Now there is so much racial hatred in our province, what is our government going to do about it? (#4)
The assaults on Asian Canadian anglers have caused significant distress among both the Asian Canadian community and the residents of the communities where incidents have occurred. Progress towards a resolution can only occur if the role of racism in these incidents is acknowledged. Racialized Canadians have been singled out as targets for hostility and resentment, and as a result have been the victims of racial attacks.
The seriousness of these events must not be minimized. Serious harm has occurred. Individuals who have experienced racially-based assaults have been traumatized, and some have experienced serious injuries. The Asian Canadian community as a whole has experienced fear, anxiety, and a loss of faith in their safety and security. There has also been a significant impact on the communities where the assaults occurred.
Steps must be quickly taken to ensure that no further assaults occur, and to restore the sense of security and safety of Asian Canadians. The existence of racist attitudes among some in the communities where incidents have occurred must be acknowledged, addressed, and combated. As well, it seems clear that greater efforts must be made to ensure that racialized communities are aware of the resources available to them should they experience racial harassment or assaults, and that these resources are able to effectively meet their needs.
While it is beyond the scope of the Commission’s expertise to comment on matters related to management of Ontario’s water resources, it seems clear from the submissions to this Inquiry that the competition over water resources has taken on a very disturbing racial overtone in some communities, and the Commission urges conservation and waterway authorities to take action to address these issues.
Based on these Preliminary Findings, the Commission intends to immediately reach out to responsible organizations and institutions, in order to seek solutions and obtain concrete commitments for action. This will include:
- Relevant government ministries, including the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Ministry of Citizenship, the Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services, and the Attorney General;
- Police forces, particularly those operating in the communities where incidents have occurred;
- Municipalities where incidents have occurred, as well as the Association of Municipalities of Ontario;
- Educators; and
- Community organizations, including organizations serving anglers, those serving the Asian Canadian community, and anti-racist organizations.
In the spring of 2008, the Commission will provide a Final Report to the public on its conclusions and commitments obtained.
The human rights vision of inclusion and equality for all shows us the path forward to an Ontario where all can share resources, and enjoy the gifts of this province together. It is the Commission’s intent that these Preliminary Findings will be the beginning of a process that will bring us together to achieve this goal.