Hate and racism have no place in a democracy

September 21, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Human Rights Commission

Marie-Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, congratulates all members of Canada's 44th Parliament, and issues the following statement:

The hate, intolerance, and violence on display during this election was unprecedented, unacceptable, and frightening.

The vitriol, threats, intimidation and assault levelled at candidates and their volunteers cannot be dismissed, downplayed or defended as politics or protest. No one in Canada should feel threatened, unwelcome, or afraid because of who they are or what they believe.

Many have said that “this isn’t Canada,” but the blunt reality is that hate is on the rise in this country. It is a growing problem that is undermining Canada’s democracy. It threatens our peace, prosperity and safety. It is sowing fear and division. As we have seen time and again, racism and hate can have devastating consequences.

Building back better starts with ensuring that everyone feels safe, welcome and included. Human rights are essential to all aspects of our lives – healthcare, childcare, employment, security, social participation, housing, the environment, and political engagement.

The rise in hate is threatening our peaceful way forward. We must all resist the normalization or legitimization of hate and violence. We cannot be complacent or remain silent. Leaders must do more than condemn the racism, hate and violence that we all witnessed during this campaign – all Parliamentarians must work together to take decisive steps to address it.

Our children are watching. Our actions matter. Now more than ever, human rights matter.

Marie-Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner

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