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September 19, 2019

The Ontario Federation of Labour condemns the racist actions by Justin Trudeau that have been revealed in the media overnight and today. 

It is reprehensible to wear brownface/blackface. Wearing these racist caricatures reinforces harmful stereotypes about people of Colour and fuels the discrimination and violence that People of Colour experience in all areas of life. 

“Canadians deserve better than this,” said Ontario Federation of Labour President Chris Buckley. “As Jagmeet Singh stated last night, racism is real. Far too many Canadians continue to face systemic racism, and struggle daily with the lived experience and reality of racism and discrimination. The labour movement calls on all levels of government to prioritize anti-racism. Specifically, all levels of government must, in consultation with people of colour, immediately develop and implement a strategy to fight the scourge of racism and discrimination that clearly exists at all levels of Canadian society. ”

“Skin colour is not a costume,” said Ontario Federation of Labour Secretary-Treasurer Patty Coates. “The labour movement will continue its important and ongoing work to end racism. We will name and condemn racist behavior wherever and whenever we encounter it. We expect better from our leaders. These are not the values or actions that Canadians should espouse or expect from each other, or from those that wish to lead and represent us.”

“This is extremely hurtful. Racism and discrimination in any form is unacceptable and despicable,” said Ontario Federation of Labour Executive Vice-President Ahmad Gaied. “These revelations highlight the double standards and hypocrisy that exist across Canada, and are a stark reminder that we still have a long way to go in this country. The struggle for equality and inclusion continues. Ontario’s labour movement stands united against racism, and demands immediate action. We must make putting an end to racism a national priority.”

Download the OFL info sheet on standing against hate and the Migrant Rights Network 4-step guide to talking about racism this election

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