York Region's Liberal MPs, including Newmarket-Aurora MP Tony Van Bynen, have issued a joint statement on anti-Asian racism due to the increasing racism and discrimination they say is occurring during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The York Region Liberal Caucus statement, signed by Van Bynen, Mary Ng (Markham Thornhill), Helena Jaczek (Markham-Stouffville), Francesco Sorbara, (Vaughan-Woodbridge), Deb Schulte (King-Vaughan), and Majid Jowhari (Richmond Hill) is as follows:
"Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, our community members of Asian descent have faced increased anti-Asian racism and discrimination, exacerbated by the spread of misinformation and false statements associated with the virus.
"The shooting in Atlanta earlier this month was horrifying, and our thoughts go out to the families and communities affected. At the same time, we know Canada is not immune to anti-Asian racism. Despite the progress we have made to combat racism and discrimination in Canada, for too many, anti-Asian racism is a familiar experience and a lived reality, and we have seen the sharp rise in reports of such incidents across the country amidst this pandemic.
"Acknowledging that there is a problem is only the first step; a society that is free from racism and discrimination requires ongoing commitment. As we work to build a more inclusive Canada for all, we must commit ourselves to taking action by challenging and confronting racism and discrimination in all of its form, wherever it is found: whether online, on our streets, in our homes or in our workplaces, we all have a role to play in preventing and stopping the spread of stigma and hate.
"Our ridings are some of the most diverse in Canada. We are committed to working with all community members to be a part of the solution and achieve meaningful, long-lasting change. Hate and intolerance has no place in Canada.
To the Canadians of Asian descent across York Region, and Canada, we stand with you as fellow Asian-Canadians and as allies, ready to listen and learn from your lived experiences, and take action against anti-Asian racism in ways big and small."