Canada’s unions are welcoming today’s apology for the so-called National Security purge that saw the decades-long government-sanctioned and systematic persecution of LGBTQ2SI workers.
“This is a good day for Canada’s LGBTQ2SI workers, and for all those who tirelessly pushed for justice,” said CLC President Hassan Yussuff. “In particular we should acknowledge the relentless advocacy of many unions who fought for this, and our allies and community partners Egale and the We Demand an Apology Network.”
Yussuff said he was especially pleased to see that a settlement had been reached in the class action lawsuit, and that there would be a process aimed at expunging the records of those convicted of criminal offenses. He was also pleased to see funding commitments for historical reconciliation, education and memorialization efforts, along with new awareness and support programs for the RCMP and the military.
“As a gay man, a labour leader and a public service worker, it was incredibly moving to hear the Prime Minister outline in detail the various ways that workers were persecuted and oppressed, just because they were gay, or suspected of being gay,” said CLC Executive Vice-President Larry Rousseau.
“What’s crucial now is that we remember that the systemic discrimination experienced by LGBTQ2SI folk does not end with this apology – too many continue to experience discrimination and violence on a daily basis. We are hopeful that this apology will be followed up with other concrete measures,” he added.