Canadians need to start speaking openly and publicly about racism, Islamophobia and xenophobia. That was one of the messages arising out of a press conference today by the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association.
The press conference happened in the wake of this weekend’s tragic and shocking shooting at a Quebec City mosque, and the executive orders by President Trump banning many groups of immigrants, especially Muslims and refugees, from entering the United States.
The speakers you’re about to hear are representatives from legal groups that launched the Islamophobia Legal Assistance Hotline. Launched in March of 2016, the hotline connects individuals who have experienced discrimination with free, confidential legal advice and information.
Each speaker will introduce her or himself, followed by questions from reporters. They have been lightly edited, with questions taken out only when they were inaudible.
1. Hasan Alam – Community Liason for the Islamophobia Legal Assistance Hotline
2. David Namkung – President of the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers of B.C.
3. Laura Track – staff lawyer at B.C. Civil Liberties Association
4. Lorne Waldman – Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers
5. Kate Feeney – B.C. Public Interest Advocacy Centre
The Islamophobia Legal Assistance Hotline was launched in March 2016 after a nationwide increase in reported incidents of racial and faith-related discrimination against Muslims in recent months. The number is 604-343-3828 and 1-866-730-0728. Members of the public can also learn about the service at islamophobiahotline.ca.