Is Canada as accepting as it seems to be?
Growing up I was always taught that Canada was a loving and accepting place for every person no matter what they looked like or where they came from. Since hearing that, I was always proud to be a Canadian. I wa proud to see that the country I was born into was one of acceptance.
Then, as I grew older, I realized that it was not always like that. From the genocide conducted against the Indigenous people when the settlers first arrived to turning away Jewish refugees in 1939, Canada’s history is less than perfect.
But you’d think that as a society we would be focusing on moving passed that, that we would be moving towards a more common goal of acceptance. Most people are, but some people are still very focused on hate.
Recently a qualitative report done by Quebec’s Human Rights Commission was released and it painted a picture of all the reported discrimination of racism and islamophobia that occurred between 2007 and 2017.
According to Statistics Canada, the number of hate crimes increase by 49 per cent in 2017 which, coincidently (or not) was the year of the mass shooting at the Quebec City mosque.
It is important to remember that these stats are also only based on reported incidents, many go unreported for a variety of reasons – lack of trust in the system and being scared are only two of them.
The Quebec Human Rights Commission is recommending that the government needs to acknowledge how horrible this problem is and start to address the discrimination that is happening on a daily basis.
A question that I have about this topic deals with Quebec recently making a law that prohibits many public workers from wearing religious symbols – do these things correlate? Is the fact that Quebec is basically trying to hide religion causing people to be more violent towards it?
My belief is that people hate when they do not understand. The most important thing we should be doing is creating a society where all people can be themselves without fear of discrimination.
The more often people of other religions, backgrounds, etc. are seen the more normalized the actions and garb becomes.
I want Canada to be that place that I grew up thinking it was. I want Canada to be this magical place where hate does not exist, but I think it is going to take Canada a lot more time to get there.