Vancouver Pride 2018: Svend Robinson and Elizabeth May both march to the beat of their own drums

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      This morning, I wandered down Thurlow Street in advance of Vancouver's Pride parade.

      And among the crowd of people getting ready to march was LGBT icon Svend Robinson.

      The former NDP MP was the first openly gay parliamentarian, coming out in the spring of 1988.

      He was also the first openly gay politician to seek the leadership of a major federal political party.

      Robinson was a keen environmentalist, twice being arrested for opposing clearcut logging.

      Once it occurred on Lyell Island in Haida Gwaii; the second time was at Clayoquot Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

      He's now a consultant with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

      When I ran into him, Robinson was swapping stories with Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth May, who's also been arrested for civil disobedience.

      Earlier this year, she was convicted of criminal contempt for violating a court injunction keeping protesters away from the gates of Kinder Morgan's Burnaby facilities.

      Robinson spends a lot of his time nowadays on Galiano Island, which makes him a constituent of May, who represents Saanich–Gulf Islands in Parliament.

      Meanwhile, Kinder Morgan is getting ready to close the deal on the sale of its pipeline operations to the federal government for $4.5 billion.

      The Trudeau Liberals also plan on completing the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project, which will lead to a seven-fold increase in tanker traffic in Burrard Inlet.

      It will also triple shipments of diluted bitumen from Alberta to Kinder Morgan's facilities in Burnaby.