CAF begins processing claims in LGBT Purge settlement

Lieutenant-General Charles Lamarre speaks to the Litigation Implementation Team
Lieutenant-General Charles Lamarre, Commander of Military Personnel Command, speaks to the Litigation Implementation Team during his visit in October. Photo: DND/CAF

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Current or former Federal Public Servants, Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) members who were affected by unfair federal policies due to their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression during the LGBT Purge (between the mid-50s to the mid-90s) may be eligible to submit a claim for financial compensation and individual reconciliation measures to Deloitte Canada, the court appointed administrator between October 25, 2018 and April 25, 2019.

In June 2018, the Federal Court approved the Final Settlement Agreement (FSA) in a class action lawsuit launched against the Government of Canada on behalf of CAF and RCMP members and Federal Public Servants who were discriminated against, harassed, investigated, sanctioned, released, or forced to terminate their employment due to their sexual orientation or gender identity between December 1, 1955 and June 20, 1996.

The CAF Litigation Implementation Team (LIT) was established in September 2018 to execute the requirements of the FSA for current and former CAF members. The LIT is responsible for document retrieval and review of records of CAF claimants from across a range of sources. The team will also lead the coordination and preparation of individual reconciliation measures that include an apology letter, Canada Pride Citation and insignia, file notation and request for records.

Lieutenant-General Charles Lamarre, Commander of Military Personnel Command, joined by Isabelle Daoust, Corporate Secretary, visited the LIT shortly before the launch of the claims period.

During his visit, LGen Lamarre spoke about the importance of “righting a significant wrong.” There is “no prouder moment than when our Prime Minister apologized in the House of Commons to the people that were wronged,” he said.

LGen Lamarre said that the CAF appreciates “the dedication and determination of the members of the LGBTQ2 community who served or are serving in our ranks today.” He thanked LIT members, saying the team represents an essential step forward. “You are leading an effort that’s going to result in other nations looking at us,” and learning from our example, he concluded.

The LGBT Purge was a dark period in Canada’s history, and while we can’t change what happened, we can work towards reconciliation, learning from the past and righting the wrongs that occurred.

We encourage you to watch The Fruit Machine, a documentary available online through TV Ontario, to get a better understanding of the LGBT Purge and the importance of reconciliation and recognition.

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