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June 18th, 2021

NDP bill would ban hate symbols

NEW WESTMINSTER – Yesterday, NDP MP Peter Julian (New Westminster–Burnaby) tabled a private member’s bill that would prevent anyone from selling and displaying symbols that promote hatred and violence against identifiable groups. Julian says banning symbols of hatred like swastikas or Klu Klux Klan insignia is important for all Canadians to feel safe.

“Everyone has the right to feel welcomed and respected in their community. Allowing these symbols of hatred to be sold in stores or publicly displayed is retraumatizing for people who have been, and continue to be, targets of violence and oppression,” said Julian. “Symbols that have been used to incite violence against people have no place in our society. We all need to work together to ensure organized hate groups aren’t normalized or tolerated in any way.”

Tragically, we have seen an increase in Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, homophobia, transphobia, racism and misogyny in our society. We see racism against Black and Indigenous peoples, rising anti-Asian racism, and yet symbols of hate are freely displayed and sold across our country.

During the pandemic, incidents of racism reported to police rose at alarming rates. In Vancouver, police have reported that hate crimes increased by over 700 per cent in 2020. The Toronto Police have reported that anti-Asian hate crimes have risen 500 per cent in the same period. Many other police agencies have reported similar increases leaving cities across the country struggling to address this reality.

Julian says Bill C-313 is another tool designed to address the growing violence and hatred in Canadian communities.

“Everyone deserves to live in safety and dignity. It isn’t enough for governments to acknowledge the problem and not take the necessary action to counteract these troubling facts,” said Julian. “There is no good reason for a store to profit from selling symbols that glamourize swastikas. Canada doesn’t need to be a place where someone can promote or support that history of genocide. I hope the government will support this bill and work with us to make our communities better for everyone.”