2 Ottawa city councillors join Women's March on Washington

Councillors Diane Deans and Catherine McKenney took part in a Washington protest in support of gender equality that followed the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Diane Deans, Catherine McKenney protest President Donald Trump at major rally in U.S. capital

Gloucester-Southgate Councillor Diane Deans, wearing the greenish jacket, at the Women's March on Washington, Jan. 21, 2017. (Catharine Tunney/CBC)

Two Ottawa city councillors were among the hundreds of thousands of protesters at the Women's March on Washington Saturday.

The march was organized primarily by women in opposition to President Donald Trump proposed policies on women's rights.

The scope of the event was broadened to preventing a dramatic clawback in women's reproductive rights and social justice issues relating to race, religion, health care, immigration and LGBT rights.

Coun. Diane Deans said she didn't want to remain a bystander after Trump's election.

"What affects Americans, affects Canadians, it affects us all," she told CBC News. 

"I feel that through my life I have spent time trying to ensure equality for everyone and I don't want to see the clocks turn back to the 1950s."

Deans said her attendance, along with other Canadians who crossed the border, is a message to politicians north of the border.

"There's definitely an influence creeping in — you see it in the Conservative leadership race right now," she said. 

"I think this message that we're sending today that this is not okay is an important message for Canadians and the Conservative leaders to hear as well."

Conservative leadership candidates Kellie Leitch and Kevin O'Leary have both been compared to Trump. Leitch has proposed Canadian values screening for immigrants and said Trump's message should be spread in Canada.

Like Trump, O'Leary is a businessman and reality TV star, though he has distanced himself from comparisons to the president on immigration issues.

Somerset Coun. Catherine McKenney was also in Washington for the march.

She sent a series of tweets from the American capital Friday and Saturday.