April 27, 2020
Under Media Embargo 7a.m. (ET)
Calgary, AB-Asian Canadians demand Conservative leadership candidate be kicked out of the party for racist remarks. A new national network, ACT2endracism, calls on political leaders to unequivocally denounce racist attacks by Conservative MP, Derek Sloan, against Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, Dr. Theresa Tam .
The racist online attack against Dr. Tam is the latest example of growing anti-Asian sentiment and violence due to Covid-19. The incidents mobilized Asian communities across Canada to form the new national network, Asian Canadians Together To End Racism (ACT2endracism).
Former Alberta MLA Teresa Woo-Paw, of Action, Chinese Canadians Together Foundation, stated, “Dr. Theresa Tam’s steady guidance through this pandemic has reassured Canadians during this unprecedented crisis. Her professional integrity and personal loyalty to our country has been attacked because of her ethnicity.”
Human Rights lawyer Walter Chi-yan Tom, of the Chinois progressistes du Québec, agrees, “This is race-baiting at its lowest. We cannot allow those who lead, or aspire to lead a national political party, to fan the flames of hate in our country. It’s racist to think Dr. Tam is less Canadian because she is Chinese.”
We call on Members of Parliament, Senators, and political leaders, to publicly condemn anti-Asian racism. Conservative leader, Andrew Scheer must send a message and expel Conservative MP, Sloan from caucus. We must not forget our painful history where Japanese Canadians faced Internment Camps, along with the 62 years of legislated racism with the Chinese Head Tax and Exclusion Act.
Judy Hanazawa, Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association President, added, “During the 1940’s Japanese Canadians, like my parents, endured internment and horrible injustices. Sadly, Derek Sloan’s repugnant and xenophobic accusations show how the stereotype of Asian Canadians as the perpetual untrustworthy, foreigner persists today.” The network will work with community groups across Canada to collect data, share, develop support and resources to combat racism and hate crime.