Photo Credit: Egale Canada Human Rights Trust
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants to see his children grow up in a world where peoples' differences are celebrated and where they can't even comprehend a time when that wasn't the case.
"I want them to grow up in a world where career aspirations aren't hampered by gender identity or expression, where families are diverse and varied and all the more beautiful for it," Prime Minister Trudeau said Thursday night in Toronto while accepting the Egale Leadership Award.
"In fact, that is what I want for all of us. More acceptance, more inclusivity, more love."
The Prime Minister received the award – which is presented to an individual who has made significant contributions towards advancing LGBTQI2S equality for Canadians – at Egale Canada's 2018 IDENTITY Gala, an evening of celebration, bringing together more than 400 LGBTQI2S community members, politicians, labour advocates, business professionals, artists, and allies from across Canada.
The IDENTITY Gala is part of Egale Canada's conference, IDENTITY: Canadian Perspectives on LGBTQI2S Inclusion, of which TD is the presenting sponsor.
Past recipients of the award include former TD Bank Group CEO Ed Clark, Jaime Watt, Kent Monkman, The Honourable Louise Arbour, Cynthia Peterson, and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.
TD Bank Group President and CEO Bharat Masrani was on hand to introduce the Prime Minister and present him with the award alongside Egale Canada Executive Director Helen Kennedy.
Calling him a "vigilant defender of our values," Masrani described the Prime Minister as "the very definition of what it means to be an ally."
"His support for the community has been instrumental in creating a more inclusive Canada for all," he said.
While Canada has come a long way in recent years with respect to diversity and inclusion for the LGBTQI2S community, Masrani was quick to point out that there remains much work to be done.
"Discrimination, intolerance and stigma still exist," Masrani said. "Not all of it attracts headlines; indeed some of it remains embedded in everyday life …These things should no longer be happening in our country. But they are. So, let's not let our past victories lead to future complacency."
In his remarks, the Prime Minister highlighted a number of areas as the next frontiers of the LGBTQI2S movement, and said, "I want to achieve real and sustained progress on these things by working with you," he told the crowd.
"By taking my cues from your leadership and your expertise, and delivering the kind of change that will impact so many."