The Prime Minister of Canada, The Right Honourable, Justin Trudeau, will offer an official apology to Canadians who were criminally prosecuted or dismissed from service in the government and in the military, on Tuesday, November 28, 2017.
The Prime Minister will offer the apology in the House of Commons and it is expected to be the most comprehensive apology ever offered by a national government.
Some of the people who lost their jobs because they identified as LGBTQ, and are part of the class-action lawsuit, have been sent invitations to attend the House of Commons for this historic apology. The government of Canada is paying the travel and accommodation costs of those invited.
The Invitation Reads:
“On Tuesday, November 28, 2017, the Prime Minister of Canada will issue an apology to LGBTQ2 Canadians, their families, partners and communities, for unjust treatment as a result of federal legislation, programs and policy,” according to the invitation sent from Edmonton MP Randy Boissonnault, special adviser on LGBTQ issues. “On behalf of the Government of Canada, we would like to invite you to attend this public apology in person taking place in the House of Commons.”
“The Government of Canada recognizes the injustices against LGBTQ2 people and trusts that a forward-looking apology will advance Canada further along a path of equality and inclusion for all,”
Until 1992 the military had a policy of seeking out and expelling LGBTQ persons in the Canadian Armed Forces.
The apology is expected to go further by offering pardons for those who wish to have convictions for being LGBTQ expunged. A form of redress is expected. The Government of Canada has been negotiating with lawyers involved in a class-action lawsuit brought on by former members of the military.
The long journey of thousands of LGBTQ persons is being aided by a 4 million dollar fund which has been set aside to help with the process.
The NDP also wants records expunged. An apology with reparations would be meaningless says, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.
Liberal MP Randy Boissonnault has led the process for redressing the wrongs done against Canada’s LGBTQ minority community. Boissonnault has been working towards this day for three years.
500 Year Wait
The last remnant of laws against LGBTQ persons goes back to the days of Henry VIII. Justice Minister, Jody Wilson-Raybould, as part of the reconciliation process, will strike down Section 159 of the Criminal Code, which goes back almost 500 years and is the last remnant of laws that discriminated against LGBTQ persons.
It is expected that hundreds of thousands of Canadian LGBTQ2+ persons will be moved to tears when the apology is finally read in the House of Commons.
Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau has been a strong ally of the LGBTQ community for a long time, including being an ally to the community before taking office. Trudeau was the first Canadian Prime Minister to participate in a Pride Parade in Canadian history.
Sources: CBC, CTV, Global News, Globe and Mail