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Mulcair calls for an end to discrimination

Opposition leader holds press conference backed by gay MPs

Mulcair and NDP MPs call for an end to homophobia and transphobia May 17. Credit: Bradley Turcotte

Official Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair held a press conference May 17 on Parliament Hill to speak out against discrimination on the 10th anniversary of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

Backed by openly gay NDP MPs Dany Morin, Libby Davies, Philip Toone, Randall Garrison and Craig Scott, Mulcair called upon leaders of all Canadian political parties to set an example by implementing policies that remove barriers that block participation across party lines.

The theme for this year’s anti-discrimination day is sexual diversity in the workplace. Mulcair spoke of his hope that Canadian politics will become more diverse in the future.

Mulcair also cited Egale Canada’s National Climate Survey on Homophobia in Canadian Schools, which revealed that 70 percent of students reported hearing homophobic or transphobic comments while at school.

“LGBT people in Canada face harassment, discrimination and violence. The Statistics Canada report on police reported hate crimes in 2010 showed that hate crimes based on religion and race had decreased by 20 percent, whereas the rates of hate crimes based on sexual orientation held steady. What’s more important is that these hate crimes show that they are twice as likely to be violent in nature,” Mulcair said.

“What we are demanding here today is that all the parties contribute to making the House of Commons representative of Canada in all its diversity.”