TORONTO – The Toronto police civilian oversight board has established a working group that will lay out the parameters for an external review of how the force handles missing persons cases.The board announced the independent review in March in the wake of murder charges laid against accused serial killer Bruce McArthur. Many of the 66-year-old landscaper’s alleged victims went missing from Toronto’s gay village, where community members have criticized police for their response to the disappearances.A report unanimously approved by the Toronto Police Services Board at a Wednesday meeting says the working group will identify the form, focus, duration and potential costs of the external review.Toronto Mayor John Tory, who sits on the police services board, called the formation of the working group an “important first step” in the review process.“It’s really important that we do this and do it well and do it properly and inclusively,” Tory said prior to the board vote approving the working group. “I think the people we have here are first rate.”The group will be made up of police board member Ken Jeffers, Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention board member Shakir Rahim, sex worker advocate Monica Forrester, and lawyer Sara Mainville, who specializes in cases involving Indigenous peoples.The board also assigned a “facilitator” role to Breese Davies, vice-president of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association, who has participated in several high profile public inquiries and inquests.Tory said he recognized the value of including people in the working group who belong to the communities most affected by such cases.The review will not probe issues specific to McArthur — who now faces eight counts of first-degree murder — so as not to disrupt the ongoing investigation and court proceedings, Tory said, but it will take a broad look at police handling of missing persons cases.As recently as six weeks before McArthur’s January arrest, members of the force, including Chief Mark Saunders, said there was no indication the disappearances of several men from the city’s gay village were the work of a serial killer.In February, Saunders came under fire after seeming to suggest that police might have cracked the cases earlier if members of the public had been more forthcoming with investigators. He later said it was not his intent to blame the community.Police also come under fire following the death of Tess Richey, a 22-year-old reported missing after a night out in the gay village in November 2017.Her mother, who travelled from the family home in North Bay, Ont., to search for her daughter, found Richey’s body four days after a missing persons report was filed, in a stairwell at the back of an alley, just steps from where she was last seen alive.A 21-year-old Toronto man, Kalen Schlatter, has since been charged with first-degree murder in connection with Richey’s death, which police have said was caused by “neck compression.”
HALIFAX – The Royal Canadian Air Force has resumed limited flights on its new Cyclone helicopters after a software problem grounded the aircraft for nine weeks and created delays in training air crew.Col. Peter Allan, wing commander of the Shearwater base in Halifax, said Tuesday the fleet of three CH-148 helicopters resumed training flights on May 15 after ceasing flying on March 12.The Sikorsky-built Cyclones are the much-delayed replacements for the Sea King helicopters, which remain in service after more than a half-century but are scheduled to be retired next year.Allan said it will take about six months to fix the software glitch that caused a computerized flight control system to momentarily restart and sent the aircraft into a sudden and brief loss of altitude on March 9.Described originally as a “severe bump,” the problem corrected itself and the pilot safely landed the plane.Allan says while the software redesign is underway there are some limits on operations of the Cyclones, but he adds they won’t affect the ability of air crew to continue most training requirements.He said air crews can still train on operations such as landing on ships, hoisting materials, and simulating rescues.He described the limitations as complex technical issues difficult to put into terms a layperson can understand.“It’s more about modes of the computer they can employ while in particular flight mode … at the end of the day, it doesn’t affect our ability to do training and operational testing and evaluation,” he said.Allan said air crew training for the Cyclones has been set back one month by the grounding of the three helicopters, but this won’t stop the helicopters and crews from meeting a previously announced schedule.The wing commander said he still expects the new navy helicopters to be certified for operation — meaning they can carry out missions — starting the end of April next year. The Sea Kings will start ending their flights in June and be fully retired by the end of 2018.“We’ve kept some flexibility in the schedule, knowing this is a developmental aircraft. We expect some issues to arise as we go through implementation,” said Allan.“There is still enough flex in the schedule to meet our timelines.”The plan is to begin receiving six completed Cyclones by June 2018 and approximately one helicopter per month after that as the Sea Kings wrap up their duties, he added.Delays in delivery of the Cyclone helicopter are a sensitive issue, as it is years behind its original projected delivery date and the Sea Kings have some limits on the kinds of missions they can carry out due to their age.The previous Liberal government signed a contract with U.S. defence giant Sikorsky to deliver 28 CH-148 Cyclone helicopters by 2008. The program has faced delays and technical challenges, resulting in two contract extensions.Allan also confirmed “there’s been talk,” about delamination of the rotor blades on the new helicopters.However, he said “it’s not an issue that’s been impacting the wing (command) at this point.”“I know Sikorsky is looking at the rotor blades to see if they need to do something differently, but it’s not had an operational issue at this point.”The Sea Kings the Cyclones are scheduled to replace are currently more than 50 years old, and are still the naval helicopter used to support Royal Canadian Navy ships in surveillance and security.Follow (at) mtuttoncporg on Twitter
