Statement from Peter Shurman, MPP (Thornhill) on the use of Queen’s Park for the dissemination of hatred, discrimination and anti-Semitism.
“I am deeply concerned about the plan to allow an ‘al Quds rally’ to be held on the grounds of Queen’s Park later this month.
“Reports of last year’s ‘al Quds rally’ suggest that limits of the Canadian freedoms of expression and free assembly, intended to allow free and open debate, were exploited to provide a platform for the dissemination of hatred, intimidation, discrimination and anti-Semitism.
“Ontario is home to people of every culture, religion and ethnic background. The Ontario PC Party is proud of our tradition of multiculturalism, openness and inclusion. Events that promote hatred and discrimination based on ethnicity, culture or religion have no place in the province that has been built on the foundations of hard work, respect for human rights and the rule of law.
“Queen’s Park is a place that represents these values. It is especially disturbing that this building, which stands as a symbol of democracy and human rights, rights which Ontarians have fought and died for, could be used as a platform to incite hatred.”
“Roughly two years ago my Legislative Assembly colleagues joined me to unanimously condemn the use of the term “Israel Apartheid Week.”
“Today, I again ask my fellow MPPs to stand with me and deny another attempt to spread hatred, discrimination and anti-Semitism. I also urge the Legislature’s authorities to take every necessary step to ensure that organizations, which utilize Queen’s Park grounds respect the freedoms and rights that we as Canadians value.”