Canada’s unions are welcoming the federal government’s announcement that it will designate January 29 a National Day of Remembrance of the Quebec City Mosque Attack and Action Against Islamophobia.
The country’s labour movement supported community calls to commemorate this painful anniversary since the attack on the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre devastated the community in 2017. Six men were killed in the massacre, and many more were permanently injured.
“This announcement sends a powerful message to Muslims in Canada, and to the broader public: Islamophobia has no place in our country,” said Hassan Yussuff, President of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). “An annual commemoration ensures we never forget those we lost that day and that we remain vigilant to the dangers that Islamophobia poses to workers and to their families.”
Inclusive communities require proactive efforts and Canada’s unions are committed to ensuring that every worker in Canada has an opportunity to fully participate in society, regardless of race, gender, class, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic that makes them who they are.
“With this designation, we will need further concrete action,” added Larry Rousseau, Executive Vice-President of the CLC. “The federal government must continue to step up in providing resources and support to advance education and awareness efforts around Islamophobia and all forms of racism and discrimination. None of us are safe until all of us are safe.”
The CLC published a detailed report on confronting Islamophobia in the workplace in 2019, which provides recommendations to employers, governments, and trade unions.
“With this important designation, we ensure a national conversation in which people across Canada will learn about the presence of anti-Muslim sentiment and its impacts on people’s day to day lives. The annual remembrance of the École Polytechnique massacre on December 6 provides Canadians with an opportunity to remember the victims and to take stock of the progress, or lack thereof, towards eliminating gender-based violence. Similarly, this new day of remembrance will allow similar introspection and dialogue around white supremacy, hate, and Islamophobia,” said Yussuff.
The labour movement is committed to advancing anti-racism efforts and works with all levels of government in promoting safe and welcoming communities for all.