The Government of Canada is taking action to address the discrimination experienced by LGBTQ2 federal public servants, including those who served in the Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Among those recently recognized are two Métis Veterans and Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Citizens, Todd Ross and Lynne Gouliquer, both recipients of the Canada Pride Citation.
For decades, a cruel campaign, sometimes referred to as the “LGBT purge”, was led against LGBTQ2 individuals in federal service. Through legislation, policies and practices targeted LGBTQ2 members, subjecting them to discrimination, persecution, and unjust treatment on both individual and institutional levels.
In 2017, a formal apology was issued by the Canadian Prime Minister with a commitment to end systemic discrimination in the military and promote tolerance and inclusion in its ranks.
Leading the fight for recognition was MNO Citizen and former Naval Combat Information Operator Todd Ross, who was instrumental in a successful class action suit against Canada. Ross was one of three representatives in the “Ross, Roy, Satalic Final Settlement Agreement” which was signed on March 28, 2018 and provided acknowledgement, compensation and reconciliatory actions with class members. Included in the agreement was the creation of the Canada Pride Citation, which recognizes the historical injustices experienced.
“I was honoured to be a representative for fellow LGBTQ2 Canadians in the creation of the Canada Pride Citation,” shared Ross. “This beautiful and symbolic commendation marks an important step forward in the healing between Canada and those of us who were part of the past discrimination. I look forward to wearing this Canada Pride Citation with pride.”
Another recipient of the Canada Pride Citation was Veteran and MNO Citizen Lynne Gouliquer who joined the Canadian Air Force in 1976 as an Air Weapons Technician. Following her departure from the military in 1995, Gouliquer went on to receive her Masters and PhD and is credited with making significant contributions to the academic body of research on LGBTQ2 soldiers.
The Settlement Agreement also committed over $100 million towards individual compensation, collective reconciliation and memorialization measures. Ross serves as the Vice-Chair of the “LGBT Purge Fund” – a multimillion dollar fund for reconciliation and memorialization measures.
Both Ross and Gouliquer express satisfaction that the intolerance and hardships they and many other LGBTQ2 people suffered are, at last, being acknowledged and that healing and reconciliation can begin.
[In an interview with CBC] Gouliquer said that she will continue her work to educate the public on what LGBTQ service members endured in the past, and stress the importance of maintaining an open dialogue so as not to repeat the mistakes of the past.
Ross received his Canada Pride Citation on June 19, 2020 and looks forward to the formal presentation taking place at a later date.
Posted on August 31, 2020