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Thousands brave the weather for Montreal's Fete Nationale Parade

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Thousands braved the weather on Monday for Montreal's annual Fete Nationale (St-Jean Baptiste) Day parade near the Olympic Stadium.

High winds made it difficult to assemble some floats, and organizers had to leave others out.

"Between the wind, floats, trailers and paricipants, we had some security concerns and we were able to keep some elements that could withstand the wind," said parade organizer Richard Blackburn.

The parade on Rachel Street in the Rosemont-la-Petite-Patrie borough opened by honouring the Indigenous people living in Quebec, who have been here long before the establishment of the province.

Henriette Mvondo of Bienvenue a l'Immigrant said the parade also provided a great chance to show some of the newer faces in Quebec.

"This is why I'm very proud to be Canadian because this is like everybody's welcome," she said.

Immigration has been debated in Quebec for years with the governing CAQ government of Francois Legault promising to lower levels.

Federal Minister Marc Miller said, however, that he is fed up with people blaming newcomers for issues like Quebec's housing crisis.

"I'm not talking politics today," he said on Monday. "I think the future is really bright for Quebecers. Obviously, we have to have a reasonable discussion and a rational discussion about where we see ourselves going as a country, as Canada, and what Quebec's place in it is."

While Miller shied away from politics, Parti Quebecois Leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon said it's a key part of the St-Jean Baptiste celebration.

"It is naturally a political statement because we all gather and we all say 'we're Quebecers,'" he said. 

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