Nova Scotia

Maritimers rally in support of Women's March on Washington

People wearing pink hats and hoisting signs reading 'The Future is Female' and 'Make America Kind Again' sang, chanted and cheered together in many Maritime cities.

Marches began as response to U.S. President Donald Trump's win, but issues have since broadened

A man and woman share a moment as demonstrators gather in support of the Women's March on Washington in Halifax. (Darren Calabrese/Canadian Press)

People turned out in droves in many Maritime cities Saturday for solidarity rallies held in support of the Women's March on Washington.

Though it began as a specific response to U.S. President Donald Trump's election win, the march has since broadened its scope to social justice issues relating to race, religion, health care, immigration and LGBT rights.

More than 1,000 people gathered in Halifax for a rally at the Grand Parade in the city's downtown.

Charlotte Harrison (left) and Lindsey Ward (right) are attending the Halifax rally. (Submitted by Emma Norton)

People wearing pink hats and hoisting signs reading "The Future is Female" and "Make America Kind Again" sang, chanted and cheered together for nearly two hours.

'We are all feminists'

"I came here today because the election had me feeling despondent, said Wendy MacAskill of Sackville, N.S. "On behalf of the girls and women in my family, I felt it was my duty to come here today — be active and involved and aware."

Amanda Noade of Saint John was in the Halifax crowd with two young children.

"We are all feminists and we believe there's still lots of work to be done," she said.

Wade MacIntyre said he was standing in solidarity with his wife and daughter.

"The actions of Donald Trump as expressed through his words scare me," he said. "I think they're endangering women and women's rights."

Something hopeful

El Jones, a former poet laureate for Halifax, was one of the speakers.

"We are the bosses called bitches for our ambition. We run the whole office and are called assistants," she said as the crowd cheered.

Dawn Ferris, one of the rally's organizers, told Radio-Canada the attendance was beyond her expectations. She believes people wanted something hopeful to participate in after being devastated by the U.S. election results.

Rhetoric has 'seeped into' Canada

During last year's presidential campaign there were accusations of sexual misconduct against Trump, and he came under attack from those who felt some of his comments toward women were disrespectful.

Ferris said the new president's rhetoric about women and minority groups is troubling for Canada.

"One might believe that this is focused on the states, but the language of the divisive and hateful nature of the Trump campaign has actually seeped into our political conversations with the Kellie Leitches and the Kevin O'Learys, the extremists, and we have to make sure that we don't let that happen here," she said.

Events throughout Maritimes

Events were also happening in Fredericton, Saint John, Moncton, Charlottetown and Sydney, as well as smaller communities including Wolfville and Digby.

A large crowd gathered in in Saint John.

A rally was held in Fredericton.

People gathered outside Province House in Charlottetown.

A rally planned for St. John's, N.L., was moved to a virtual platform because of a blizzard there.

Demonstrations were planned in every major Canadian city as well as many smaller centres. Organizers said 30 events in all had been organized across Canada.

There are also hundreds of protest marches organized in more than 30 other countries.

The statue of former prime minister Sir John A. Macdonald in Charlottetown was adorned with a rally cap Saturday. (Stephanie Kelly/CBC)

With files from CBC's Allison Devereaux, The Canadian Press and Radio-Canada