Canada is working towards making the country a safer space for LGBTQ citizens.
According to the Globe and Mail, the federal government is investing $450,000 into improving the safety of Canada’s LGBTQ residents and their relationship with the police force.
As Finance Minister Bill Morneau said on the matter:
“For too long, the LGBTQ2 community has encountered injustice from various institutions in our society in ways that have prevented people from living their lives more fully and contributing their strengths to our country.”
Olivia Nuamah, the executive director of Pride Toronto, says that this funding will first go to nation-wide consultations with LGBTQ agencies to find out the best ways to improve safety for citizens. After that, research and analysis will be enacted to find solutions to safety concerns.
“This money will help us begin to start the process of understanding how we start to talk about these things, how it is we start to communicate them to the wider Canadian public, and certainly and most importantly, how we find solutions to addressing some of these concerns,” she said.
Many suspect that this funding is a way for the government and police force to apologize and make up for mishandling the Bruce McArthur case.
Earlier this year, architect Bruce McArthur was connected to the murders of eight gay men. Several of the men’s remains were discovered in planting pots located at a former architectural project of McArthur’s.
As the body count connected to McArthur rose, members of the gay village in Toronto condemned the police for not acting earlier. This is especially significant as members of the community had earlier complained about disappearances and the police ignored those concerns.
In addition, relations with the police have been tense since uniformed officers were banned from the 2017 Pride parade over concerns of racial profiling and homophobic mistreatment from the authorities.
With $450,000 now being spent to up safety, we’ll see if the bridge between the police and Canada’s, especially Toronto’s, gay community can be rebuilt.