Some Canada Day celebrations go on while parts of Montreal cancel as show of solidarity

Despite calls to cancel celebrations and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, scaled back Canada Day events were still held in parts of Montreal on Thursday.

In Pierrefonds-Roxboro, the borough held its first ever drive-through Canada Day parade. Each family stayed in their own car or on a train, following a circuit that led them through this year's floats.

“The parade doesn't snake its way through the community. The community snakes its way through the event,” said Mayor Jim Beis.

Beis noted that Canada Day could not just be about festivities, but Canadians must be “conscious of the fact we are dealing with some terrible tragedies across Canada we can never forget.”

As a show of solidarity with Indigenous communities, other parts of the city called off their planned events. In Lachine, the annual fireworks display was cancelled, with Mayor Maya Vodanovic saying “Kahnawake is our neighbours. They're right across the water, so it would be indecent to celebrate.”

The City of Montreal itself doesn't usually organize Canada Day events. Mayor Valerie Plante said she hopes Canadians who did celebrate would take time to reflect.

“We need to recognize that it's part of us now. We can't erase it, we can't say it didn't exist. I think that today we can celebrate while having that in mind.”

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