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Thunder Bay Pride Month kicks off at city hall - (CJ Goater/Acadia Broadcasting)

Pride Month kicks off with flag raising at city hall

By CJ Goater May 31, 2024 | 6:39 PM

Pride Month has kicked off with a flag raising at city hall.

This year’s pride theme is “Rise Up.”

“We need to rise up together to provide a strong voice for all of the superior region that equity, dignity, respect, mental and physical healthcare should not be a political standpoint,” explained The Chair of the Board of the Thunder Pride Association Scotia Kauppi. “They are human rights.”

There are more events than ever this year with more than 30 events in 31 days, including the flag-raising and the pride parade’s return

Mayor Ken Boshcoff and Councillor Casey Etreni were present to declare June Pride Month in Thunder Bay.

MPP Patty Hadju was also present and she reminded those in attendance where the pride movement has come from.

“The pride marches weren’t celebrations, they were fights,” explained Hadju.

“There were often, experiences of violence in, those very acts of those early parades and those early protests, they were in fact protests, and for me, I can’t think of more important work than the work that Rainbow Collective and Thunder Pride are doing here in the region and here in our community and the many other pride organizations are doing around this country in partnership with many other organizations that focus on inclusion of the most vulnerable voices in our communities.”

Outgoing Rainbow Collective President Jason Veltri took a minute to address the lack of political support from the provincial and federal conservatives.

“We are not going to be silenced by their hatred, we reject regression into the shadows of the past,” said Veltri. “Will you stand with me in demanding accountability from Eric (Mellilo – Kenora MP), from his leadership, from his party and advocating for stronger repeat repercussions for those who seek to harm us?”

Veltri has already announced his retirement, but he expects to remain involved in the community and has hope for the future. “Our mission isn’t complete as I pass the torch to the next generation, I do so with pride and optimism for the future. I trust that they’ll continue to fight in the same fever that has defined our community for generations.”

For more information on upcoming Pride Month events click here.