QUEEN’S PARK — Ontarians are one step closer to recognizing Jan. 29 as a Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia after a private member’s bill put forward by Rima Berns-McGown, MPP for Beaches-East York, passed a critical vote.
Berns-McGown wrote the legislation in response to the horrific act of Islamophobic terrorism that claimed the lives of six men at a Quebec mosque on Jan. 29, 2017. Just weeks ago, another hateful attack, committed against peaceful worshippers in Christchurch, New Zealand, only served to underscore why this legislation is needed.
“This Bill will give us an annual opportunity to reflect on what we as a society can do — as government legislators, as organizations, and as individuals — to eradicate Islamophobia from our midst,” said Berns-McGown. “It will allow us to reflect on how Islamophobia is manifesting in any given year and what we can do about it. It will allow Muslim communities to advocate for what they need to ensure they feel that they belong in Ontario and that they are valued and respected.”
“I hope and trust that MPPs from both sides of the aisle will continue to work with me to ensure that this Bill is shepherded through committee and enacted into law. Every Ontarian who cares about social harmony and justice will be watching closely.”
The bill passed second reading Thursday. It needs one more vote to become law.