Canada’s unions: confronting hate is a shared responsibility

December 10, 2023

This International Human Rights Day, Canada’s unions are calling on governments and individuals to collectively confront rising hate. 

Canada is facing a crisis: Statistics Canada data released earlier this year showed a record jump in hate crimes against 2SLGBTQI+, Muslim, and Jewish communities in 2021. This number continues to increase. This includes an alarming rise in incidences of hate and hate crimes, divisive ideologies, and racist, prejudicial, and discriminatory acts, both online and offline. It is crucial for all Canadians to urgently come together, to confront and combat this hate head-on. 

Canada’s unions are urging the federal government to take immediate action to put an end to the rise of hate in this country. This includes releasing its National Action Plan on Combatting Hate, a much-needed tool to help combat the rapid increase and spread of hate.  

Hate speech also continues to thrive online. This environment allows white supremacist, fascist, and right-wing extremist groups to organize and spread hate-based rhetoric and ideologies, quickly and effectively. The federal government must release its long-promised online harms bill, aimed at countering the deeply troubling trend of online hate, harassment, and violence.  

To combat rising anti-2SLGBTQI+, anti-inclusion, and pro-violence campaigns across the country, Canada’s unions are also calling for the implementation of all 29 policy recommendations in the White Paper on the Status of Trans and Gender Diverse People.   

“This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As we mark and reflect on this significant milestone, we must unite against hate in all its forms. Hate—whether rooted in racism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, or any other form of prejudice and discrimination—has no place in our society. It undermines the principles of human rights and jeopardizes the very fabric of our society,” said Larry Rousseau, Executive Vice President of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). 

Canada’s unions have long been at the forefront of human rights issues and will continue to fight for a more just and equitable future for all.  

“We will not let anyone roll back hard-won human rights. Every worker deserves to live a life free from fear, prejudice, and bigotry. We remain unwavering in our commitment to confronting hate in our workplaces, unions, and communities,” said Bea Bruske, President of the CLC. “The ongoing rise of hate requires an urgent response, and we’re calling on the federal government to take concrete steps to protect and preserve human rights in Canada. But we also have a collective role to play in confronting and combatting hate. It’s up to each of us, to stand up to hate when we see it and when we hear it. Only together can we make our workplaces and our communities safer for everyone.” 

Everyone in Canada must do their part to confront and combat hate. Join the fight by: 

  • Learning more about how right-wing extremism and populism are spreading online and in communities across Canada. 
  • Sign the #TransEqualityNow petition to tell the federal government they must act. 

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