Updated: Sep 24
Hundreds of thousands of individuals, including children, parents, and grandparents, gathered across the country on Wednesday to raise their voice against the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) curriculum in schools.
A large number of visible minority communities participated, including Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, and Sikh. Additionally, many supporters of the People’s Party of Canada joined the protest, making it only the federal political party to support the event.
While there was also a counter-protest organized by unions against the “1 Million March For Children,” where the counter-protesters held signs that read, "You don't own your kids" and "Don't push your hatred on our youth." They referred to the 1 Million March 4 Children protesters as "racist" and "fascist."
The 1 Million March 4 Children protest aims to stop the teaching of gender ideology in schools. They emphasize that they are not against the LGBTQ community but rather want their minor children not to be taught about gender ideology. According to the “Hands Off Our Kids” website, which organized the 1 Million March 4 Children, "This movement is mainly focused on protection of children against LGBTQIA+ ideology in the school system and not to fight back against the LGBTQ community."
Maxime Bernier, leader of the PPC, was the only federal political party leader who participated in the protest against gender ideology on Wellington Street outside the Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Meanwhile leader of the NDP, Jagmeet Singh joined the counter-protest against Million Person March organized by unions.
Leader of the People's Party of Canada, Maxime Bernier, told the 1 Million March 4 Children protesters gathered on Wellington Street outside Parliament Hill in Ottawa, “You are fighting for the future of our country.” He continued, “And I must tell you, you are starting a quiet revolution in Canada,” which was met with a resounding applause from the crowd.
He also recalled his protest against COVID-19 restrictions from two years ago, stating confidently, “We did win that battle, and we will win this battle.”
Bernier mocked the elected officials, asserting, “These establishment politicians cannot or do not have the courage to say that there are only two sexes in this country and that you can't transition.'"
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the recent protest on X, formerly called Twitter, stating that “Canada rejects transphobia, homophobia, and biphobia.” He stands firmly with the “2SLGBTQI+ community, emphasizing their value and place in our nation.”
The Premier of New Brunswick, Blaine Higgs, along with his Education Minister, Bill Hogan, were the only Premiers observed engaging in discussions with parents and children during the 1 Million 4 March for about an hour on the lawn of the N.B. legislature in Fredericton, N.B., on Wednesday.
“This situation is about parents and about the role parents play with their kids, and obviously that is not the position the others are taking,” Higgs said while talking to the media while meeting and greetings protestors on the lawn of the N.B. legislature.
“Parents want the role they play in their child’s life respected within the school system, Premier said on X, with sharing the images of protesters. “I agree. And we can do that while still providing a safe and welcoming environment for all students.”
Jagmeet Singh shared a video on his official account on Wednesday, in which he was seen carrying a rainbow-colored banner with the words 'Pride not Prejudice' written on it. He was accompanied by Union members of CUPE who were carrying CUPE flags.
Singh stated on X, "The rise of hate towards the 2SLGBTQI+ community is deeply alarming. All people deserve safety and the freedom to be who they are. Today and every day, New Democrats stand with the trans community in solidarity."
A protester carried a placard during the protest with an image that featured mathematical signs, along with the message, “Teach ABC, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, and other mathematical signs, but not LGBTQQISP2SA.”
There were no posts about protests from the Conservative Party and the Bloc Québécois’ official social media pages.
According to Stephanie Taylor, a reporter for the Canadian Press, the news agency obtained a message that was sent to members of Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre's caucus. In the message, caucus members were cautioned not to publicly discuss the protests on Parliament Hill regarding the teaching of gender ideology in schools.
In Canada, the hashtags of #1MillionMarch4Children have been trending on X since the protest began.
Bahira Abdul Salam, organizer of the 1 Million March For Children, emphasized that Parents rights must be protected. Parents are responsible for instilling values in their children and must be in charge of the values their children hold. “Cutting this link between the parents and the children is extremely dangerous.'"
Salam added that many religion and nonreligious groups are coming together to supporting this movement. “This moment is rooted in love,” she said.
“We are the majority and they are the fringe minority,” Salam said during addressing the crowd at Queen’s Park in Toronto who received a huge round of applause.
"We demand the firing of union leaders who do not support ALL the children," said Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson, an inspirational speaker and author, during the 1 Million March For Children protest on Wellington Street in Ottawa on Wednesday.
Thompson emphasized that ensuring the safety of our Christian, Muslim, and Sikh children could be achieved by removing union members who aren't loyal to our children in Canada.
Kamel El-Cheikh, a businessman and organizer of the 1 Million March 4 Children, said, “We're just starting, September 20 will be families and kids' liberation day.”
“Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Jagmeet Singh, I want to you know that we will relentless and will be unapologetic whether we are from Victoria, BC or Edmonton, Alberta, Montreal Quebec, or Ottawa, Ontario; we will defend our children and parents’ rights at all costs.”
He added that confronted Jagmeet Singh. He said, Singh "looked me in the eye and made a negative hand gesture" and he responded in a similar manner.
“You bullied our blue-collar truckers, and this white-collar guy is going to make sure you all eat your words,” referring to the Freedom Truckers Convoy that occurred last year when Trudeau invoked the Emergency Act to disrupt the protest, as El-Cheikh openly challenges Trudeau and Singh on their coalition government.
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