Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday apologised for historical injustices against the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans community in the country, BBC reported. The government has set aside C$100 million (Rs 501 crore) to settle a lawsuit filed by LGBT victims.

From the 1950s to the early 1990s, the Canadian government monitored and interrogated civil servants who were believed to be gay or transgender. Many were fired from their jobs. This was because Canada’s government and military believed homosexuals were more vulnerable to blackmail by agents of the former Soviet Union.

The prime minister on Tuesday called this “nothing short of a witch-hunt.” He also proposed a bill that would allow courts to expunge the records of people criminalised for their sexuality.

“It is with shame and sorrow and deep regret for the things we have done that I stand here today and say: We were wrong,” Trudeau said in Canada’s House of Commons on Tuesday. “We apologise. I am sorry. We are sorry.”

The prime minister’s speech was met with approval from all parties, the BBC said.

“While we may regard modern Canada as a forward-thinking and progressive nation, we cannot forget our past,” Trudeau added. “We are all worthy of love. Whether you discover who you are at six, 16 or 60, we are all valid.”

The prime minister said Canada had to do more to end homophobia and discrimination, such as bans on gay men donating blood.