International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
March 21, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ottawa, ON – The Leader of Canada’s Conservatives, the Honourable Andrew Scheer, issued the following statement to mark International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination:
“We are blessed to live in our beautiful and diverse country. Our Canadian values of a truly free, open and welcoming society are a big part of what makes our nation the envy of the world.
“On this day, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, I stand with all Canadians who fight for those values both here at home, and around the world.
“All people around the world and at home deserve the opportunity to pursue their dreams regardless of race, or ethnicity. And we must always fight to see that right protected.
“Canada has been settled by many cultures, and we have a long and proud history of standing against any form of discrimination. Our record is not perfect, and there are shameful episodes in our history as well, but Canada leads the world in celebrating and protecting racial diversity.
“It was Canada’s John Graves Simcoe who passed the first Act Against Slavery on July 9, 1793, ending the sale of slaves by Canadians to Americans and liberated slaves entering Upper Canada from the United States. This helped change attitudes towards enslavement, and contributed greatly to the anti-slavery movements. For many African-Americans who had escaped slavery, making their way to Canada, or as many referred to as Heaven, meant freedom.
“Sadly, there are still many parts of the world where those rights, freedoms and opportunities are not recognized. Discrimination on the ground of ethnicity is a violation of the most basic human rights and must be confronted with every tool at our disposal.
“That is why I and my colleagues are committed to doing everything we can, with our words, and with our actions, to stand with and support the many Canadians who are working to champion universal rights around the globe and here at home.
“Let us stand firm, and encourage each other to never stop protecting these values at home, and promoting them around the world.”
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