A federal judge has approved a landmark deal to compensate members of the Canadian military and other agencies who were investigated and sometimes fired because of their sexual orientation between 1955 and 1996.
Cheers and hugs greeted the decision of Justice Martine St-Louis after hours of testimony Monday from class action members.
Gay military veterans told the judge they were interrogated, harassed and spied on because of their sexuality. Sobbing could be heard from onlookers as a steady stream of men and women took turns at a microphone to lament how being gay or lesbian made them enemies of their own country.
In the settlement, eligible individuals each expect to receive between $5,000-$175,000, depending on the gravity of their cases. Lt.-Col. Catherine Potts, who was followed by military police and had her phone tapped, says it is vindication after years of persecution.
The CBC quotes the attorney for Alida Satalic of Dartmouth, NS, who was dismissed from her post as a Canadian Forces postal clerk in 1989. John McKiggan of the Halifax law firm McKiggan Hebert, which is co-counsel in the lawsuit, said this "is the largest LGBTQ settlement anywhere in the world and will involve between $85 million and $145 million in compensation."
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered an official apology for the decades of discrimination in November 2017: