The threats that so many face because of faith, skin colour, heritage, gender, sexuality, age and the vast list of diversity that comprises who and what we all are must no longer be provided its oxygen of hate. It is hate that feeds the xenophobia that victimizes millions around the world and those who we call neighbours. Neighbours just like our sisters and brothers killed in London this week and those witness to repugnant graffiti and vandalism in communities across Grey and Bruce Counties.
“The Grey Bruce Labour Council is shaken to the core and beyond being heartbroken by the Islamophobic attack on a London, Ontario family this past Sunday,” says Labour Council President, Kevin Smith. “Grief stricken by this act of domestic terrorism and murder, Smith notes that our grief will soon turn into commitment as people of good conscience commit to once and for all acting to stamp out this very kind of xenophobia that takes from us, at a time we can ill afford to lose “our best” to the darkest forces in the world.”
Coming only days after the start of a month dedicated to love, Pride, and to the extraordinary accomplishments of Indigenous People honoured in Indigenous History Month brings perhaps the harshest truth to the forefront. “The truth, that we still have much work to do, but in spite of all this we know that “Love is Where We Belong. The acts, as heinous as they are, shall not force us to take one step back,” says Labour Council VP for Bruce, Dave Trumble.
Labour Council VP for Grey, Chris Stephen says, “In times like this, we are thankful for leadership. Leadership like the Ontario Federation of Labour and the Canadian Labour Congress. The Grey Bruce Labour Council as part of Ontario and Canada’s broader labour movement is absolutely committed to doing all that can be done to combat Islamophobia and white supremacy in our communities and our workplaces.”
The pain and grief of the tragedy in London, the remains of Indigenous children found in Kamloops and the pain and suffering caused by acts such as these will linger for a very long time. In this time the Labour Council sends its deepest condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues impacted by these tragedies and commits to fighting against all forms of racism, bigotry, and hate.
“This act of hate against our Muslim brothers and sisters, friends, and comrades breaks our hearts,” said Labour Council President, Kevin Smith. “We extend our solidarity to all those who have been impacted by this despicable rise in white supremacist violence”.
In one voice, the Grey Bruce Labour Council will be heard over and over again as it will no longer accept the despicable rise in white supremacist violence, nor any violence or act that demeans or undermines our sisters, brothers, comrades, friends, families and allies.
Our allies in this are many, and we see compassion in simple acts. Kincardine, likely along with many communities across our land, will leave flags at half-staff until June the 11th. This honours the family in London and continues to tell of compassion at all levels of communities.
The Grey Bruce Labour Council has been the voice of workers in Grey Bruce for over sixty years.