Trudeau, Irish leader march in Montreal Pride parade

MONTREAL — Justin Trudeau marched with his Irish counterpart in Montreal’s Pride parade on Sunday, marking the first time a foreign head of government has joined a prime minister in a Canadian Pride celebration.

Trudeau waved a rainbow flag and occasionally danced, while Irish leader Leo Varadkar walked beside him and waved to the crowds that lined the street.

At an earlier news conference, Trudeau highlighted the importance of working with foreign allies to continue the fight towards greater equality.

“For all that we celebrate here in Canada, there is a lot of work to do around the world, and we need to build up our allies and stand together strongly for rights, for opportunities and for the values we know unite our countries.”

Varadkar, who is Ireland’s first openly gay prime minister, said more progress is needed in areas such as sexual health and the prevention of homophobic bullying.

He added Canada and Ireland have a responsibility to work together to advance the cause of equal rights in areas of the world where they are under threat.

“I think Ireland and Canada have a lot in common,” he said.

“What we have most in common that we are countries that understand that diversity is our strength and our differences make us better.”

The two prime ministers were joined in the parade by Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, Bloc Quebecois leader Martine Ouellet, and a number of federal and provincial politicians.

Trudeau donned white jeans and a light blue shirt and carried a flag as he shouted “Happy Pride!” flanked by Varadkar, Couillard, and Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre.

At an earlier event Sunday, Trudeau said that the celebration is representative of the kind of place Canada is, in contrast with an anti-immigration rally in Quebec City.

He says a small “angry, frustrated group of racists” don’t get to define Canada or change its core values.

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