Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau just apologized to Canadians who were harmed and discriminated against in the past due to anti-queer legislation.
According to New Now Next, Trudeau aimed the apology at people arrested under the “gross indecency” law, as well as those who were fired from official government positions due to their sexual orientations.
“This is the devastating story of people who were branded criminals by the government—people who lost their livelihoods, and in some cases, their lives,” he stated. “These aren’t distant practices of governments long forgotten. This happened systematically, in Canada, with a timeline more recent than any of us would like to admit.”
LIVE NOW – Official apology in the House for the state-sponsored, systemic oppression, and rejection of LGBTQ2 people: https://t.co/55bmrnw6vZ
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) November 28, 2017
The government also just announced legislation that will expunge convictions that happened because of these discriminatory laws.
“The number-one job of any government is to keep its citizens safe. And on this, we have failed LGBTQ2 people, time and time again,” Trudeau said during his apology. “It is with shame and sorrow and deep regret for the things we have done that I stand here today and say: We were wrong. We apologize. I am sorry. We are sorry.”
“Sadly, what resulted was nothing short of a witch hunt,” he continued. “Those arrested and charged were purposefully and vindictively shamed. Their names appeared in newspapers in order to humiliate them, and their families. Lives were destroyed. And tragically, lives were lost.”
The Canadian government plans to spend $145 million Canadian dollars to compensate those who were the victims of discrimination. This act should be a model for the rest of the world’s governments to follow. Way to go, Canada!