In collaboration with NCCM, NDP tables legislation to combat Islamophobia and hate crimes

QUEEN'S PARK — Andrea Horwath’s NDP will table legislation Wednesday aimed at combatting Islamophobia and hate crimes.

On Wednesday, NDP MPP Faisal Hassan will table the Our London Family Act, which Horwath and the NDP created in collaboration with the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM). The bill is co-sponsored by MPP Faisal Hassan (York South-Weston) and London NDP MPPs Teresa Armstrong (London-Fanshawe), Terence Kernaghan (London North Centre) and Peggy Sattler (London West). It takes multiple actions, including establishing a provincial review of hate crimes and hate-motivated incidents in Ontario, and designating safe zones around all houses of worship.

The bill addresses calls to action made in the NCCM's recommendations to the National Summit on Islamophobia, urging provincial leaders to move beyond words and undertake concrete, meaningful action to combat Islamophobia in Ontario.

"On June 6, 2021, three generations of the Afzaal family were killed in an Islamophobic terror attack while out on a walk in London, Ontario, leaving the youngest member of the family, nine-year-old Fayez Afzaal, as the sole survivor," Horwath said.

"In September 2020, Mohamed-Aslim Zafis, a volunteer caretaker, was murdered while volunteering at the International Muslims Organization mosque in Toronto. For weeks, convoy protests organized by known Islamophobes and alt-right agitators waved hateful, white supremacist symbols in Ottawa and across Canada."

"No one should have to fear for their safety while walking wearing a hijab or worshipping at a masjid. Hate crimes and Islamophobia are on the rise in Canada, and we must do everything to ensure Ontario is a place where generations of Muslim families can live without being targeted by violence and hate, no matter the religion they practice, their clothes, or the colour of their skin,” Hassan said.

"Political leaders have failed to take concrete action to stop white supremacy and Islamophobic hate. The Ontario NDP has heard loud and clear the Muslim community's message that words are not enough. That's why we collaborated with NCCM and other community organizations to create legislation that takes real action to stamp out Islamophobia, white supremacy and hate crimes. And we have reached out to all parties for their support."

The NDP's Our London Family Act will ensure:

  • A provincial review of hate crimes and hate-motivated incidents in Ontario in order to reduce their occurrences.
  • Safe zones around religious institutions, which are often the targets of intimidation and hate-motivated demonstrations.
  • New tools and strategies for Ontario schools to combat all forms of racism, including Islamophobia.
  • Empowerment of the Speaker to ban protests at Queen’s Park that incite racist, homophobic, transphobic or xenophobic hate.
  • Dismantling white supremacist groups by preventing them from registering as societies.
  • The establishment of an Ontario Anti-Racism Advisory and Advocacy Council, to make sure racialized communities have a say on government policies that impact their lives.


Mustafa Farooq, CEO, National Council of Canadian Muslims

“Today, we are watching history as Andrea Horwath and the Ontario NDP introduce the Our London Family Act at Queen's Park. Last year, a family lost three generations in a single night in the London terror attack. In 2020, Mohamed Aslim Zafis was killed at the IMO Mosque in Toronto at the hands of a man with links to a white supremacist group. Ontario has lost far too many people to Islamophobia far too recently. This cannot be allowed to continue. As this piece of legislation comes forward, with the support of other parties in Queen's Park, we are urging all of our elected officials to pass it as soon as possible.”

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QUEEN’S PARK – The Ontario NDP Official Opposition joined countless families and advocates at Queen’s Park today to declare Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) an epidemic.

“We need every tool available to put an end to intimate partner violence and gender-based violence – and this is one right at our fingertips,” said Kristyn Wong-Tam (Toronto Centre). “Nearly 100 cities in this province, including Toronto have declared Intimate Partner Violence an epidemic and today we can ensure Ontario does too.”

On April 10, the Ontario NDP will debate Bill 173, which would declare intimate partner violence an epidemic in Ontario. This was the number one recommendation of the 86 from the Renfrew Inquest – a recommendation directed at the Province of Ontario that’s been repeatedly rebuked by Ford and the Conservatives.

“This is an epidemic and we need to act on this issue with the urgency it deserves,” said Jill Andrew, NDP critic for Women’s Social and Economic Opportunity. “Without meaningful action, we’re putting women and gender-diverse people across our province at risk.”

Recent instances of Intimate Partner Violence have been all too common across the province, from Sault Ste. Marie to Huron County to Windsor. Many impacted families join the MPPs today.

