When do you expect to know if the LGBT Purge Fund will get up to an additional $10,000,000?
Answer: It is difficult to know exactly when we will find out about whether we will receive an additional $10,000,00 from the government. We are waiting to get a report from the Administrator (Deloitte) to find out about how much money will be distributed to purge claimants in the class action. After that amount is known, we will receive a report from the Administrator. We will not likely receive this information until late 2019.
How do you manage your books and records?
Answer: The board of directors has a legal requirement to provide due diligence and oversight on the books and records of the organization. On a day-to-day basis, the Executive Director maintains the books and records. The LGBT Purge Fund has hired on a contract-basis a CPA/CMA certified accountant to assist us in our bookkeeping and good financial practices. This person operates as our “Virtual Chief Financial Officer”.
The books and records of the LGBT Purge Fund are audited annually by KPMG LLP. A copy of our audited financial statements are posted on this website.
How much do LGBT Purge Fund Board of Director members get paid?
Answer: The six board of directors of the LGBT Purge are volunteers. They do not draw a salary. We are thankful for their time, commitment and dedication. While they do not draw a salary, they do receive a stipend of $420 per day of work up to a maximum of 12 times per year (e.g. $5,040/year). This is legally permitted in the terms of the Final Settlement Agreement. Board members are also eligible to have their travel expenses paid back for board business. Expense payments are paid in general accordance with the federal government travel rates and policies.
When will Purge Survivors (or eligible claimants) receive the Canada Pride Citation?
Answer: The LGBT Purge Fund is not directly responsible for the distribution of the Canada Pride Citations. However, we have been working with the government (especially the Canadian Armed Forces) to encourage them to issue the citations as soon as possible. They are planning to organize ceremonies across the country with a launch ceremony in Ottawa.
It is likely that the first ceremony to hand-out the citations will be held in Ottawa in the Fall of 2019 (date to be determined). Arrangements regarding the date, logistics, program and possible financial support are the responsibility of the government. The Administrator (Deloitte) is responsible for determining eligibility for the citation and it is based on the legal claim filed by each survivor or the family of a survivor.
Where is the LGBT Purge Fund headquartered?
Answer: We do not have a head office. Instead, we operate “virtually”. We hold board of director meetings by conference call and work from virtual offices. Periodically, the board of directors travels to different locations across Canada to hold meetings in person.
If I want to volunteer, how do I do that?
Answer: Please contact the LGBT Purge Fund at the email address (email@example.com) and let us know of your interest, the region where you live and how you think you might support our work as a volunteer. We welcome the support of Purge Survivors especially. As we are a new organization, we may not be able to call on you right away but we do thank you for expressing your interest in volunteering.
Could I apply for funding to launch another lawsuit against the government or individuals associated with the LGBT Purge for the harm done to me by the government?
Answer: No. This would not be covered by our mandate and purpose and would not be funded.
Could I apply for funding for an investigation to find the perpetrators of the LGBT Purge and then to bring action against them (either by criminal charges or by suing them)?
Answer: No. This activity would not be funded by the Purge Fund because it is not deemed to be within our mandate and mission. Criminal charges are a matter for the police. However, if there were to be a request for funding of a conference or gathering to support the healing of purge survivors, for example, that would be considered.
LGBTQ2+ National Monument
What was the LGBT Purge?
Between the 1950s and mid-1990s, LGBT* members of the Canadian Armed Forces, the RCMP and the federal public service were systematically discriminated against, harassed and often fired as a matter of policy and sanctioned practice. In what came to be known as the “LGBT Purge”, people were followed, interrogated, abused and traumatized.
What is the LGBT Purge Fund?
Survivors of the LGBT Purge launched a class action lawsuit against the Canadian government and a settlement was reached in 2018. The settlement includes money for survivor compensation. Funds that would have compensated LGBT Purge victims who have passed away are being used for reconciliation and memorialization projects. The LGBT Purge Fund is a not-for-profit corporation that was set up to manage these funds.
Over the centuries, various terms have been used to describe persons exhibiting gender or sexual diversity. Many of those words have been pejorative. In the context of the modern human rights movement, members of the communities in question have sought to choose their own nomenclature. This has resulted in an ongoing struggle to find language that is inclusive, accurate and intelligible.
LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans) is the most common acronym in use around the world today. The current acronym used by the Federal Government is LGBTQ2 (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans Queer and 2 Spirit). This lengthier federal acronym has been criticized for its failure to include “I for Intersex.
The former Federal Government policy that is now called the “LGBT Purge” was not called that at the time. Terms that are now considered offensive, such as homosexual and sexual deviate, were in use to describe the targets. The policy was directed at and primarily impacted on LGBT persons. Lawyer Douglas Elliott chose the term LGBT Purge to describe the policy and events as it was fairly accurate, inoffensive and was intelligible in both official languages.
In the context of the class action, the acronym LGBT was consistently used. As a result, our organization has taken the name LGBT Purge Fund. While recognizing the limitations of the acronym LGBT, the LGBT Purge Fund has decided to continue to use it in the interests of consistency, clarity and stability of nomenclature.
What is the total amount of the settlement?
The class action settlement reached with the Canadian government is valued at up to $145 million. Up to $110 million has been set aside for the payment of damages to victims of the LGBT Purge. The settlement also includes funds for reconciliation and memorialization. Between $15 and $25 million has been set aside for projects that will memorialize the LGBT Purge and provide support to those affected. This includes the LGBTQ2+ National Monument budget of $8 million.
Who are the survivors of the LGBT Purge?
“Survivors” refers to the victims of the state-sanctioned discrimination against LGBT members of the Canadian Armed Forces, the RCMP and the federal public service, and surviving partners and families of the victims.
Who is on the LGBT Purge Fund Board of Directors?
As of August 2019, there are six directors of the LGBT Purge Fund. All members of the board of directors serve as volunteers. Michelle Douglas, Martine Roy, Todd Ross, Diane Pitre and Wayne Davis are all survivors of the LGBT Purge and have served in the Canadian Armed Forces, the RCMP and/or the federal public service. Douglas Elliott is a human rights lawyer with a long-standing commitment to fighting for LGBTQ2+ equality. He was the lead lawyer representing class members on the LGBT Purge class action lawsuit.
What is the mandate of the LGBT Purge Fund?
The LGBT Purge Fund has a mandate to implement four main projects:
- Create a national monument to the LGBT Purge in the National Capital Region
- Support the development of a museum exhibition by the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, based in Winnipeg
- Address the collection, preservation and accessibility of historical records related to the LGBT Purge
- Work with the Canadian government to enhance inclusion in the federal public service and to improve existing training on LGBTQ2+ inclusion
The mandate and responsibilities of the LGBT Purge Fund are established by court order; in accordance with the terms of the Final Settlement Agreement reached with the Canadian government, they cannot be changed. The LGBT Purge Fund Board will determine how money is allocated to the projects.
What is the LGBTQ2+ Purge National Monument project?
A portion of the LGBT Purge Fund has been earmarked specifically to “memorialize the historical discrimination against LGBTQ2 Canadians, including with respect to the LGBT Purge” (Final Settlement Agreement, 2018). It is part of the LGBT Purge Fund’s mandate to create a national monument.
Once a vision for the monument has been set through a collaborative process, Heritage Canada will send out a request for qualifications and then a request for proposals for the design and construction of the monument and an associated interpretation and education program. Design firms will respond with their proposals, which will be reviewed by a jury. Heritage Canada will also invite the public to comment on the final design.
Where will the monument be located and why?
The LGBTQ2+ National Monument will be located in the National Capital Region (Ottawa-Gatineau). The location is directed by court order as part of the settlement reached between the survivors of the LGBT Purge and the Government of Canada.
Who is paying for this monument?
The money for the monument comes from the settlement reached between the survivors of the LGBT Purge and the Government of Canada. The funds dedicated to the monument represent compensation for the suffering of victims of the LGBT Purge Fund who did not live long enough to be eligible to receive individual compensation under the LGBT Purge settlement.
How is the LGBT Purge Board engaging the community to develop a vision for the monument?
