some time, and while they are accused of being too preachy at times on the world stage and they are reminded that we have still a lot of work to do in our own backyard about how we treat our indigenous communities, they are absolutely right in pointing out inequalities when they arise.We are not a perfect country, but we are not broken either, we work on our differences, and we try to make each other better.  When a group of individuals threatens the rights of others we must stand together, educate the masses on what is being done and if leaders who are supporting these movements cannot learn, then we must do what we can to use our most powerful tool and vote against them. If communities that are against progress are being loud and catching the attention of leaders and governments elected officials, then we must be louder.  Our leaders need to know that these groups do not speak for the majority.  When the rights of our Trans kids are being threatened in New Brunswick, our Prime Minister and others like Senator Cormier are completely right, we need to say something and not remain silent.To quote our Prime Minister, we are stronger as a community because of our differences not in spite of them. A long time ago PM Trudeau and I met with a group of leaders at a mosque in Montreal. Before we entered the meeting, I suggested he should not bring up our political party's support for same-sex marriages, I was wrong to do so, and I'm sure glad he didn't listen. They appreciated his candor on the issue and while they might not have the same belief, they accepted that he would also defend their rights just as passionately. This belief that we all must accept each other is not something that came recently to him, it has been there all along.Last week I learned that there was a 'quiet protest' in the French Public School Board (CEPEO) where parents were encouraged to keep their kids at home in order not to celebrate Pride Month. In my son's class three students were in attendance that day, including him. As we compare websites of the different school boards, CEPEO does not mentioned any celebration or even refer to the 2SLGBTQI+ community, however the English school board and the catholic school board both make it visible and celebrate pride month. This is troubling and scary when it comes to parenting a kid with gay parents. We did not face these issues in previous school years, and we are left to reflect on why this is happening now.I understand that COVID may have forced us over the last few years to concentrate on our own circle of friends and family, our bubble, but it has also given strength to a group of people who are looking to disturb our society and restrict what should be accepted. They are doing it with messages that are covered in anger and hate. They are loud and some leaders, again, believe that they are large enough to help them attain power.  Someone once told me that when you tolerate someone you acknowledge that they can be there, breathe the same air as you as long as it doesn't impact you too much.  When you accept someone, you understand that they might change things for you, but they might, just might make you better. We need to make ourselves better, we need to accept our different cultures, accept how we live and who we love. This is how we keep building a country for the future, how we make sure that we all thrive together. I sure hope that one day we will not have to fight those fights but until then you can show your acceptance and love on June 25th in Toronto, July 23rd in Halifax, August 6th in Vancouver August 13th in Montreal, August 27th in Ottawa September 3rd in Calgary.Happy Pride!Louis-Alexandre is a long time Parliament Hill staffer where he served as Executive Assistant to the Right Hon. Justin Trudeau and Campaign Manager for Papineau