OTTAWA – The Canada Day stage on Parliament Hill (the biggest one ever) is set for 150th birthday celebrations on Saturday in the nation’s capital. Here’s a by-the-numbers look at preparations in Ottawa.600: Volunteers working Canada Day on Parliament Hill.168: Total number of performances at the three Canada Day festivity sites in the capital region.345: Number of performers and artists participating.15,000: Individual fireworks that will be set off from five different launching sites near Parliament Hill for the nighttime show that will last for 20 minutes and 17 seconds.80: Canadian Heritage employees who have planned Canada Day events on Parliament Hill32: Portable washrooms on Parliament Hill, split evenly between the east and west sides of the lawn.35: Portable washrooms on Wellington Street, inside the security zone and across from Parliament Hill in the parking lot of the former U.S. embassy at 100 Wellington St.4: Accessible portable washrooms on Parliament Hill, plus four more on Wellington Street(Source: Canadian Heritage)
VANCOUVER – The federal government should allow parents who want to help their offspring with the purchase of a home to tap into their retirement savings, says The Canadian Real Estate Association, which also wants the maximum withdrawal limit bumped up by $10,000.Extending the Home Buyers’ Plan to allow for “intergenerational RRSP loans” would ease the financial burden that many young Canadians face when trying to purchase a home for the first time, wrote CREA in its 2018 pre-budget submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance.Under the current plan, first-time buyers can withdraw up to $25,000 from their RRSPs to contribute to the purchase of a home. The tax-free loan must generally be repaid within 15 years.Allowing parents access to the plan would help many first-time buyers enter the market and ease their financial obligations, the association said.Recent and rapid home price increases have resulted in many parents already gifting downpayment money to children.The national average price for a home sold in October was $505,937, up five per cent from a year ago, according to figures the association released earlier this month.Two of the countries hottest housing markets have been contributing to those gains.In October, the benchmark price of a property in Greater Vancouver hit $1,042,300, up 12.4 per cent from the previous year, according to figures from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. Meanwhile, in the Greater Toronto Area that month the average property price was $780,104, up 2.3 per cent with the previous October, according to figures from the Toronto Real Estate Board.The Toronto agency said it is also lobbying the federal government to modernize and expand the Home Buyers’ Plan, saying the HBP “effectively amounts to a zero-interest self-loan” because it allows Canadians to borrow from their own savings.“A formalized mechanism which allows for the transfer of RRSP funds from parents to their children would help not only increase the available down payment and reduce the amount borrowed, but also limit risk to the lender,” the TREB said in a statement.Nearly one in five first-time homebuyers received help from a family member with a downpayment, according to a Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. online survey of 3,002 mortgage consumers completed in March.The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.A formalized mechanism that allows parents to transfer their RRSP savings — up to the maximum $25,000 — would help increase available downpayment amounts, reduce the amount borrowed and limit risk to the lender, CREA said.The association wants both parents to be eligible to loan funds from their RRSPs to anyone they had previously claimed as dependents on their income tax return.While CREA’s proposal is not unreasonable, there’s no obvious answer to whether people should be able to dip into retirement savings — tax-free — to fund a property downpayment, said Thomas Davidoff, a professor at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business.He’s concerned the plan could be a risk for people who are undersaving for retirement and would be utilized more by wealthier families, amounting to a transfer from less wealthy families to better off ones.It would also likely push up housing prices, he said.“Part of what you do when you subsidize housing in any way is push up the price,” he said, “which just helps property owners rather than buyers.”The biggest thing the federal government should be considering when it comes to their approach to real estate and taxation is how to add tax burden to real estate, he said — not subtract it. The government could, for example, limit how much of a principal residence’s capital gains are tax exempt when it is sold.In addition to expanding the home buyers’ plan to include parents, CREA also suggested the government extend it to homeowners who relocate for work, decide to accommodate an elderly family member or suffer the loss of a spouse or a marital breakdown.CREA also asked the government to increase the maximum withdrawal amount by $10,000 to help first-time buyers make larger downpayments and take on less debt.— Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter.
