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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Canada's Prime Minister Marks Pride with Historic Legislation

" Hello, everyone. Happy pride!

Happy pride month! Thanks for joining us today as we raise the pride flag, the trans pride flag and the Canada 150 pride flag on Parliament Hill. I’m pleased to be here with Minister Wilson-Raybould, Minister Goodale, as well as assembled ministers and MPs of all parties, as well as my special advisor on LGBTQ2 issues, Randy Boissonneault.

Randy – thanks for your terrific work on behalf of the community. We really broke new ground with this advisor role, and the work you’ve been doing is essential to ensuring a more just Canada for all. Thank you.

You know, last year, when we raised the Pride flag for the first time here on the Hill, it was a historic moment for Canadians. But at this year’s flag raising, we’re doing something even more important, and even more historic.

This year’s ceremony marks another milestone as we acknowledge and work to rectify historical injustices experienced by Canadians due to their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. I am pleased to announce today that our government will be moving forward with a process for the expungement of criminal convictions for Canadians who were unjustly convicted of a crime simply for who they were and who they loved.

We will be introducing legislation on this in the House of Commons later this year. Further, we will acknowledge and apologize for the role played by legislation, programs, and policies in the historical discrimination faced by LGBTQ2 Canadians.

As we announced last month, we are committed to apologizing in an inclusive and meaningful manner before the end of 2017.

I believe that it’s essential to make amends for past wrongs, not to simply gloss over them. Today’s announcement and the forthcoming apology are important steps in the right direction. Our government believes in equality and equal treatment for all Canadians and we’re proud to take concrete action to make that a reality.

We will passionately defend the rights of all our citizens, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are unacceptable.

In Canada, we’ve come a long way but there is still more work to be done. There is still work to do, fights to be had, here in Canada, and more and more around the world. Canadians get that recognizing LGBTQ2 rights are recognizing human rights, and leading around the world in the fight for equality, for respect, for opportunity is something that is as much a part of Canada as the maple leaf flying over Parliament Hill and as now the pride flags are.

This is something we commit ourselves to now, in our 150th year since Confederation and every year as we move forward. Let us stay vigilant and ambitious while we work together towards a brighter, safer, more accepting future for all.

Thank you very much. Thank you my friends. Thank you! "

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; remarks at the flag raising ceremony for Pride Month, June 14, 2017.

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