TORONTO, Oct. 17, 2016 – The Canadian Race Relations Foundation sees a need for concerted action following the recent rash of acts of hate targeting religious communities on university campuses. In the last few days, swastikas were found painted in several locations in the downtown campus of the University of Toronto, raising the concern of community groups. Earlier in the month, multiple posters were discovered at the University of Calgary depicting bearded men who appeared to be screaming, which made references to Islamic sharia law and genital mutilation. Prior to these incidents, racist posters were placed at the University of Alberta directed at turban-wearing Sikhs. As well, a university professor at the University of Lethbridge has recently been suspended following accusations of using social media to post Holocaust denial and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. With police hate crime statistics showing the persistence of religious-based hate, action is clearly needed.
Albert Lo, Chairperson of the CRRF stated, "These incidents of hate are an affront to the human dignity of not only the particular religious and ethnic groups targeted, but to Canadian societies at large. To counter these overt acts of racism and to deter the spread of this virus of hate mongering, the universities must set out for all to see the concrete actions they will take. Studies, including the CRRF's Report on Canadian Values confirm that Canadians support multiculturalism where diversity is seen as a strength and inclusion is embraced and celebrated. It is by fostering inclusion that we can foster public safety. To realize the type of inclusion Canadians expect, we must come together and show mutual respect whether at work, at home or in our schools."
Anita Bromberg, Executive Director of the CRRF added, “We will be bringing Canadians from across the country, sectors and communities together at our biennial conference next week to discuss the challenges and promises that lay ahead in realizing an inclusive Canada. Best practices in countering racism will be an important part of the plenaries and breakout sessions. It is timely that we will be bringing university students from Canadian campuses to join community advocates, educators, government and other thought leaders to envision the way forward."
About the Canadian Race Relations Foundation
The Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) is a Crown Corporation dedicated to working towards the elimination of racism and all forms of racial discrimination. Its mission is to advance Canadian identity in the pursuit of positive race relations, equity, fairness, social inclusion and dignity for all Canadians. The CRRF does this by providing independent, outspoken national leadership, informing national policies and public conversation, and acting as a resource and facilitator.
For more information
Anita Bromberg, Executive Director, CRRF; / 416-508-9033