On the National Day of Remembrance of the Québec City Mosque Attack and Action against Islamophobia, Canadians remember the 6 people killed and the 19 others injured during a horrific terrorist attack at the Centre culturel islamique de Québec.
Today we remember Ibrahima Barry, Mamadou Tanou Barry, Khaled Belkacemi, Abdelkrim Hassane, Azzeddine Soufiane, and Aboubaker Thabti.
They were fathers, sons, husbands, friends, and colleagues. As Canadians honour their memory, we also send our thoughts to their families and to the many others whose lives were forever changed by this senseless, violent act of Islamophobia. We join Muslim Canadians in sharing their deep grief, while acknowledging that the trauma that this attack inflicted is still felt to this day.
Our government remains unwavering in our work to combat Islamophobia and hatred, and we will continue to take action. To move forward in our fight, we recently announced the appointment of Amira Elghawaby as Canada’s first Special Representative on Combatting Islamophobia.
Special Representative Elghawaby will play a critical role in the work to combat Islamophobia, systemic racism, and religious intolerance faced by Muslim Canadian communities, while also raising awareness of the many contributions Muslim Canadians have made to our country.
Since 2019, the Government of Canada has invested nearly $100 million toward Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy, with the aim of complementing existing government efforts and programs to eliminate inequities. Just last year, an additional $85 million was announced in Budget 2022 to support the work underway to launch a new Anti-Racism Strategy and Action Plan on Combatting Hate.
Funding for the new Anti-Racism Strategy and Action Plan on Combatting Hate will include support for community projects that ensure racialized Canadians and religious minorities have access to resources that support their full participation in the Canadian economy, while also raising awareness of issues related to racism and hate, including Islamophobia, in Canada.
More work still needs to be done to combat Islamophobia, hate, and discrimination. Our government will continue to actively work with Muslim Canadian communities in this important fight.
As Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, I encourage all Canadians to take a moment to remember and reflect on the lives callously taken at the Centre culturel islamique de Québec, and to recommit to our collective battle against Islamophobia no matter where it is found in Canada.