Hate Crimes are steadily rising in Canada. What are federal political parties proposing to address this troubling trend?
Ottawa (10 October 2019) — The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) has just release a factsheet outlining the anti-racism measures proposed by the 4 main federal political parties. This is part of the National Union's 2019 Voter's Guide. Hate crimes and increased racism do not occur in isolation. Increasingly, hot button issues related to immigration, refugees and religious symbols are being used by some politicians to attract support. This is part of larger trend across the globe where there is a rise of populism that is linked to a rise in racism and anti-immigrant sentiment.
Hate crimes increase when unaddressed
Without active measures and initiatives to target the rise in racism and hate crimes, the trend is clearly toward an increase in the number of incidents and severity of these crimes. Hate crimes have been rising since 2014 and there have been a number of high-profile and terrible attacks on minorities, including the 2017 Quebec City Mosque shooting.
Refugees being blamed for job loss and lack of opportunity
As income and wealth inequality reaches record levels in Canada, refugees and immigrants are increasingly being targeted for 'taking jobs' and causing lack of opportunity for Canadians. These narratives are objectively false but this fear is being exploited and used to divert attention from the larger issues facing all working in Canada, including new Canadians. We need policies that protect against hate and broadly supports equality of opportunity for all. This includes stopping the attacks on labour rights and the undermining of collective bargaining and unions in Canada.
Protect human rights, combat racism and hate
Political parties need to step up their support for fundamental human rights, both in Canada and across the world. Racism and hate crimes are the symptoms of the larger problem related to the attacks on human rights in Canada and abroad. More funding and education will not immediately solve these longstanding problems, but they will certainly signal the strong intent of governments to combat racism and hate crimes. This is necessary because it is important to counter those who spew hate and intolerance, especially in the new era where far-right elements can use the internet and social media to try and anonymously spread hate.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE