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Canadian Ethnocultural Council supports independent inquiry on the circumstances around Dziekanski's death at Vancouver International Airport
Ottawa, November 19, 2007 The Canadian Ethnocultural Council is supporting the call for an immediate independent inquiry on the circumstances around the tragic death of Robert Dziekanski who was Tasered at Vancouver International Airport on October 14, 2007.
"Our airports are the first point of entry for immigrants to Canada. How we receive newcomers and how we respond to individuals who may be distressed and upset at this important time of their lives reflects who we are as a nation. This tragic death puts a dark cloud over all of us, a nation of immigrants, where compassion and respect are our guiding principles. This incident also calls into question the confidence in the RCMP and the impact this has on their relationship with communities in Canada" said Peter Ferreira, President of the CEC. The CEC is calling for an immediate and thorough analysis and assessment of the circumstance of the following:
- The procedures
at Vancouver International Airport (and all international airports
in Canada) regarding the mechanism to assist confused travelers
and new immigrants especially on translation and interpretation
"We are very disappointed with the heavy handed approach taken and the impact this has had on our communities and the family of the victim. Immediate steps taken by the Federal and Provincial governments to deal with this situation may help maintain the reputation of Canada as a welcoming society. We are concerned that such incidents should not happen in the future and would like to see some corrective action. Some apology and compensation should be given to the mother" said Yvonne Bogorya-Buczkowski, CEC Executive member and President of the Polish Canadian Women's Federation. "It is important that we get to the heart of the matter and that amends are made as soon as possible".
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 promote the understanding of the multicultural reality of Canada as defined in The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and The Canadian Multiculturalism Act. The Canadian Polish Congress is a member of the CEC.