two crusading gay rights activists, just like the prime minister and the Governor
General, have advisors at their disposal, amass documents for release at the most
politically potent time and, when necessary, pull out bullett proof vests and
heavy, rented muscles to ward off the unfriendly opposition" The
Ottawa Citizen, June 12, 2021
Joe Varnell and Kevin Bourassa in front of Canada's Peace Tower and the House
is doubtful if any human rights cause could find more effective spokesmen than
Bourassa and Varnell." The Ottawa Citizen, June 12, 2021
woke up in Turin, Italy, at 6:30 in the morning, five hours after we got back
to our hotel following another late-night Piedmont dinner. Groaning at the thought
of a full day of travel after inadequate sleep we pulled ourselves out of bed
and began packing, promising each other (as we always do) that "next time
we won't pack quite so much".
hour and six pieces of luggage later, we were whizzing down the road, leaving
the winding streets of Turin behind. We hung around the Amsterdam airport for
an hour before boarding a plane to follow the sun across the Atlantic to Toronto.
Grateful to see sunshine, we changed terminals and caught one last plane in the
late-afternoon to Ottawa, capital of Canada. Its fitting that our Canadian book
tour begins in this city, as it is the place where our struggle begins and ends.
the time we arrived at the Arc Hotel, we were exhausted, to say the least. You
can imagine how quickly we agreed
to surrender our luggage to the young man who greeted our cab outside the hotel.
Joe and I were welcomed at the reception desk with a glass of sparkling wine which
we carried up to our room. The room's modern furnishings and treatments aimed
to relax and soothe the guest. The stereo was tuned to a jazz station. Somewhere
Over The Rainbow was playing. No kidding. We were home.
shower, another glass of wine with dinner in bed, and we fell into the deepest,
most comfortable sleep imagineable until, our 5:00 a.m. wake-up call. Our first
appointment was at 6:15 a.m.:
The New RO's Breakfast
Interview with The Ottawa Citizen's Paul Gessell at the Chateau Laurier
It was fitting that the first day of our Canadian book tour began in Ottawa, our
nation's capital. It is where, ultimately, our fate will be decided, at the Supreme
Court of Canada, because our politicians, hiding in the citadel on the hill, lack
the courage to honour our rights and freedoms.
to Stephanie Gowan (Doubleday) and Valerie Fletcher for making our first day a
success. We look forward to our return to this city!
Canada's Famous Five forced the Canadian government to
recognize women as persons, and therefore gain the right to vote. Kevin Bourassa
stands in solidarity and hope that GLBTs will also one day enjoy full equality
and end government discrimination.