31 January, 2017 9:00 AM

An Affront To Our Shared Humanity Says Labour Council

Canadians are mourning the tragic loss of life of six innocent people gunned down because of their religion in a mosque in Quebec City. The Labour Council joins with many others in expressing our deepest condolences to the families of the victims, and to all members of their community who are reeling from the attack.

“The murders, by a Quebec student fueled by the islamophobia of Marine Le Pen and Donald Trump, stands as a shocking notice of what is at stake in 2017 and beyond. It is an affront to our shared humanity “said John Cartwright, President of the Toronto & York Region Labour Council.

Donald Trump’s Executive Orders to build a wall against Mexico, bar Muslims and deport thousands are all conscious steps to build a climate of fear and division against people of colour and immigrants. On World Holocaust Day, despite the tragic record of Anne Frank and her Jewish family being refused entry to the United States, he signed the order to ban refugees from half a dozen majority Muslim countries. The singling out of Muslims throughout his political campaign cannot be divorced from the deadly consequences of that ideology last Sunday in Quebec.

Labour Council calls on Canadians to build powerful movements to challenge all forms of discrimination and xenophobia, and deepen our commitment to equity and inclusion in schools, workplaces and public institutions. The refugee rights and sanctuary movements across Canada should be strengthened, and moral support given to all those in the United States who are working to uphold civil liberties and social justice.

Learning from each other, building a culture of understanding, reaching out to those who feel marginalized, working to eliminate discrimination in all its forms – these are key steps to embracing our common humanity. We all need to work for the kind of future we want to share together as Canadians in these uncertain times.

The Toronto and York Region Labour Council is a central labour body that combines the strength of over 150 local unions representing 205,000 women and men and who work in every sector of the economy.

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