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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 services.
- The RCMP procedures and training, their response to this situation, the lethal use of force, the use of Tasers especially in this circumstance.
- The impact of the new and increased national security measures at airports and how this has affected the personal security of travellers. The CEC strongly supports increased security but questions how Mr. Dziekanski had been left alone for such a long period of time without assistance.

"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".

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For further information Anna Chiappa, Executive Director: (613) 230-3867 ext. 224

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.

Canadian Ethnocultural Council - Conseil Ethnoculturel du Canada
176 Gloucester St., Suite 400
Ottawa, ON, K2P 0A6 Canada
Tel 613 230-3867, Fax 613 230-8051 Email: cec@web.ca; www.ethnocultural.ca



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