GOOD

The World Should Pay Attention To How Canada Is Apologizing To Its LGBTQ People

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is sorry for the “persecution and injustices” LGBTQ Canadians have faced.

Canadians may say “I’m sorry” a lot — but this apology is truly justified.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted that the Canadian government will formally apologize to its LGBTQ citizens for the “persecution and injustices” they’ve endured. The symbolic move will help the country “advance together on the path to equality and inclusion.”

The prime minister’s apology — expected to be delivered on Nov. 28 in the House of Commons — will be “the most comprehensive ever offered by any national government for past persecution of sexual minorities,” according to The Globe and Mail.

A primary intent of the apology is to help heal the wounds carried by LGBTQ people directly targeted by the Canadian government in decades past. From 1950 to 1992, thousands of queer Canadians lost their government jobs or were discharged from the military because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Although the details have yet to be finalized, part of the apology will include financial compensation for those who were fired or pressured into quitting because they were LGBTQ.

"It's amazing," Martine Roy, who lost her military job over three decades ago because she’s a lesbian, told The Canadian Press. "Even though, if you fight all your life for that, it's always hard to believe it will happen."

Canada — consistently ranked one of the world’s most LGBTQ-friendly countries — has passed anti-discrimination laws aimed at protecting queer people in recent years. In July, the country took steps to ban discrimination and hate speech targeting transgender and non-binary Canadians. Marriage equality has been the law of the land there since 2005.

Justin Trudeau attends LGBTQ Pride in Toronto in 2017. Photo by Geoff Robins/AFP/Getty Images.

The country’s formal apology lays in stark contrast to the direction of LGBTQ rights in the U.S., which has taken a hit under President Donald Trump. This past summer, Trump moved to ban transgender service members from the military (a decision that’s since been blocked by a federal judge). The U.S. Justice Department, overseen by notably anti-LGBTQ Attorney General Jeff Sessions, intervened in an employment lawsuit in July to argue that lesbian, gay, and bisexual workers shouldn’t be protected from discrimination because of their sexual orientation.

In Canada, however, time and social progress are moving in-sync, and LGBTQ Canadians are more than happy to put the dark days of discrimination behind them.

"It means a lot,” a teary-eyed Roy told The Canadian Press of her country’s formal apology. "It means even more coming from [Trudeau] because I know it's going to come from his heart."

Articles
via Douglas Muth / Flickr

Sin City is doing something good for its less fortunate citizens as well as those who've broken the law this month. The city of Las Vegas, Nevada will drop any parking ticket fines for those who make a donation to a local food bank.

A parking ticket can cost up to $100 in Las Vegas but the whole thing can be forgiven by bringing in non-perishable food items of equal or greater value to the Parking Services Offices at 500 S. Main Street through December 16.

The program is designed to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

Keep Reading Show less
Communities

For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
via Truthout.org / Flickr and Dimitri Rodriguez / Flickr

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
Photo by HAL9001 on Unsplash

The U.K. is trying to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, but aviation may become the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.K. by that same year. A new study commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and conducted at the Imperial College London says that in order for the U.K. to reach its target, aviation can only see a 25% increase, and they've got a very specific recommendation on how to fix it: Curb frequent flyer programs.

Currently, air travel accounts for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, however that number is projected to increase for several reasons. There's a growing demand for air travel, yet it's harder to decarbonize aviation. Electric cars are becoming more common. Electric planes, not so much. If things keep on going the way they are, flights in the U.K. should increase by 50%.

Nearly every airline in the world has a frequent flyer program. The programs offer perks, including free flights, if customers get a certain amount of points. According to the study, 70% of all flights from the U.K. are taken by 15% of the population, with many people taking additional (and arguably unnecessary) flights to "maintain their privileged traveler status."

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet