FEDERAL NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and NDP House Leader Peter Julian on Wednesday held a town hall to talk about the rising threat of all forms of hate in communities and how to fight back.
Hundreds of people joined the town hall to listen to guest speakers Bernie Farber, Chair of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, Dr. Barbara Perry, Director of the Center on Hate, Bias and Extremism at the Ontario Tech University, Pandit Roopnauth Sharma, President of the Canadian Multifaith Federation and President of the Hindu Federation.
“We must continue to work together towards a society that is welcoming and safe for everyone to live,” said Singh. “Too often, we hear stories of people being subjected to hateful speech, psychological and physical violence because of who they are. We need to fight head on against Islamophobia, anti-semitism and racism in all its forms. The NDP is ready to work with everyone committed to eliminate hate from our spaces of work, leisure, and communities.”
As part of the NDP’s effort to tackle systemic racism and discrimination, earlier this year, Julian tabled a bill that would prevent anyone from selling and displaying symbols that promote hatred. The symbols that would be banned are Swastikas and other Nazi emblems of the genocidal regime, Klu Klux Klan symbols and the Confederate flag, symbols of slavery, racism and of white supremacy.
“Symbolic gestures don’t eliminate hateful and violent crimes against Indigenous people, Black, Asian and other marginalized communities,” said Julian. “We need real action with tangible objectives. People are tired of hearing pretty words. They want their government to stop the spread of hate in our communities. And this bill is one of the tools that the NDP is putting forward to combat hate, racism, discrimination and extremism.”
Sharma said: “Words alone cannot eradicate hate. We need a change in mindset. We need to appreciate the solidarity of humanity. We need to see the value in respecting and loving all equally.”
Farber noted: “We live in a time where hatred seems to be all around us. The sight of Nazi hooked crosses and Confederate flags along with other symbols of racism and extremism have even found their way to Parliament Hill. This needs to end. Bill C-229 sponsored by NDP MP Peter Julian can be one of the tools in our anti-hate toolbox that gives a clear message: Canadians wont tolerate hate.”
Perry stressed: “At a time when hate is flourishing online and offline, it is imperative that we condemn the symbols of hate that create solidarity among hate mongers and instil fear in targeted communities. This is but one step among many that we must take to push back against those who would divide us.”