Anniversary of the apology to LGBTQ2 Canadians

Statement

Ottawa, November 28, 2018 – The special advisor to the Prime Minister on LGBTQ2 issues, Randy Boissonnault, today issued the following statement on the anniversary of the Prime Minister’s apology to LGBTQ2 Canadians.

“It has been one year since the Prime Minister delivered his historic apology to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and two-spirit people in Canada, many of whom were present in the House of Commons on November 28, 2017.

“The Prime Minister reflected on livelihoods lost. Dignity lost. Lives lost. He spoke of persecution and prosecution. Of a Canada that shunned the very diversity we profess to embrace. Of two-spirit Indigenous values and beliefs repressed. Of generations of Canadians who had stepped forward to serve, and were denied. Of people criminalized for being themselves.

“This is our history. As the Prime Minister promised that day, it shall not be our future.

“The Government of Canada promotes an inclusive society that works for all our citizens. We support and facilitate efforts to generate greater equality and human rights worldwide.

“We are committed to engaging with and listening to vulnerable individuals. At home and abroad.

“That commitment is demonstrated by our work to redress past injustices, such as the shameful ‘LGBT Purge.’ Work is now underway to implement the reconciliation and memorialization measures following the settlement of the class action. We have taken action toward the expungement of convictions for acts that would be legal today. Since the apology, we have been working actively with communities to build capacity and network with individuals and organizations across the country to better meet the needs of LGBTQ2 Canadians. We have been out across Canada with communities to rebuild trust and to work towards putting supports and systems in place that are needed to advance further progress.

“We are extending our reach beyond our borders, actively promoting LGBTQ2 trade and promoting human rights through Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy. We are providing greater assistance and funding to refugees and to vulnerable individuals in regions of conflict. We are speaking up for human rights as co-chair of the Equal Rights Coalition.

“Our commitment to human rights is unwavering.

“As the Prime Minister said a year ago, ‘To members of the LGBTQ2 communities, young and old, here in Canada and around the world: You are loved and we support you. Canada gets a little bit stronger every day that we choose to embrace, and to celebrate, who we are in all our uniqueness. We are a diverse nation, and we are enriched by the lives, experiences and contributions of people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and two-spirit.’

“Progress made so far is a result of the courage of trailblazers past and present. Together, we commit to continue this work to ensure that our Canada is one where we are all free to be who we are.”

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