Trudeau apologizes to LGBT Canadians for country’s past treatment of them

Canadian Prime Minister Justin TrudeauJustin Pierre James TrudeauOn The Money: Treasury rejects Dem subpoena for Trump tax returns | Companies warn trade war about to hit consumers | Congress, White House to launch budget talks next week | Trump gets deal to lift steel tariffs on Mexico, Canada Trudeau on tariff deal: Canadian and US businesses can get back to 'working constructively together' Trudeau says he's 'deeply disappointed' by US 'backsliding' on women's rights MORE apologized to LGBTQ Canadians for the country's past treatment of them.

“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,” Trudeau said.

“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.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Trudeau said he was acknowledging Canada's role in "the systemic oppression, criminalization and violence against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and two-spirit communities."

"It is my hope in talking about these injustices, in vowing to never repeat them, acting to right these wrongs, we can begin to heal," Trudeau said.

Between the 1950s and 1990s, thousands of Canadian public servants left their jobs or were fired as the Canadian government interrogated individuals thought to be gay or transgender.

“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,' ” Trudeau said.

“For state-sponsored, systemic oppression and rejection, we are sorry.”

Canada's government also introduced legislation this week so that people who have criminal records for sexual activity with same-sex partners could have those records destroyed, according to multiple reports.