Speaking as a gay man, Montreal is pretty much the mecca for all-things queer in Canada. Montreal's LGBTQ+ scene is just a little more alive (and far more unique) than other cities, so it only makes sense that Montreal is going to play host to the nation's first-ever "Canada Pride."
To coincide with Montreal's 375th birthday celebrations, the LGBTQ+ festival that's going to take over the city in summer 2017 will last a full ten days.
Concerts, sporting events, conferences on LGBTQ+ rights, and a gigantic Pride Parade are already on the festival's set-list, reports the Montreal Gazette. More is definitely to come.
Montreal will only host Canada Pride for its inaugural year. A new city will be chosen to host the festival four years later, when Canada Pride is held again.
Colour us rainbow for already-excited, mostly because we simply know Justin Trudeau is going to be in the parade.
Women will lead five of Quebec's eight largest cities following the 2021 municipal elections.
The biggest headline of the night may have been Valérie Plante's triumph over old foe Denis Coderre in Montreal, but across the province, the faces of municipal politics have become more gender-balanced.
According to the latest counts and projections, France Bélisle (Gatineau), Catherine Fournier (Longueuil), Évelyne Beaudin (Sherbrooke) and Julie Dufour (Saguenay) are all also on their way to their respective (and figurative) city hall corner offices.
In Quebec City, it seemed for a while like Marie-Josée Savard would join them. Multiple outlets had even called the election for her until the vote count for her opponent surged into the evening. Bruno Marchand ultimately claimed victory.
Mayor Plante commented on the historic nature of her second mandate in her victory speech Sunday night.
"Four years ago, Montrealers elected the first woman mayor in the history of the City of Montreal," she said.
"Tonight, they told us again, 'yes, this mayor, we're going to continue to work with her, we trust her!'"
This year, for the first time, Montrealers will have two women leading the city, as Projet Montréal's Dominique Ollivier is set to take over as president of the Executive Committee.
A newly proposed Quebec bill would require transgender people to have surgery in order to change the sex on their birth certificates. Bill 2 was tabled by Minister of Justice Simon Jolin-Barrette on October 21, and it also seeks to separate "gender" and "sex" into two distinct options.
Many Quebecers — including opposition parties and activists — have taken to social media to speak out against the bill and defend the rights of the LGBTQ community.
What does this bill entail?
Aujourd’hui, nous posons les premiers jalons d’une importante réforme du droit de la famille avec le dépôt du proje… https://t.co/llKsJQJnz9
"An application for a change of the designation of sex that appears in a person's act of birth must be accompanied by [...] a certificate from the attending physician confirming that the medical treatments and surgical operations undergone by the applicant make it possible to conclude that there has been a structural alteration of the sexual organs," reads section 247 of the new bill.
In addition to proof of surgery, Quebecers who want to apply for a sex change on their birth certificate would then need to get a note from a second physician, the bill says, to confirm that the treatment was successful.
They would be given the option to add "gender identity" to their birth certificate, which doesn't require the same conditions as changing "sex," the bill says.
The Superior Court of Québec gave the province until December 31, 2021, to revise the Civil Code after finding that it discriminates against trans people — requirements this bill would need to fulfill.
Why are people speaking out against Bill 2?
Le projet de loi 2 nous ramène 15 ans en arrière.
Comptez sur moi et @QuebecSolidaire pour que le gouvernement ne… https://t.co/khlJ54fWSR
"While this condition was abolished in 2015, the Minister of Justice is going backwards by imposing it again in his current Bill 2," reads a news release from the Parti libéral du Québec.
"This is a regressive change that puts all trans people who have not had genital surgery at risk, and will force people who do not want it to have it," added Jennifer Maccarone, MP for Westmount-St. Louis and Official Opposition Critic for the LGBTQ2 community in a statement.
Manon Massé, Québec Solidaire spokesperson, posted a video to Twitter to condemn the bill.
"People from the 2SLGBTQi+ communities, trans people, intersex people are angry with the Caquiste government. Simon Jolin-Barrette is trying to pull a fast one in his new bill that will set back the rights of these people by 15 years," she said.
"I want to tell you that many of us will stand with you, and I, and Québec Solidaire in the National Assembly, will be there to ensure that your rights will not be rolled back."
What do the transgender advocates say?
The Centre for Gender Advocacy in Montreal posted on Instagram that it is "denouncing, in the most strongest terms possible and alongside the trans and intersex communities, Bill #2."
Tansfeminine activist Florence Paré, who also goes by Florence Ashley, posted the following sentiment on Facebook:
"What the fuck? The Québec government is proposing having both 'sex' and 'gender' on birth certificates and only allow people to change their 'sex' if they had genital surgeries. This is so fucking transphobic and backwards. All allies need to speak out about this LOUDLY and IMMEDIATELY. If you have any institutional weight, PUSH BACK."
The government is in the process of filling a Service Canada job bank and it's advertising salaries of between $61,152 and $65,887.
On an online recruitment page, the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) office says it needs to fill 45 benefits officer and program officer positions in Quebec and encourages qualified individuals to apply.
The only education requirement is a high school diploma.
While benefits officers review and process employment insurance applications, the government describes a wide range of duties for program officers, including coordination with local stakeholders regarding services from the ESDC.
Service Canada says it has EI processing centres and "program branches" in Montreal, Laval, Boucherville, Drummondville, Thetford Mines, Shawinigan, Quebec City and Saguenay, but that it may assign alternative workplaces to applicants who don't live in these areas.
In addition to a high school diploma, Service Canada is looking for applicants who have experience totalling six months "in delivering services or programs to the general public" or "interpreting and applying legislation or policies."
The language requirement is either French-only or French and English, depending on the position, according to the recruitment page.
Complete details about the positions available and the application process are online.
To the surprise of many, Quebec City also made the Top 10 — and it ranked higher than Montreal, with Quebec City at #4 and Montreal at #6.
This ranking looked at the cost of living, internet speeds, the percentage of young people, levels of safety, and more.
Our province may have been blessed enough to score two top spots in this ranking, but we still didn't make it to #1, which was Tokyo, Japan.
If ever you were thinking of going to study abroad, you may want to put Tokyo high on your list, considering it "ranks well in nearly all categories helping it to come out on top of the study. It has a good amount of high-ranking unis, great food options, and offers cheap tech. It has high levels of free speech and is above average for safety and high-ranking institutions."