Statement by Ministers Hussen, Rodriguez, and Petitpas Taylor on Human Rights Day

As the world faces new and ongoing challenges, Human Rights Day reminds us of the progress we have made and the long road ahead to ensure dignity, freedom, and justice for all

OTTAWA, ON, Dec. 10, 2022 /CNW/ – Today, on Human Rights Day, Ministers Hussen, Rodriguez, and Petitpas Taylor, made the following joint statement:

As a country, Canada prides itself in being a place where our differences unite us, and where our people—no matter their background, what faith they practice, what language they speak, or who they love—are celebrated openly and freely. This is one of the greatest foundations of our modern society, and it is grounded in the belief that diversity and inclusion are a vital part of our country, which we warmly embrace and proudly promote both at home and abroad.

Over the last few years, though, we have seen a troubling rise of challenges that have attempted to shake the very core of our identity. Forces that seek to promote discrimination and hate have become unrelenting in their motivations to tear apart our society, threatening what it really means to be who we are. We will not let hate win. We have made progress over the years that has brought us to where we are now, but we also recognize that we have a long road ahead to ensure dignity, freedom, and justice for all Canadians, guided by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Our government is developing a new Anti-Racism Strategy (CARS) and is creating Canada’s first ever Action Plan on Combatting Hate. This will help us in our collective and ongoing fight to tackle hate and discrimination, while also ensuring that we support communities that face these unacceptable acts.

The new CARS will build on the work undertaken in the previous strategy. It will continue to focus on supporting community-based projects that enable Canada’s Indigenous, Black, racialized, and religious minority communities to access the resources they need to participate fully in the economy while investing historic funding into communities faced with racism and hate.

We recognize that harmful content on digital platforms has increased and is a serious risk to individuals, communities, our country, and our democracy. All Canadians must be able to express themselves online freely, without fear of being subject to hateful or violent attacks. That is why we are working to put in place a legislative and regulatory framework to make online services accountable for the harmful content that they host on their platforms. This will ensure that a safer environment is developed online.

As our government continues to take action when it comes to hate and discrimination, we must also remain steadfast in our collective efforts on the path of Reconciliation. The Government of Canada is committed to implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and to working in partnership with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples to advance their rights.

This year marks the launch of the International Decade of Indigenous Languages, which aims to draw global attention to the critical situation of many Indigenous languages. Here in Canada, it’s also highlighting the importance of Indigenous languages, and the crucial work that is underway to support First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples as they reclaim, revitalize, maintain and strengthen their languages.

Canadians have the right to communicate and learn and grow in the official language of their choice, and it is vital to our unity. Our government will remain unwavering in the defense of minority-language rights and will continue to protect the language rights of all Canadians, including those living in official-language minority communities, both in Quebec and across the country.

Our government will always stand up for the rights of all Canadians. While doing this, we recognize that our country has an important role to play in promoting and protecting human rights for people around the world. Canada will continue to prioritize concrete measures to promote, defend, and uphold international human rights standards and will actively engage in international relationships based on the affirmation of respect for human rights with like-minded international partners.

On this Human Rights Day, let us acknowledge the progress we have made, celebrate who we are as a country, and recommit to upholding the fundamental rights of dignity, freedom, and justice for all.

SOURCE Canadian Heritage

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