Canada wants to put an end to the laws of the past. Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino announced Tuesday, March 7, that "criminal code convictions for bawdy-house and indecency-related offenses" were now "eligible" for expungement. The minister further announced that anyone convicted of abortion-related offenses would be eligible.
"Historically, Canada has cracked down on places that were considered safe spaces" for LGBT people, such as "saunas, nightclubs and swingers' clubs," Minister Marco Mendicino said. "And as a result, the owners, employees, and patrons of these places were unfairly convicted in the name of the criminal code," he added, at a press conference.
Applying for erasure of criminal records is free and family members or proxies can do so for a deceased person.
The announcement comes on top of a 2018 law that was intended to correct past injustices and created a way for individuals to clear their criminal records. Also, a year earlier, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau formally apologized for Canadian government practices and policies that led to the repression of LGBT people.
The Supreme Court of Canada struck down abortion restrictions in 1988, while "bawdy house" offenses were repealed in 2019.