As the climate change situation continues to worsen, people find themselves more and more inclined to make their voices heard and speak up about the environment before it's too late. On Saturday, September 26, another Montreal climate march occured to raise awareness on the issue.
Attended by about 1,000 people, the demonstration started at Place du Canada at 1 p.m. and ended roughly at about 2 p.m.
"We are marching today because there's work to do. Our world is in danger, our communities are in danger."
"If we don't make systematic changes to the way we heal our trauma, deal with issues such as climate change, racialized people, migrant workers, and our most vulnerable communities, we won't have a future we can recognize," says Elijah Olise co-spokesperson for The Racial Justice Collective and Defund the Police Coalition.
The event took place almost one year after the initial climate change march on September 27, 2019. Led by Swedish climate change activist, Greta Thunberg, and attended by an estimated 500,000 people, it was the largest protest in Quebec's history.
"The major goal was to say it's a year later, but we've grown as a community. There was sense of urgency among the group, even though we're in code orange, it showed that people realize that this is an urgent matter and we need to act NOW," Olise said.
"Francois and the government are decision-makers, but not knowledge holders. They need to make decisions for our futures, that they aren't even going to be there for."
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Police services in Sherbrooke held a press conference this past Thursday to explain how first responders mistakenly threw away the charred body of a woman into a dumpster at a nearby police station. First responders on the scene believed the body to be a silicone mannequin.
At approximately 10:04 a.m. on July 23, the SPCIS was called to a fire in a wooded area at the intersection of Rue Roy and Rue Cabana. Witnesses reportedly saw a person burning a silicone dummy.
Sherbrooke police were called to assist — within minutes of their arrival, both agencies decided to dispose of what appeared to be a dummy in the SPS garbage disposal, which is not accessible to the public.
At approximately 2:15 p.m., a man in psychological distress contacted the SPS to report his wife missing.
After launching an investigation, the SPS used the woman's cellphone signal to locate her car, which was found on Rue Cabana, near where the fire first responders had located the same morning.
"At approximately 6:30 p.m., the decision was made to retrieve the alleged mannequin to see if it was contributing to the search," said Danny McConnell, Sherbrooke police chief.
After recovering the alleged mannequin, responders realized that the body belonged to that of the missing 64-year-old woman — she reportedly died by suicide upon setting herself on fire, though an investigation is still ongoing.
The Sûreté du Québec have reportedly been asked to assist the coroner's office in the investigation of the woman's death.
"We take the situation very seriously," said SPCIS director Stéphane Simoneau.
"I am personally committed to getting to the bottom of this intervention, which is unusual, to say the least, perhaps shocking."
But don't expect a typical Montreal Pride Parade complete with vehicles, floats, dancers, and all the usual festivities. According to a press release, the current health context does not allow for a traditional parade.
However, Montréal Pride says holding a march "returns to the roots of the Pride movement by handing back the public space to participating communities," specifically focusing on amplifying the voices of diverse sexual and gender communities that were "made close to invisible" during the pandemic.
"The first demonstration in favor of the Montréal 2SLGBTQI+ communities’ rights was held in 1979, organised by the Pink Brigade [...] with 52 marchers participating," said Jean-François Perrier, interim director of the Montréal Pride Festival, in a statement.
"It is therefore with great pride that we confirm [...] a unifying activity open to all that will allow the advocacy and community aspects of the festival to shine."
The Pride March will take place on August 15 and will depart from Jeanne-Mance Park at 1 p.m.
Courtesy of BLUSH: Lesbian Party MTL Courtesy of BLUSH: Lesbian Party MTL
Montreal has all kinds of different bars, but these changemakers say many of them fall short in making space for LGBTQIA2+ women. For this reason, Avery Burrow, event organizer, and Resto Keela teamed up to create 5 à 7s for LGBTQIA2+ women that take place twice a month.
The events were created for members of the LGBTQ2S+ community to connect. According to Burrow, "queer women can actually have a reoccurring space where they can meet each other, flirt, make friends, and feel safe," at these new 5 à 7s.
Keela has a cute wooden terrasse located on rue Atateken with a beautiful spacious interior. These events are set to take place every first and third Wednesday of the month for the entirety of the summer and all LGBTQIA2+ women are welcome.
"[It was] better than I ever could have imagined! [...] And the wildest part about it was that I knew almost no one there (insert joke about how the queer community is super small and we've all dated)," Burrow said when asked how the first event went.
"Also the age range was awesome — from 18-year-olds attending their first queer event to women in their 70s catching up with old friends. This is how a lesbian space should feel; welcoming to all ages, gender expressions, and ethnicities."
During the events, you can get a pint of beer for $5 and any speed rail drink for $6.
5 à 7 For LGBTQIA2+ Women At Keela
Address: Resto Keela; 1237, rue Atateken, Montreal, QC
When: Every first and third Wednesday of the month throughout the summer, starting at 5 p.m.