An engagement process has been established to ensure that survivors of the LGBT Purge, as well as diverse LGBTQ2+ communities more generally, are involved in defining the vision for the monument and its associated educational programming. The multi-phase process will include:
- a Monument Advisory Committee comprising approximately twelve LGBT Purge survivors, community leaders, advocates, artists, historians and design professionals who will work closely with the LGBT Purge Fund Board to draft a vision statement for the monument;
- small discussion groups composed of LGBT Purge survivors, community leaders, advocates, artists, historians and design professionals who will review and refine the draft vision statement;
- e-survey participants from a wider community of LGBTQ2+ individuals and organizations who will be asked to provide feedback on a refined vision statement;
- Critical voices collected through commissioned provocation documents.
In parallel, local Algonquin communities (Kitigan Zibi and Pikwàkanagàn) and 2-Spirit First Nation, Métis, and Inuit groups and individuals from across Canada will be asked to provide ongoing input and expertise to shape the vision statement and process through an indigenous circle.
Who is involved in setting the vision for the monument?
Stakeholders are being invited to participate in setting the vision for the monument in the four phases outlined above. Participants include: LGBT Purge Board members; LGBT Purge survivors; LGBTQ2+ community leaders, advocates and allies; artists and design professionals; historians, writers and educators; and 2-Spirit elders, the local Algonquin communities (Kitigan Zibi and Pikwàkanagàn), 2-Spirit First Nation, Métis, and Inuit groups and individuals from across Canada.
How will people be selected to participate in each phase of the consultation?
Influential stakeholders from the above groups are being invited to indicate which phase of the consultation process suits their interests and availability. Because it is essential to have representation from across our country and our diverse community, after participants indicate their preference, they will be selected for each phase to ensure broad inclusion and diversity.
Who will design the LGBTQ2+ National Monument?
Heritage Canada will solicit proposals for the national monument through an international competition of design professionals. Each team of design professionals must include a Canadian lead. The designs will respond to the LGBTQ2+ National Monument vision statement that emerges through the stakeholder engagement process.
How will the public have a say in the design of the monument?
Heritage Canada will seek input from the public to select the winning design from a selection of finalists. Public input will be gathered via the Heritage Canada website and through public open houses in Ottawa.
Who will select the winning monument design?
An expert jury will be assembled for this competition. Before making its selection, the jury will seek comments from the National Capital Commission’s Advisory Committee on Planning, Design and Realty and the public. The jury will play an advisory role to the Minister of Canadian Heritage who, as minister responsible for commemorative monuments on federal lands in the National Capital Region, will be responsible for endorsing the jury’s selection of the winning design.
What progress has been made on this and other LGBT Purge Fund projects so far?
Preliminary work on the four mandated projects has been underway since November of 2018:
- Create a national monument to the LGBT Purge in the National Capital Region.
The LGBT Purge Fund is working with Heritage Canada and the National Capital Commission on the national monument project. The LGBT Purge Fund will be conducting stakeholder consultations to inform the vision for the monument in autumn 2019. Once a vision for the monument has been set, it will inform a design competition overseen by Heritage Canada. The competition will be launched in 2020.
- Support the development of a museum exhibition by the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, based in Winnipeg.
The LGBT Purge Fund is working with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights to develop the exhibition. The exhibition will likely open in 2023. A travelling component to the exhibition will allow it to be shared with more people.
- Address the collection, preservation and accessibility of historical records related to the LGBT Purge.
The LGBT Purge Fund is currently pressing the government to collect and make accessible the historical records relating to the LGBT Purge via Library and Archives Canada. The government has committed to collecting and assembling these historical documents.
- Work with the Canadian government to enhance inclusion in the federal public service and to improve existing training on LGBTQ2+ inclusion.
The LGBT Purge Fund is working with the Government of Canada and others to support enhanced training on the LGBT Purge and, more broadly, on inclusion and diversity. A first step is to hire a Subject Matter Expert to advance this work.
Updates will be provided as significant advances are made on each of the four projects.
How are the museum exhibition and the national monument projects related?
The Canadian Museum of Human Rights exhibition and the LGBTQ2+ National Monument project are both currently embarking on stakeholder engagement processes. Through this period of outreach, there will be a high degree of integration and collaboration between the projects. In particular, the educational programming of the projects is expected to overlap. Oversight will be shared between projects.