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"Recommendations of Ontario Racial Profiling Inquiry are long overdue", says head of Canadian Ethnocultural Council
Ottawa, December 16, 2003 - "The Ontario Human Rights Commission recommendation to establish a Racial Diversity Secretariat is long overdue," said Art Hagopian President of the Canadian Ethnocultural Council. "However, the current provincial Human Rights legislation already gives the authority to create this. " Mr. Hagopian noted that the previous Conservative government had done away with the Anti-Racism Secretariat and hopes that the new Liberal Government will re-instate a similar body as soon as possible.
"The many situations involving racial profiling are in part a result of the current climate regarding security legislation and this has also created a sense of legitimacy to target certain individuals under this guise. There has not been an agency to deal with some of the real concerns expressed by communities who feel victimized. We believe that a Racial Diversity Secretariat is the right avenue and a good start to implement the recommendations of the Inquiry" stated Mr. Hagopian..
However, in order for racial profiling to be dealt with, the Premier must also meet with the federal government to look at how to improve safety and security without targeting specific communities. "We are also pleased that Premier McGuinty will meet with Toronto Chief of Police Fantino but we call upon the Minister of State Jean Augustine (Multiculturalism) to take the lead and develop a national response on racial profiling using the recommendations of the Ontario Inquiry as a point of departure for discussion and action", concluded Mr. Hagopian.
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The Canadian Ethnocultural Council is a coalition of over 30
national ethnocultural organizations, which in turn represent over
2,000 local chapters across Canada. Its mandate is to work towards
the elimination of racism and to promote the understanding of the
multicultural reality of Canada as defined in The Canadian Charter
of Rights and Freedoms and The Canadian Multiculturalism Act.