NDP MP Peter Julian (New Westminster – Burnaby) tabled a motion on Tuesday to urge the Trudeau government to immediately address the alarming rise in hate crimes, incidents of hate and discrimination that Asian Canadians have been facing since the beginning of the pandemic.
“No one living in this country should be the target of hatred or discrimination. It’s not good enough to take a knee or commiserate. Canadians need real leadership from their government to tackle the racism they are facing,” said Julian. “We are proposing a robust education campaign to fight against racism and hate, a comprehensive reporting system and services to support those who have been victimized. Our message to Asian Canadians is clear: you belong and you deserve to live in safety and dignity. New Democrats will not stand by while you and your family are attacked.”
Julian pointed out that in Vancouver, police have reported that hate crimes increased by over 700 per cent in 2020. The Toronto Police have reported that anti-Asian hate crimes have risen 500 per cent in the same period. Sadly, many other police agencies have reported similar increases leaving cities across the country struggling to address this reality. In Coquitlam, where a high percentage of residents are of Korean and Chinese descent, city councillor Bonita Zarillo is adding her voice to the list of supporters of the New Democrats’ motion.
“Coquitlam – like so many other cities in Canada – is made up of a diverse group of people. That’s what makes our city and our country a strong, vibrant place to live. It’s completely unacceptable that members or our communities are being mistreated,” said Zarillo.“When anyone is the target of hatred, violence or discrimination we must all stand together and speak out. Everyone has a role to play to condemn racism and discrimination wherever we encounter it – and that absolutely should include the federal government.”