We need an inclusive Canada

A more inclusive Canada is possible. Yet, so many people experience discrimination and hate. Governments must promote supportive and respectful environments where all communities can thrive. Support an inclusive Canada.
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Canada needs a government committed to challenging hate and intolerance in all its forms.

Welcoming Immigrants and Refugees

Canada is the product of its people, but with a declining population rate, Canada needs a robust immigration system to address labour and population growth needs. Our government, laws, social beliefs and traditions all come from the people who immigrated and now live here. Newcomers have a strong desire to be part of our community, to be accepted and to prove they can be successful. When we welcome and integrate newcomers, we strengthen Canadian society, culture and our economy.

Immigration also brings families together. As more Canadians travel the world, some build their families abroad. The reunification of families must be a priority for the Government of Canada.

Canada’s government must commit to:

  • Supporting a robust, permanent immigration and family reunification plan, with associated supports;
  • Providing open work permits in conjunction with pathways to citizenship for temporary foreign workers, low-skilled migrant workers and out-of-status workers;
  • Re-examining Canada’s “Safe Third Country Agreement” with the United States to ensure all migrants entering Canada through the U.S. have their claims for refugee protection fairly and properly processed; and
  • Promoting public awareness about the value of newcomers, Canada’s rigorous border security and the dire circumstances facing fleeing refugees.

Confronting Hate

In recent years, Canada has been shaken by a rise in overt hate and intolerance. From Canada’s homegrown “Proud Boys” to the “yellow vest” movement; from racist online posts by a Canadian senator to politicians attending speaking events with known white supremacists; from violent assaults at LGBTQ2SI Pride events to the horrific shooting at a Québec City mosque that left six dead; Canada is becoming less safe for people who come from marginalized communities. When such acts are not immediately confronted and condemned, racism and intolerance becomes more permissive and confident.

Canada’s government must commit to:

  • Denouncing and condemning racism, Islamophobia, and discrimination in all forms, and to holding elected officials accountable for propagating hate;
  • Repealing any legislation that characterizes or reinforces racist stereotypes and propagates fear in Canada, specifically the Conservatives’ Bill C-51, the Anti-terrorism Act, and Bill S-7, the Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act; and
  • Tracking and reporting on hate groups found to be propagating white supremacy, homophobia and transphobia, or misogyny.

Reconciliation with Canada’s First Peoples

First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples of Canada have been subjected to gross human rights violations throughout the colonial history of Canada. This legacy is felt on a daily basis, on and off reserve, where Indigenous people are dramatically over-represented in Canada’s poorest communities, in prisons, and in suicide, dependency and victim statistics for violent crimes. Canada must take immediate action to address this genocide of Indigenous peoples and their culture.

Canada’s government must commit to:

  • Implementing the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and
  • Developing an action plan to implement the recommendations of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Addressing the Systemic Barriers to Inclusion

Addressing discrimination and intolerance requires more than just a change in individual attitudes, it requires a concrete plan to address the systemic, structural and institutional barriers that create, reinforce and maintain social and economic inequality for marginalized communities.

Canada’s government must commit to:

  • Strengthening Canada’s action plan against racism and to activate a whole-of-government approach to reducing or eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination;
  • Collecting statistics by ethno-racial and religious background in order to better monitor the impact of systemic racism and discrimination; and
  • Creating a plan for improving social mobility and opportunity by pairing plans for the creation of good jobs with stronger measures for poverty reduction and investment in affordable housing.