Yesterday, the Prime Minister of Canada rose in the House of Commons to apologize to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, and Two-Spirit (LGBTQ2) Canadians.
This apology recognized the Government’s role in the persecution and mistreatment of our communities through laws, policies, and other methods such as intimidation and fear. In summary the statement specifically apologized to those who were unjustly fired and mistreated in the civil service, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and military; those who were subject to Canada’s “buggery”, “gross indecency”, and bawdy house laws, and; Indigenous LGBTQ and two-spirit people being persecuted and silenced as a result of rigid colonial norms. The apology also touched on many important themes and issues of the past, and ongoing ones.
In connection with this apology, the Government has moved on two specific actions. First, legislation has been introduced to expunge all historically unjust convictions. This allows for survivors, as well as surviving spouses, parents, siblings, children or legal representatives to apply for expungement. Second, a $145-million compensation fund has been created. This fund will be used to compensate those “purged” from the public service and will also have a portion dedicated to creating memorials and education.
These are vital to achieving justice for LGBTQ2 Canadians, however, we would be remised if we did not acknowledge other steps we must take. Actions include fully lifting the blood ban, protecting Intersex (I) people from non-consensual and medically unnecessary operations, changing laws that criminalize HIV non-disclosure, greater funding for LGBTQI2 initiatives, and more.
Fierté Simcoe Pride welcomes this long-awaited apology. We hope that it will shed light on Canada’s history and serve as a reminder of the work left ahead.
We thank the We Demand an Apology Network, Egale Canada (authors of The Just Society Report), and the countless organizations and activists who made this possible. It is because of their tireless research. advocacy and work that we have come this far.
Finally, we want to thank John Brassard, Member of Parliament for Barrie—Innisfil, and colleagues for welcoming us to Parliament to witness this historic event. It is through continued collaboration with leaders at all levels of government that we will continue to make our communities safer and more inclusive.
Apology Text (Prime Minister only): https://goo.gl/sKgGi3
Apology Video (Prime Minister and party leaders): youtube.com/watch?v=wM0yZP-g3a4
Pour cette déclaration en français: Excuses envers les canadien.ne.s LGBTQ2
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Trans Day of Remembrance
Today is the eighteenth annual Trans Day of Remembrance (TDOR), which was founded in 1999 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith to memorialize the murder of trans woman Rita Hester in Allston, Massachusetts. This day of remembrance has grown to international recognition as a way to honour the memory of trans and gender diverse people who have been lost as a result of anti-trans violence, fear, and hatred.
Today, we remember the 325 trans people that have been murdered globally in the last year as well as those who remain unreported. This includes at least 25 people in Canada and the United States, 21 of which were people of colour.  Since documentation began in 2008, at least 2609 trans people have been lost. Most concerning is that trans people of colour and sex workers are overrepresented in these numbers. 
Recognizing this day, we continue in this intersectional movement and stand with our trans community to work towards safer and more inclusive communities both here and abroad.
TDOR Events in Simcoe and Muskoka
We encourage attendance at the events hosted by Barrie Pride, The Gilbert Centre, and Muskoka Pride.
Please note that the monthly Coffee Meet in Barrie will be happening as scheduled today. TDOR can be a day filled with heavy emotions, so we offer the meet as a space for those who cannot participate in TDOR events or would like a space to recuperate and be with community.
Today we honour the sacrifice of our veterans and those who continue to serve. Remembrance Day would not be complete without also remembering those LGBT veterans who served our country, were and are targeted because of their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
This November 11, consider the contributions of those who were targeted, “discharged with ignominy” or had their “service terminated,” lest their sacrifices be forgotten. #RememberThem
En français ci-dessous
Jour du Souvenir
Aujourd'hui, nous honorons le sacrifice de nos anciens combattants et de ceux qui continuent de servir. Le jour du Souvenir ne serait pas complet si nous ne nous souvenons pas des anciens combattants LGBT qui ont servi notre pays, qui étaient et continuent d'être ciblés en raison de leur orientation sexuelle, identité de genre et expression de genre.
Ce 11 novembre, considérons les contributions de ceux qui ont été ciblés, «renvoyés avec ignominie» ou ont fait cesser leur «service», de peur que leurs sacrifices ne soient oubliés. #Nelesoubliezpas
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