In April 2015 a group of downtown conservatives discussed participating in Pride 2015. For too long Pride had been largely ignored by both the federal and provincial party. We wanted to change that and show that conservatives support the LGBT community.
The PCPO Trinity-Spadina Riding Association took the initiative to spearhead this ambitious project and brought together a great group of Party activists from across Toronto under the name of LGBTory to make it happen. Momentum grew over the course of two months. We started with ten people at our first meeting and ended up with over 50 people walking in the pride parade.
Leading up to Pride weekend, a number of Federal and Provincial EDA donated $500.00 each to fund the project. We had volunteers staffing, for the first time ever our LGBTory booth for the entire Pride weekend. The rainy weather did not dampen our spirits.
The public reaction was amazing and welcoming. Our booth drew in a lot of people who were pleased to see our presence and were interested to talk to us about how to defeat the Wynne government.
Our provincial leader, Patrick Brown came out to march with us along with MPPs Lisa McLeod and Jack McLaren. Former Minister of Labour Kellie Leitch and M.P. Bernard Trottier joined us as well as representing our federal cousins.
There were a number of federal CPC candidates who marched with us: Karim Javrij, Julian DiBatista, Sabrina Zuniga, and Ben Dichter. The media response was positive. Sue Ann Levy congratulated Patrick for being present and visible during the festivities (See: Important for PC Leader Patrick Brown to join Pride parade). And, Ashley Csanady of the National Post recognized Patrick for his bold move.
Overall our Pride involvement was a huge success, and a truly positive step for the direction of our Party. A big thank you to all those who helped and particularly those people from our very own Trinity-Spadina association and the LGBTory working group. We want to thank the following Ontario PC Party Riding Associations: Trinity-Spadina,Toronto Centre, St Paul’s, Eglinton Lawrence, Don Valley East, Willowdale, Scarborough-Southwest, York West, and Parkdale High Park. We also want to thank the following CPC EDAs: University-Rosedale, Toronto Centre, St. Paul’s and Parkdale High Park. All of these associations contributed financially and made the event a great success.
We look forward to seeing all of you out next year!
By Roberta Scott and Sam Goldstein