Groundbreaking held for national LGBTQ+ Monument 

Photo: Douglas Elliott, second on the right, from Elliot Lake, is a lawyer who has dedicated his life to the LGBTQ+ community and is honoured to be part of the ground-breaking for a new national monument in Ottawa Thunderhead earlier this week. Photo provided FB

By Rosalind Russell – An Elliot Lake lawyer was one of the dignitaries who picked up a shovel to break ground on a unique project in Ottawa earlier this week. 

Douglas Elliott, a strong proponent of PRIDE and gay rights helped to break ground on the national LGBTQ+ monument this Wednesday. 

Officials say the “Thunderhead” monument will mark historic discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community at the hands of the federal government.

Elliott who won a multi-million-dollar lawsuit for the community when he based his legal battle on the LGBT Purge, which occurred between the 1950s and mid-1990s when Canada systemically discriminated against thousands of LGBTQ members of the Canadian Armed Forces, the RCMP and the federal public service.  

Elliott says he was amazed and awed to be part of such a historical event. 

With ground-breaking, the construction work will now begin with an official dedication slated for late 2025. 

The monument, steps in front of the Ottawa River, was designed by a Winnipeg-based team including Public City Architecture staffers Liz Wreford, Taylor LaRocque, and Peter Sampson.  

It was also worked on by Shawna Dempsey and Lori Millan, both visual artists, and McLeod. 

The site will be complete with a sacred fire site featuring 13 stones chosen by Indigenous members of the LGBTQ+ community in each province and territory.  

A column broken apart by a thunderhead cloud inside will also be included in the space, along with information about the LGBT Purge.

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