Canada’s only transgender surgery clinic burnt in arson attack
The only specialist clinic in Canada providing gender services for trans people has been targeted by an arsonist.
Montreal’s Centre Metropolitain De Chirurgie houses the only surgeon in Canada who performs gender confirmation surgery, Dr Pierre Brassard.
However, the clinic has been put out of action indefinitely, after an arson attack on Monday night.
The Montreal Gazette reports that a man “burst into” the Montreal clinic at around 8:45 PM and attempted to set fire to the building before fleeing.
Though the fire was eventually put out, the clinic sustained damage due to smoke, as well as water damage to equipment caused by the sprinkler system.
Montreal Fire Prevention Service spokesperson Mélanie Drouin said the staff members and patients in the building at the time were all unharmed, but damages were estimated at about $700,000.
Constable Manuel Couture of Montreal police said the incident had not yet been classified as a suspected hate crime, as the motive was still unclear.
He said: “I don’t have any information right now to indicate that this was some kind of hate crime, but investigators are aware of that and as soon as they have the slightest suspicion that something could be a hate crime, they transfer it to the Hate Crimes Unit.”
Trans rights campaigner Sophia Banks told the National Post the attack was “devastating for trans health care”, adding that “people are freaking out” about wait times and how long the clinic will be closed. She said they’re also concerned about why this happened.