TORONTO, August 22, 2007 - The Canadian Race Relations Foundation is disturbed by the report of racially motivated attacks ands death threats in Saint John, New Brunswick and commends the police and the City for their quick responses to these racist incidents against members of the Asian community. The swift action, including the arrest of two youth for assault on two Chinese students, should serve as a significant warning that racism will not be tolerated in Saint John, the province of New Brunswick or anywhere in Canada. The police are also investigating a death threat against a member of the common council of Saint John.
"While we laud the quick responses, it is important that everyone realizes that racism is very much present in Canadian society. Any belief that this doesn't happen in Canada is in denial of reality," observed Dr. Ayman Al-Yassini, Senior Executive Vice President of the CRRF. "It is our combined responsibility to ensure that people understand very clearly that racism leaves a painful and lasting invisible injury on its victims, and institutions in both the public and private sectors have to take a lead in getting that message across."
Dr. Al-Yassini is urging the New Brunswick Multicultural Council to move ahead with its public education plan on diversity.
"The Government of New Brunswick recognizes the need for population growth in the province to 'spur economic growth'. This will largely depend on immigration which makes it even more urgent for a strong public education campaign to prepare the climate for newcomers to the province. That will make these attacks less likely," concluded Dr. Al-Yassini.