2 min


Homosexuality is decriminalized in Canada.

Gay activist Peter Maloney runs for MPP as the Liberal candidate in the St George riding; he is defeated by solicitor general Alan Lawrence.

Dec 30, 1977
Police raid the offices of Xtra’s predecessor, The Body Politic.

Jan 5, 1978
Criminal charges are laid against The Body Politic and its officers for use of the mails to distribute immoral, indecent and scurrilous materials. The case drags on for more than four years, eventually ending in acquittal.

Apr 26, 1980
George Hislop declares his nomination for city council with Maloney as his assistant campaign manager. Toronto mayor John Sewell endorses Hislop’s candidacy in September.

June 1980
Police intelligence officers follow Maloney and fellow activist Hislop to a gay-rights conference in Calgary.

Nov 10, 1980
Hislop is defeated, as is Sewell.

Dec 11, 1980
Maloney and Hislop are among a delegation that presents a submission to the Joint House And Senate Committee of Parliament in favour of including “sexual orientation” in the proposed Charter Of Rights And Freedoms.

Feb 5 & 6, 1981
Police conduct a series of raids on four Toronto bathhouses — Club Baths, the Romans II Health And Recreation Spa, the Richmond Street Health Emporium and the Barracks — arresting 286 men as found-ins in a common bawdy house. Twenty men are charged with keeping a common bawdy house.

Feb 11, 1981
Hislop announces his plan to run in the upcoming provincial elections as a protest to the raids.

February & March 1981
Thousands of queers take to the streets in a series of protests in response to the raids.

Mar 19, 1981
Hislop fails in his independent bid to become MPP for St George, placing fourth to Tory Susan Fish.

Apr 25, 1981
Maloney and Hislop are arrested for conspiracy to possess proceeds obtained by crime in connection to the February raids. Photos of the pair handcuffed together at 52 Division appear in local media. Released on bail the same day.

Sep 24, 1984. Charges against Hislop and Maloney are withdrawn in the course of a preliminary hearing.

Maloney runs for city council in Ward 6 against Susan Eng and Dale Martin. Martin wins; Maloney and Eng become friends.

May 1991
NDP premier Bob Rae appoints Eng as the new chair of the Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB) replacing Liberal-appointed chair June Rowlands.

May 1991
Det Garry Carter pursues a covert intelligence operation against Maloney and Eng, conducting surveillance on at least eight dinner meetings and wiretapping conversations. Openly lesbian TPSB member Laura Rowe is also mentioned in the intelligence memos.

David Boothby becomes Toronto’s chief of police, replacing William McCormack. McCormack refuses to give up the office for several months afterward.

Carter is charged with fraud; he resigns from the Toronto police force.

Mar 6, 2000
Julian Fantino is sworn in as Toronto’s chief of police.

Carter pleads guilty to one charge of fraud; he is convicted and sentenced to a year of house arrest.

May 2005
Bill Blair becomes police chief after TPSB does not renew Fantino’s contract.

Oct 12, 2006
Premier Dalton McGuinty names Fantino the new OPP commissioner.

Dec 17, 2006
The Toronto Star publishes part of Const Robert Correa’s statement of claim against Fantino and the TPSB, which includes the first public reference to a wiretap operation against Eng and Maloney.

April 2007
CBC Radio news investigative reporter obtains a 17-page internal police intelligence memo.

May 16, 2007
CBC Radio features the first of three major news reports on the surveillance and undercover operation on Eng, Maloney and others. Eng writes a formal letter to the TPSB calling on it to investigate “illegal and improper surveillance of any board member” and “investigate the circulation of a purported confidential intelligence report.”

May 17, 2007
TPSB meets and decides to ask Toronto police chief Bill Blair to investigate allegations of the police operation against its former chair.

May 23, 2007
A coalition of community groups including the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the Coalition For Lesbian And Gay Rights In Ontario and the Chinese Canadian National Council hold a press conference demanding that the Ontario government appoint an independent body to investigate the surveillance and bugging of Eng and gay activists.