Highlights from the news file for Tuesday, Jan. 30———NO RULE BOOK ON DEALING WITH MISCONDUCT, TRUDEAU SAYS: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau concedes he, like all political leaders, is struggling to figure out how best to deal with allegations of sexual misconduct against members of his own caucus or cabinet. He says there’s been no rule book handed down to him from the time of Wilfrid Laurier, Canada’s sixth prime minister. Indeed, he says politicians are just now establishing processes and support systems to deal with complaints of sexual harassment or sexual assault, processes which have not existed until recently. He says politicians are doing the best they can on a case-by-case basis. Trudeau is offering that explanation in response to questions about why Kent Hehr — who resigned from the federal cabinet last week pending an investigation into allegations of inappropriate conduct — is still a member of the Liberal caucus.———ONTARIO TORIES TO ‘ROOT OUT THE ROT,’ FEDELI SAYS: The newly appointed interim leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives vowed Tuesday to clean up the party, “root out the rot” and ensure a fair leadership contest following the resignation of top leaders amid sexual misconduct allegations. Vic Fedeli, who was appointed to his post last week following Patrick Brown’s departure, said he needed to focus on internal issues ahead of a spring election and would not be making a bid to be permanent leader as initially planned. The party has been in turmoil since last week when Brown resigned after vehemently denying sexual misconduct allegations reported by CTV News. The allegations have not been independently verified by The Canadian Press.———SHAW OFFERS BUYOUT PROGRAM TO 6,500 STAFF: Shaw Communications Inc. has launched a voluntary buyout program that it expects to be accepted by roughly 650 employees, as part of the cable, internet and wireless company’s efforts to adjust to a new technology landscape. The Calgary-based company said Tuesday it has sent the offer to 6,500 employees and anticipated about 10 per cent of them will agree. Details of the severance offers weren’t announced but the voluntary program for Shaw and Freedom Mobile employees will be open until Feb. 14. Shaw said its job cuts are part of a multi-year initiative that will help it succeed amid technological changes — both internally at the operational level and externally in a rapidly changing and intensely competitive marketplace.———BRIAN MULRONEY DEFENDS NAFTA IN WASHINGTON: Brian Mulroney is delivering a spirited defence of the North American Free Trade Agreement as he testifies before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in Washington. The former Conservative prime minister says the trade deal has benefited both the United States and Canada — not only from an economic perspective, but also in terms of establishing the most peaceful and prosperous bilateral relationship in history. The comments follow the latest round of negotiations for a new agreement, held in Montreal last week against a backdrop of constant threats from U.S. President Donald Trump that he will pull the U.S. out of the current deal. While Trump has blasted NAFTA as a terrible agreement for the U.S., Mulroney — who has resisted mentioning the U.S. president by name — says the deal has created jobs, wealth and prosperity for all three partners: Canada, Mexico and the United States. Mulroney says protectionism can become a handy tool when fear and anger fuel public debate.———JURY TO HEAR HOW COLTEN BOUSHIE DIED, CROWN SAYS: A prosecutor says evidence will show that three shots were fired the night a 22-year-old Indigenous man was killed on a Saskatchewan farm in 2016. Crown prosecutor Bill Burge told the second-degree murder trial of Gerald Stanley that court will hear from the farmer’s son, Sheldon. He came running when he and his father thought someone was trying to steal a vehicle from their yard, and when he ran back inside to get his keys, he heard two gunshots. He heard another shot and came out to see his father standing by the driver’s door of the vehicle with a gun and a clip in his hand and Colten Boushie slumped at the wheel. Burge told the jury an autopsy found Boushie died from a gunshot wound that entered behind his left ear and exited through the side of his head. Stanley, who is 56, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder. Supporters and family members of the accused and of the victim packed the courtroom Tuesday. Boushie’s uncle, Alvin Baptiste, brought an eagle feather with him to the proceedings. “I bring it in and this is for justice,” he said during a break. “This is a symbolic symbol of First Nations people.”