Hello everyone, I'm Bill Blair, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.
I'm speaking to you this morning from my home which is located on the traditional territory of the Mississauga of the New Credit.
As you're all aware, June is Pride Month in Canada.
It's a time when we celebrate the 2SLGBTQQIIA+ community in this country. It's also an opportunity to acknowledge the history, the hardships and the challenges that the community has endured, along with celebrating the progress that has been made.
In early June, we kick off the Pride season of festivals and celebrations across Canada.
And while events will look different of course this year due to the pandemic, it will not deter us from celebrating and showing our individual and collective Pride.
This year, we mark the 50th anniversary of the first rights protests of these communities in Canada, which took place in Vancouver and Ottawa in 1971 – a true turning point for the movement in this country.
It's a reminder that the fight for equality is not yet over.
And for too long, these communities have encountered targeted injustice and intolerance.
Two-spirited, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, and intersex people continue to face inequality and even violence just for being who they are.
We also see that in the disproportionate rates of hate crimes – and in the rise of incidents of hate speech online, bullying and cyberbullying.
As long as discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression exists, we must speak up and we must speak out.
Because when we remove barriers to success, we make our communities safe and welcoming places to live, for every Canadian. And we all benefit.
My department, Public Safety Canada, is committed to improving the lives of Two-spirited, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, and intersex Canadians. We will do this through dedicated work to strengthen our security for the community through program funding initiatives, partnerships to prevent gender-based violence, and through the important work to create the 2SLGBTQQIIA+ Action Plan.
I'm very proud to celebrate and support these communities across the public safety portfolio.
And I hope you will join me in celebrating the history, courage and remarkable diversity of these communities in Canada, as we kick off Pride Month and Pride Season.
Thank you very much. Happy Pride everyone.