Racism in response to COVID-19 harms us all

April 8, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Human Rights Commission

Since the emergence of COVID-19 in early 2020, there has been a rise in racism in Canada and around the world. In light of this disturbing trend, Marie-Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission issues the following statement:

“The Canadian Human Rights Commission is deeply concerned by the rise of racism across Canada since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Minority groups, in particular people of Asian origin, have been the victims of racist taunts, threats and intimidation in public and online, and physical violence. This is both an issue of public safety and fundamental human rights. No one should feel threatened or unwelcome because of the colour of their skin or where they are from.

“Racism and xenophobia are also contributing to misinformation during a global health crisis. Viruses do not have borders. Viruses do not discriminate. People do.

“Flattening the curve and slowing the spread of COVID-19 will take cooperation, solidarity and unity. As a country built on diversity, freedom and inclusion, we cannot let racism, intolerance and inequality undermine our peace and prosperity.

“We are not safe unless we are all safe.”

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