Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has approved a dollar coin to celebrate the gay rights and commemorate the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada.
The dates 1969 and 2019 will be on the coin, as well as the word ‘equality’ in English and French. . The Mint refused to provide an image or information about the new coin — including its release date and the artist’s name — saying it wants to “maximize the impact” of the official launch.
The coin’s approval follows new legislation that came into force last June, as part of Justin Trudeau’s 2017 apology to Gay and Lesbian Canadians for past acts of discrimination by the authorities.
Homosexuality was legalized in 1969 while Justin Trudeau’s father, Pierre Trudeau, was prime minister. The elder Trudeau had earlier declared as justice minister that “there’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.”
The Canadian government has tabled [introduced] a bill that will allow people convicted of historical same-sex offences to have their criminal records expunged.
Proposed legislation aims to correct a “historical injustice” now recognized as the criminalization of same-sex activity by consenting adults, effectively removing from the record convictions that would today be inconsistent with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The announcement is part of a historic apology that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will deliver in the House of Commons at 3 p.m. ET today. CBCNews.ca will carry it live, followed by a news conference with six cabinet ministers with affected files and the prime minister’s special adviser on LGBT issues.
He will formally apologize for actions the government took against thousands of workers in the Canadian military and public service in the 1950s to the 1990s, including thousands who were fired because of their sexuality as part of a “national security” purge.
While many websites are reporting the apology is aimed at the “LGBTQA2”, community to keep this in a historical perspective the majority of those who suffered under the purge were gay men and lesbians.
Canada has discreetly granted asylum to 31 gay men from Chechnya working with the NGO Rainbow Railroad, a clandestine program unique in the world.
The evacuations, spearheaded by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Kimahli Powell, executive director of the Toronto-based NGO said in a Facebook message on Friday that his organization had been able to help 31 gay men leave Russia and be granted asylum in Canada.
The program has been a closely held secret within the government for months. Non-governmental organizations that were involved have also kept silent, for fear that any leaks could imperil the people they were trying to help.
“Canada accepted a large number of people who are in great danger, and that is wonderful,” said Tanya Lokshina, Russian program director for Human Rights Watch, a New York-based organization, in a telephone interview. “The Canadian government deserves much praise for showing such openness and goodwill to provide sanctuary for these people. They did the right thing.”
In April, Justin Trudeau and the Canadian government strongly condemned persecution of homosexuals in Chechnya.
Canada is not the only country to accept gay refugees from Chechnya and other countries in the region. France has accepted at least one person, as has Germany, and two are in Lithuania. An undetermined number of individuals have traveled to European Union countries on tourist visas, and then applied for refugee status.
At this point in time the United States has done nothing.
According to a recent Jasmin Roy Foundation survey “LGBT Realities”, 13% of the Canadian population identifies as belonging to to the LGBT community.
Eighty-one percent of LGBT respondents say that Canadian society has shown a willingness to make efforts to integrate people from LGBT communities. Also, 73% of Canadians strongly or somewhat agree that much remains to be done to stop homophobic behavior and the bullying of members of the LGBT community, encouraging news for future work to be done at various institutions.
“The results of this survey will be used to help organizations and governmental bodies implement action plans to better meet the needs of young people in this community and foster settings that are more positive, caring and supportive of integration in educational and workplace settings,” says Jasmin Roy, founder of the Fondation Jasmin Roy.
Other results include:
Fifty-four percent of respondents from the LGBT community feel that their life will be or has been more difficult than that of a person not part of a sex or gender minority.
Forty percent of respondents from LGBT groups say they have experienced discrimination. In 40% of cases, this discrimination occurred at work (21% indicate they were fired, forced to quit or turned down for a job), while 13% were discriminated against in a public setting and 9% at school.
8% of respondents from LGBT groups felt that the available support and assistance resources were insufficient. They would like to benefit from:
Support organizations, resources and visible and accessible networks in their communities, neighbourhoods and schools (26%).
Clear and accessible information on sexual and gender identity in educational settings, libraries and on the internet (20%).
Greater access to role models with diverse sexual orientations and gender identities to guide them (19%).
Forty-six percent of LGBT respondents say they are poorly represented in the media. Sixty-nine percent would like to see less stereotyped representations, and 66% would like to see greater diversity in the types of people from LGBT communities represented in fiction or the media in general.
Still its better than America and they have Justin Trudeau.
