THUNDER BAY – The message is simple; Hate Divides a Community. There are issues in our city where hate, bigotry and the resulting actions make our city look bad. Thunder Bay is an increasingly multicultural community. We have the benefit of people coming to Thunder Bay with new and innovative ideas, and new perspectives on how things can be done. Multiculturalism is strong in Thunder Bay. The Folklore Festival celebrated an amazing anniversary this year. Record crowds keep coming to share in the benefits of a growing multicultural mosaic in the city of Thunder Bay.
A Hate Free Thunder Bay is a goal worth achieving
That is not to suggest that everything is sunshine and perfect.
[sws_pullquote_right]Solving the problem means someone has to do something – YOU are someone! [/sws_pullquote_right] There are reports where people attempting to rent an apartment are turned away, often because of race. There are times when clerks in local shops put up a little attitude wall when a First Nation customer presents their status card. Considering how much money First Nations customers and business represent in Thunder Bay, that is a major mistake for a business.
Racism and hate is not limited to any one group. There are instances of racism against all the colours and races in our city. None of that behaviour is, or should be acceptable.
Most of the time, managers when made aware of the problem will solve it.
However it is that it happens in the first place that is the real issue. Without action, nothing is likely to change. There are still far too many instances of racism, hate, and intolerance in Thunder Bay. However progress is being made.
Rebecca Johnson, a long-serving Councillor at Large and Chair of the Anti-Racism Committee shared on National Aboriginal Day ,”This is Thunder Bay”.
For many in our city, the outward actions of a small number of residents can reflect on our community. Taking the approach that racism, and hate are unacceptable is a key to making a difference.
One way to solve problems will come when people take the needed time to report incidents to the Thunder Bay Police Service. Many people feel that the police ‘won’t do anything’ – the fact is if no one reports incidents, they can not do a thing to solve the problem.
Unreported crime as Vic Toews has called it is a growing problem.
Leaving a possible hate crime unreported means the hater gets to keep hating.
How does it work?
Many people watch a lot of American television and on crime shows, hear that a victim of a crime says, “I want to charge…”. In Canada the process is that the police investigate, then the police present the evidence to the Crown Prosecutor who then lays charges.
If you have information that the police need, you can call, or you can report the incident online.
People can submit an anonymous tip to Police through the Crime Stoppers website: https://www.tipsubmit.com/WebTips.aspx?AgencyID=273
The bottom line is very simple – The Thunder Bay Police, the Ontario Provincial Police, Nishnawbe-Aski Police or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police can only do as much as they have the information to use to investigate.
At the beginning and at the end, it starts with you. If you want a Hate Free Thunder Bay, it means ‘someone has to do something’.
You are someone!
Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Equality before and under law and equal protection and benefit of law
15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.
Marginal note:Affirmative action programs
(2) Subsection (1) does not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.