———CLASS-ACTION LAWSHUIT FILED OVER INDIAN HOSPITALS: Lawyers have filed a proposed class-action lawsuit alleging abuse at Indian Hospitals run decades ago by the federal government. A statement of claim filed in Toronto says Indigenous patients suffered consistent physical and sexual assaults at the 29 hospitals from 1945 until the last one closed in 1981. The suit further alleges patients were deprived of food and drink, force fed their own vomit and restrained in their beds. The lead plaintiff in the case, Ann Hardy of Edmonton, was 10 when she was admitted to the city’s Charles Camsell hospital for tuberculosis in 1969. The suit says she was repeatedly sexually abused by medical technicians and witnessed other patients being abused. A statement of defence has yet to be filed and a judge must first approve the suit as a class action.———MORE WORK NEEDED TO MEET ONTARIO’S CLIMATE CHANGE GOALS, REPORT SAYS: Ontario’s first year of carbon pricing went well but more work is needed if the province wants to meet its long-term goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the province’s environmental commissioner said Tuesday. In her annual report, the commissioner said the government needs a better plan for spending the funds brought in by the cap-and-trade system, which amounted to close to $2 billion last year. The money is meant to be earmarked for green projects and almost all of the $1.37 billion spent as of last November met the established criteria, Dianne Saxe wrote. What’s more, some government ministries need to make more of an effort to consider climate change in their decision-making and spending, Saxe said. The Ministry of Energy was named as a top offender, in part because Saxe deemed that its newly announced long-term energy plan is “incompatible” with the province’s climate change law. But despite some hurdles in the system, she said switching to a carbon tax, as the Progressive Conservatives have vowed to do if they win the spring election, isn’t likely to deliver results faster.———HALIFAX VOTES TO TEMPORARILY REMOVE CORNWALLIS STATUE: Halifax council has voted to immediately remove a statue of Edward Cornwallis from a downtown park, with several councillors calling the bronze figure of the city’s controversial military founder a barrier to reconciliation. After just over an hour of debate, it took less than 10 seconds for council to vote 12-4 to temporarily place the statue in storage until a decision is made on its long-term fate. Morley Googoo, regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said the decision to take down the statue is a “huge opportunity for the city.” Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq chiefs had called Friday for the statue to be taken down immediately, because a panel appointed in October to study how the city commemorates Cornwallis had not even met yet. Mayor Michael Savage told council that removing the statue is not about re-writing history, but acknowledging that history is also not “cast in bronze.” Cornwallis is a disputed character seen by some as a brave leader who founded Halifax, but by others as the commander of a bloody and barbaric extermination campaign against Mi’kmaq inhabitants.———CANADA SENDS ‘STRONGEST TEAM EVER’ TO WINTER OLYMPICS: Canada’s ambition “to contend for No. 1” at the Pyeongchang Olympics is a shift from the two previous Winter Games, where the publicly stated goal by the country’s top sport officials was to finish first in the race for the most medals. “As an athlete, I never really appreciated people who weren’t really part of my team telling me how many medals I was going to win,” said Canadian Olympic Committee president Tricia Smith, a silver medallist in rowing in 1984. “Contending for No. 1 is what we do as athletes. It makes sense for us as an organization.” Heading into Pyeongchang with a broader target that is easier to hit, Canada’s team certainly has the depth of talent and experience to both battle for the top of the medal table and win more Winter Games medals than ever before. “We head into the games probably with our strongest team ever,” Own The Podium chief executive officer Anne Merklinger said. Germany is on a mission, however, with its athletes gobbling up world championship and World Cup medals. Canada is tracking to duke it out with the U.S. and Norway for second in the overall count.———ACTIVIST STILL TO PROCEED WITH CLEVELAND INDIANS COMPLAINT: An Indigenous activist says he’d like to go ahead with human rights complaints against the Cleveland Indians despite a recent announcement that the baseball team would be changing its controversial logo. Douglas Cardinal says the decision to remove the image of the fictional Chief Wahoo from a team logo is a step in the right direction, but argues the team’s name is still racist and demeaning to Indigenous people. The Ontario-based architect has filed human rights complaints both at the federal and provincial level in a bid to prevent the team from using either its name or the Wahoo logo while playing baseball games in Canada. Major League Baseball, the Cleveland Indians team and Rogers Communications, all of which were named in the initial complaints, have been fighting to get the cases quashed. Cardinal says he still hopes to press ahead with his complaints despite the fact that Chief Wahoo will no longer appear on team caps or shirts starting in 2019.———
