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TORONTO The Canadian Union of Public Employees, Ontario Division, stands in solidarity with the Jewish community against all acts of racism and hate crimes. The recent occurrences of hate crimes against members of the Jewish community need to be loudly condemned by all Canadians.

The latest anti-Semitic vandalism was discovered last Sunday, March 21, at a cemetery where 22 tombstones were toppled. Ironically, Sunday also marked the UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Earlier last week, 13 residences in the mostly Jewish neighbourhood of Thornhill, just north of Toronto, were defaced with swastikas and hate messages scrawled in spray paint.

While it is important to ferret out the perpetrators of hate crimes that live within our midst, it is equally important to raise issues of racism and hate in both our home and work life. The police and justice systems alone cannot halt racism and hate. We all have a responsibility. These issues are very uncomfortable, so too often the subtle forms of stereotyping and discrimination are ignored and left to mushroom into full-blown racism and hate.

Let us redouble our efforts to challenge all forms of racism and hate. Social harmony and the balance among races, cultures and religions in Canada are often taken for granted when it needs to be more deeply understood and nurtured. The Canadian Union of Public Employees, Ontario Division, is encouraging all its members and Locals to work together to send a strong message that Canadians do not tolerate acts of racism and hate.

Sid Ryan, CUPE Ontario President, will attend the Community Gathering in Solidarity Against Anti-Semitism and Hate at the Leah Posluns Theatre, 4588 Bathurst Street, Toronto at 7:30 p.m. on March 24, 2004.


For more information, please contact:
Sid Ryan, President, CUPE Ontario
416-209-0066 (cell)

Pat Daley, CUPE Communications
416-616-6142 (cell)