“I am deeply grateful to the advocates and family members who have joined us with their relentless advocacy”, said Lisa Gretzky (Windsor West). “Intimate partner violence has impacted so many people and touched so many communities, including my hometown of Windsor. Stories like Sahra Bulle are heartbreaking – but all too common. We’re here to say that enough is enough.”

“We’re calling on Ford to do the right thing today,” said MPP Peggy Sattler (London West). “There’s too much at stake and no time to waste.”


Fartumo Kusow, Mother of Sahra Bulle

“Intimate Partner Violence is pervasive, predictable and preventable and that is the definition of epidemic. My daughter Sahra was murdered by her partner last year, and it has been an ongoing nightmare. We need the provincial government to step-up and do the right thing: declare Intimate Partner Violence an epidemic in Ontario.”

Erin Lee, Executive Director, Lanark County Interval House and Community Support

“Nearly 100 Ontario municipalities have declared IPV an epidemic, and I strongly urge all members to vote in support of Bill 173. It is critical for victims, families, survivors, and those living isolated to hear a message, loud and clear that they are believed, that they are heard and that they are being responded to by the government of Ontario.”

Kirsten Mercer, Lawyer, Goldblatt Partners LLP (Counsel at the CKW Inquest)

“Using the language of an epidemic frames gender-based violence as the public health emergency that it is- a social challenge not an individual problem. We are telling all those who live with gender-based violence that what is happening to them is not their fault. This violence is our collective concern.”

Sami Pritchard, Interim Director of Advocacy & Communications, YWCA Toronto

“While we know that this declaration will be merely a first step to addressing and eradicating this epidemic, we also know that we cannot change what we refuse to name. By naming this crisis for what it is - an epidemic - we are sending a clear message to the survivors and children fleeing violence, the frontline workers, advocates and organizations supporting survivors, and the loved ones of those lost to femicide – we see you, we believe you, we respect you, and your life matters.”


QUEEN’S PARK – Official Opposition NDP MPP Peter Tabuns (Toronto – Danforth) and Housing critic Jessica Bell (University – Rosedale) are demanding Ford’s Conservatives force corporate landlords to follow the law on expired Above Guideline Increase (AGI) orders to ensure tenants get the rent reductions they are owed.

“The Ford government is missing in action when it comes to enforcing expired AGI orders, so tenants are getting stuck paying higher illegal rents,” said Tabuns. “We’re calling on the Premier to make it clear to corporate landlords that they have to follow the law, follow the orders from the LTB and ensure that tenants get the rent reductions they are legally owed.”

Tabuns and Bell have been working with tenants in their communities living in buildings where AGI orders are set to expire to make sure they are not being charged illegal rents by property management companies. So far, they have succeeded in getting rent reductions for tenants in two buildings.

“Landlords are not telling tenants that they are owed a reduction,” said Bell. “It shouldn’t be up to tenants to force landlords to obey the law. Doug Ford needs to stop corporate landlords from illegally making tenants pay surcharges on their rent and start putting that money back in people’s pockets.”


• In 2007 the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) was changed to put time limits on rent increases arising from an Above Guideline Increase order. Tenants paying for millions of dollars in building repairs and improvements are not supposed to be paying the surcharge forever. The LTB ordered these rents to come down when the original order expires in 10, 12, 15 or 19 years.

• Successive Liberal and Conservative governments have failed to protect tenants covered by these AGI orders, despite calls by tenants' associations to require landlords -- by law -- to notify eligible tenants they are due for a rent reduction. They have also called for a way for tenants to apply to the LTB to force the reductions they’re entitled to under the law.


QUEEN’S PARK – Marit Stiles, Leader of Ontario’s Official Opposition NDP, is bringing forward a new healthcare solution that puts patients first by unlocking thousands of hours of physicians’ time.

“Everyone deserves access to care when they need it. But 2.2 million people in Ontario are without a family doctor. Not only does this put their health at risk, but it also puts tremendous strain on our already-overburdened emergency rooms,” said Stiles.

Stiles and the NDP are introducing a motion in the Legislature that would connect more patients to primary care by reducing the amount of time doctors spend on administrative work. By investing in administrative support staff and integrated health teams, we could add the equivalent of 2,000 more family doctors and help up to 2 million people get the care they need.

“This is an all-hands-on deck moment for health care. This is a smart, simple solution to fix the massive patient backlog in Ontario and get people the care they need – starting right now.”

Stiles and the NDP will force a vote on the measure in the Ontario legislature Monday afternoon.

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