TORONTO—This week Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared his intention to publicly apologize for the Canadian government’s historic persecution of its gay citizens, including convictions of “gross indecency” laid against gay Canadians prior to 1966, and dismissals of public servants and military personnel on the grounds of sexual orientation. His apology comes in response to a series of recommendations made by Egale Canada Human Rights Trust in its Just Society Report, which was released in a press conference on Parliament Hill on June 2nd.
“This is a long-awaited moment and a very emotional moment, to be honest,” Helen Kennedy, executive director of Egale, told the Globe and Mail. “For the government to recognize the damage that it caused, the harm that it caused, to thousands and thousands of Canadians is a historic moment for our communities.”
In the Just Society Report Egale made further recommendations to the Prime Minister, including a request that all police and justice workers in Canada be required to receive human rights training with emphasis on the treatment of sexual minorities, that procedures be taken to protect the dignity of Canada’s transgender and intersex people living within the prison system, and that compensation be made to those who have suffered from the Canadian Government’s past persecution. Egale has learned that the Prime Minister intends to take action on each of these recommendations.
This pending apology is the latest in a series of encouraging events in which the Prime Minister has demonstrated a willingness to work in support of Canada’s LGBTQ community. Egale is eager for Mr. Trudeau to make his apology, and wishes to extend any assistance needed in administering further recompense to Canada’s LGBTQI2S people.
About Egale Canada Human Rights Trust:
Egale Canada Human Rights Trust is Canada’s only national charity promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans (LGBT) human rights through research, education and community engagement.
For more information, contact:
Helen Kennedy Executive Director
Egale Canada Human Rights Trust