A man is being sought by police after a fire was set at a medical clinic while employees and patients were still in the building.
Sprinklers were set off at the Centre métropolitain de chirurgie on de Salaberry St. near Gouin Blvd. in Nouveau-Bordeaux, limiting damage till firefighters could arrive to put out the blaze. The building was evacuated and no one was injured.
The suspect arrived at the clinic around 8:45 p.m., police said. They provided a description to the arson squad. Police do not know the motive.
Twitter tells me that this clinic is Canada’s only Transgender medical clinic:
Boost this! The media isn’t even reporting that it is a Transgender medical clinic.
On the evening of Monday May 2, Canada’s only sex reassignment surgery clinic was subject to an arson attack. A man, armed with a machete, axe and gas can, set fire to the operating room.
Constable Abdullah Emran of the Montreal police has stated they are treating the incident as a potential hate crime “because this is the only clinic that does [gender confirmation surgery], but at this point we have nothing that confirms it is related to that.”
Press were remarkably slow to respond, with reporting coming in late and often with no mention of the work the clinic does. Social media has also been slow on the uptake with its reaction to this crime.
The Centre Métropolitain de Chirurgie in Montréal offers sex reassignment surgeries, more often called gender confirmation surgery, to transgender Canadians. The arson attack caused an estimated $700,000 worth of damage and put the clinic temporarily out of action.
In a statement, the clinic said they were “forced to cancel surgeries scheduled between Tuesday, May 3, and Friday, May 6, 2016.” Other surgeries are currently being performed at an alternate location. Although the damage isn’t permanent, it is yet to be determined when the clinic will reopen.
For many gender confirmation procedures, the Centre Métropolitain de Chirurgie is the only clinic in Canada that accepts patients referred by provincial health-care programs. Sex reassignment surgeries are at least partially funded by eight of Canada’s provinces, although not all of these provinces cover all types of gender confirmation procedures.
The Montréal clinic is the only clinic in Canada that provides both male-to-female and female-to-male gender confirmation surgery. Trans people travel from both Canada and the U.S. for surgery at the clinic.