REGINA – The lawyer for a Saskatchewan farmer acquitted in the shooting death of a young Indigenous man says his client is relieved the Crown won’t be appealing the case, but it is not a happy day for anyone.Last month, a jury found Gerald Stanley not guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Colten Boushie, 22, who was from the Red Pheasant First Nation.The Saskatchewan Crown said Wednesday there is no legal basis to appeal the verdict.“On behalf of the Stanley family, and my team, I offer our unreserved condolences to the Boushie/Baptiste family,” lawyer Scott Spencer said in a statement Thursday.“The Stanley family is relieved that the criminal process is now complete, but this is not a happy day. A young man died, that is a terrible tragedy. There is no going back; there is no making it right.”Spencer said they hope, with time, Boushie’s family “can begin to heal.”The trial heard Boushie was one of five young people who drove onto Stanley’s farm near Biggar in 2016. They testified they were looking for help with a flat tire.Stanley told the trial he thought they were trying to steal an all-terrain vehicle. He testified he fired warning shots to scare them away and the gun accidentally went off again.The Crown’s decision not to appeal the acquittal drew an angry response from Indigenous leaders and Boushie family supporters.The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, which represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan, says it wants a “forensic accounting” of the jury verdict.“From the beginning, we’ve said this isn’t the farmers against the First Nations people,” vice-chief Kim Jonathan said Thursday. “These are systems in place that have and live and breath racism. To say otherwise, we’d be putting our head in the sand.“We want to be afforded fair treatment. We want our children to have just as much right to respect in the justice system as anybody else’s. We don’t want any more and we don’t want any less.”— By Bill Graveland in Calgary. Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter
AIRDRIE, Alta. – A couple who offered to help with a promotion to fundraise for a paralyzed hockey player soon found themselves wearing too many hats.Jason and Sue Bissonnette were making baseball caps to make money to help with the costs of Ryan Straschnitzki’s rehabilitation, but they couldn’t keep up when thousands of requests started rolling in.“I thought maybe there will be a couple of hundred hats and we’ll do our part,” said Jason Bissonnette. “We’ll be part of a few grand or something, but of course that didn’t exactly work out that way.“We’re now over 3,600 hats that have been ordered.”The Bissonnettes didn’t know Straschnitzki before the teen from Airdrie, Alta., was paralyzed from the chest down in a crash between a semi-trailer and a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos Saskatchewan junior hockey team in April.But they felt an immediate bond because they also live in Airdrie, just north of Calgary, and their son played hockey for years when they were living in the United States.“He was a goaltender and was travelling just like these guys. It hits close to home to a lot of people,” Sue Bissonnette said during an interview in the family home.The couple owns a company called The Stitching Bees, which provides promotional items for businesses as well as doing embroidery.Several Airdrie dads had come together the day after the crash and came up with the idea of hats to help raise money for the Straschnitzki family.The first cap — with the green and gold Broncos colours, Ryan’s No. 10 on the front and #strazstrong stitched on the back — was done just hours later.“Those are Ryan’s colours,” said Sue Bissonnette, pointing to large spools of thread on an embroidery machine.The couple eventually received help from Bruce Fogel of Embroidery Systems in Calgary, who offered the use of extra machines he had in stock.Volunteers weren’t able to run the machines, though, so she was responsible for the first 1,900 hats that were made before the job was outsourced to a Montreal company.“I felt like I’m drowning — there’s way too many,” she said. “At that point there was 1,500 hats ordered and I was on my 100th hat and I thought, ‘Oh my God. I’m going to be sick.”The suggested price for the hats is $30, but Jason Bissonnette said many people have been giving $50 or $100 for just a single hat.