Mayor Coderre, police chief issue 'historic' apology to LGBTQ community
Saying they want to "turn the page", Montreal mayor Denis Coderre and police chief Philippe Pichet offered up apologies on Friday to the LGBTQ community for the way city authorities have treated it in the past.
Coderre made the announcement at City Hall while flanked by police chief Philippe Pichet and Montreal Pride president Eric Pineault.
Ahead of this weekend's Pride festivities, there had been calls for official apology from municipal authorities for instances of police harrassment from the 1960s through 1990, including several high-profile raids on gay clubs and bath houses.
The last of those was the raid on the Sex Garage gay club in the summer of 1990, and assaults on protesters outside a downtown police station the following day.
Puelo Deir, founder of the Divers/Cité festival, was at the Sex Garage club the night of the raid, on July 16, 1990, and told CTV Montreal that an apology would go a long way toward repairing the relationship between the LGBTQ community and police.
"The people who suffered during those times, the people who are still alive it will be such a great weight off their shoulders and it will buoy our community," he said.
Montreal becomes the first Canadian city to issue such a wide-ranging apology to the LGBTQ community for past instances of harrassment and abuse.
-With files from CTV Montreal