September 23, 2016- TORONTO – Today Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath announced her party’s intention to introduce a Bill in the Legislature that will establish October as Islamic Heritage Month in the Province of Ontario.
“We have to do more to tackle discrimination, prejudice and Islamophobia,” said Horwath. “This is an opportunity to recognize that increasing Islamophobia is a reality in Ontario, and to take action to combat it.”
NDP Citizenship and Immigration Critic MPP Teresa Armstrong will be introducing the bill, bringing the Province in line with the Federal government and local school boards-including the TDSB-which have already taken this step.
“Dialogue, conversation, asking questions, seeking knowledge; these are all things that combat ignorance and hatred. New Democrats have been working diligently to find ways to combat racism in Ontario. We have called for an end to arbitrary, race-based police street checks and carding. We pushed the Premier to finally set-up the Anti-Racism Directorate and have been vocal advocates for the series of public community meetings now being held in towns and cities across the Province to address the Directorate’s mission and goals” said Armstrong.
“This is about building a better future for all of our children,” continued Horwath. “We have to make sure that every member of the Muslim community, and every Ontarian, feels safe and secure here in our Province. That’s the only way Ontario can reach its potential. All Ontarians should be able to learn about and celebrate the tremendous contributions that Canadians of Islamic Heritage have made throughout our province’s history – and the tremendous contributions that the community is making to build a better future for all Ontarians.”