“We’ve generated over $82,000 and that’s straight to the family.”A fundraiser for the Straschnitzki family is to be held in Airdrie next Saturday. About 150 of the hats, signed by Ryan, will be on sale.His mother, Michelle Straschnitzki, said the Bissonnettes have been tireless in their efforts.“They’re amazing people. They really just started out because they wanted to help and thought it would be a fun idea. It just kind of snowballed,” she said.The Straschnitzki home will need to be totally renovated to include an elevator. Walls need to be moved, doorways widened and the bathroom adapted.“We haven’t got a clue how much it will cost … but we’ve had a lot of people offering to help. Basically we’re just accepting help and are appreciative of it.”The Ryan, who is 19, is undergoing physiotherapy at the Shriners Hospital in Philadelphia.— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter
CALGARY – A jury has found a Calgary couple guilty in the death of their 14-month-old son.Jeromie and Jennifer Clark pleaded not guilty to criminal negligence causing death and failure to provide the necessaries of life for their son John.The Crown argued John was on the verge of death when he arrived in hospital on Nov. 28, 2013, and that his parents played with his life by not seeking treatment sooner.Jurors were shown pictures of John after he died.He had blackened toes and a red rash that covered almost three-quarters of his body.The Clarks’ lawyers say doctors at the Alberta Children’s Hospital were to blame because they raised the boy’s sodium and fluid levels too aggressively.
OTTAWA — The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says one of Eat Smart’s packaged salads have been recalled due to possible Listeria contamination.The agency says the 156-gram packages of Salad Shake Ups – Sweet Kale, with best before date of Dec. 3, should be thrown out or returned to the store where it was purchased.The CFIA says the recalled product has been distributed nationally, but there have been no reported illnesses associated with consuming it.It adds that it is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products.Food contaminated with Listeria may not look or smell spoiled, but can cause death in severe cases of illness.The CFIA says symptoms can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache and neck stiffness.It says infected pregnant women may experience only mild, flu-like symptoms, but the infection can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn or even stillbirth.The Canadian Press
TORONTO _ The Royal Canadian Mint has unveiled a commemorative loonie meant to mark what it calls a key milestone for lesbian, gay, transgender, queer and two-spirited people.The agency says the new one-dollar coin pays tribute to Parliament’s passing of legislation that “initiated the decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada.”The coin, which starts circulating today, combines the words “Equality-Egalite” with the work of Vancouver-based artist Joe Average.Finance Minister Bill Morneau says there is more work to be done to advance equality and the federal government will continue to listen to the voices of protesters who are unhappy with the coin.Historians and advocates attending today’s unveiling raised concerns about the message behind the new loonie, saying it mistakenly suggests equality has been achieved and largely as a result of the federal government’s actions.A new $1 coin marks an important milestone for LGBTQ2 rights in Canada. Though the quest for #Equality continues, we are proud to mark the 50 years of progress in the journey to equal rights for LGBTQ2 Canadians. #RightToLove Visit https://t.co/d76rz8T9Dc pic.twitter.com/FvjZsL6e0V— Royal Canadian Mint (@CanadianMint) April 23, 2019The group also held a news conference near the mint’s event to challenge myths surrounding the 1969 Criminal Code reform.York University historian Tom Hooper, who is part of the group, says LGTBTQ people faced continued criminalization over the decades that followed the legal changes.He said discrimination against LGBTQ people persists today, noting as examples that trans and queer people of colour still face issues with policing and people with HIV remain subject to criminalization.The mint “could have consulted people who have knowledge of this history but they didn’t,” Hooper said, adding he hopes the agency will do so in the future.He acknowledged no campaign can compete with roughly three million coins but said the project is at least fuelling a public conversation about LGBTQ history.“As a historian, I’m hoping to inform as many people as I can about our history. So in some ways the coin is opening up that opportunity,” he said.The mint has said it is largely informed by the Department of Canadian Heritage and its “anniversaries of significance” when it comes to selecting commemorative themes for coins.The Canadian Press