In doing so, Canada will join countries like the UK, AustraliaLater this year, the Canadian government is expected to apologize to all those in the federal civil service, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the CAF who were subjected to a campaign of interrogation and harassment from the 1950s to the 1990s because of their sexuality.
During the Cold War, gay men and lesbians in the civil service and the military were believed to pose a security risk, vulnerable to blackmail by Soviet agents.
Official figures are hard to come by, but hundreds of people are believed to have lost their jobs over the course of some four decades. Others were demoted, transferred or denied promotions.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the government will not only issue the formal apology but will expunge the records of people criminalized for their sexuality.
Liberal MP Randy Boissonnault, Trudeau’s special advisor on LGBTQ2 issues, says he has heard many “heartbreaking” stories like Thwaites and Bernie’s and says it is “critical” for the government to acknowledge past wrongs.
“It’s the right thing to do,” Boissonnault says. “People’s lives and careers were turned upside down.”
The apology is planned for this year, as many civil servants and former military personnel who were targeted are advancing in age.
“We can’t move forward as a country, we can’t move forward as a community, until this is done.”
Fulfilling a campaign pledge, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced legislation on Thursday to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Canada. Many nations have either decriminalized marijuana, allowed it to be prescribed medically or effectively stopped enforcing laws against it. However, if you don’t want maijuana, then you can have purchase vaporizers. But when Mr. Trudeau’s bill passes as expected, Canada will become only the second nation, after Uruguay, to completely legalize marijuana as a consumer product.
The government’s plan has been broadly shaped by a panel of experts, but many issues still need to be worked out before legal sales can begin. Each of Canada’s provinces will need to decide exactly how the drug will be distributed and sold within its boundaries. The government will have to develop the marijuana equivalents of breathalyzers and a blood alcohol standard, so that drivers can be checked for impairment at the roadside and workers can be tested for safety on the job.
As early as this autumn, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will apologize on behalf of all Canadians to those who were imprisoned, fired from their jobs or otherwise persecuted in the past because of their sexuality.
That apology is a key element in a broad range of reforms that will collectively represent one of the greatest advances for sexual minorities in Canada’s history.
“This is a long-awaited moment and a very emotional moment, to be honest,” said Helen Kennedy, executive director of Egale, a national organization that advocates for the rights of sexual minorities. “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.”
Oh Canada and Justin? Please adopt me. I’ll even do the ironing.
President Barack Obama didn’t hold back in his final speech at the White House correspondents’ dinner firing barbs at himself, Donald Trump, Justin Trudeau, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz.
Watch President Obama’s full final WCD speech below:
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will posthumously pardon Everett George Klippert who was investigated by police in connection with an arson in the 1960’s and was deemed innocent but voluntarily admitted to having had consensual homosexual sex with four separate adult men. He was then arrested and charged with four counts of “gross indecency” and was deemed a dangerous sexual offender and sent to prison indefinitely for “preventive detention”.
“The prime minister intends to recommend that a pardon under the authority of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy be granted posthumously to Mr. Klippert,” Trudeau’s office said in a media release.
The move was cheered Sunday by gay-rights advocates. “It’s fantastic that he’ll get a posthumous pardon,” lawyer Doug Elliott told CBC News.
As well, the statement said the Liberal government will also look to see whether pardons are “warranted” after reviewing the cases of other individuals who in the past were convicted on charges such as gross indecency and buggery.
“As Canadians, we know that protecting and promoting fundamental human rights must be an imperative for governments and individuals alike, and this includes gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation,” the weekend statement said.
Trudeau’s office credited Klippert’s case for being “instrumental” in Canada’s decision to decriminalize homosexual acts between consenting adults.
And Klippert was……..
Klippert appealed to the Court of Appeal for the Northwest Territories; his appeal was dismissed. He then appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada; his appeal was dismissed in a controversial 3-2 decision that sent many in the country into an uproar.
The day after Klippert’s conviction was upheld, New Democratic Party leader Tommy Douglas invoked Klippert’s name in the Canadian House of Commons, stating that homosexuality should not be considered a criminal issue. Within six weeks, Pierre Trudeau (Justin Trudeau’s father) presented the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1968-69 ( an omnibus bill which decriminalized homosexual acts between consenting adults. The law passed, and homosexuality was decriminalized in Canada in 1969.
Klippert, however, remained in prison until July 21, 1971 when he was finally released.
Everett George Klippert lived 25 more years as a free, openly gay man before his death from kidney disease in 1996.