by Patty Hajdu MP
THUNDER BAY – POLITICS – Hate should never have a home, here or anywhere. But earlier this month in Christchurch, New Zealand, a white nationalist murdered 50 people and injured another 50 people, many children, in a cowardly and Islamophobic terrorist attack. And in Canada, this attack was sadly all too familiar, as our nation endured a similar attack on a Quebec City mosque in January of 2017. These attacks in places of prayer remind us that all over the world, we have become too comfortable with hateful words and actions. Canadians have been asking if we have a growing problem with expressions and actions of hate in our country too. The answer is, unfortunately, yes.
Police-reported hate crimes against South Asians, West Asians, Jewish people and crimes targeting people for their sexual orientation have increased in Canada. In the past five years, 11 percent of people with a non-Christian religion said they have faced discrimination compared to one percent of Christians. From social media to our streets, white nationalists are finding it easier and more comfortable to spew hate and in some cases act on it. They’re also calling on others to do the same. This is unacceptable. To change this trend, our government is proposing $45 million in Budget 2019 towards an anti-racism strategy that will support communities across the country to reduce and eliminate racial discrimination.
I’ve been heartened by the many people in Thunder Bay-Superior North who have reached out to me to ask our government to take stronger action and crack down on hate groups. Specifically, they’ve asked me to communicate to the Public Safety Minister that Canada should identify and assess which white nationalist hate groups are active in Canada and add them to the list of Terrorist Entities. I will be sharing these compassionate and strong calls with the Minister of Public Safety. I agree that if we are silent in this rising trend, we have much to lose. Please continue to send me letters or call my office to help make sure hate no longer has a home in Canada or anywhere else.
Patty Hajdu, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay-Superior North