Fondé en 1983 --Unis pour la diversité et l'égalité raciale


Montreal, April 15, 2020 — More than a dozen community organizations from Asian and other racialized communities and one of the biggest university student unions in Montreal have lent their support to CRARR’s call on the federal government to take concrete actions to combat rising anti-Asian racism and hate linked to COVID-19.

Since March, due to the stigmatization of COVID-19 as “the Chinese virus”, reports on incidents in the Greater Montreal area involving racism and violence directed at people who are or who look Chinese, including Vietnamese and Korean Montrealers, have been rising. Acts of hate include vandalism, insults online and in person, and physical intimidation in grocery stores, public transit, and in the streets directed at Asian people of all ages.

CRARR is concerned about the lack of voices and actions from government and major institutions to condemn anti-Asian discrimination and scapegoating in Montreal. It is particularly concerned by the fact that federal anti-racism resources under the $45 million Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy 2019-2022, and other programs, have been largely allocated to groups in cities outside Quebec even during this coronavirus crisis, neglecting many groups in Montreal that have no resources to mobilize against anti-Asian racism.

CRARR calls on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Cabinet ministers from Montreal such as David Lametti (Justice), Marc Garneau (Transport), Steven Guilbeault (Canadian Heritage), Marc Miller (Indigenous Services), Pablo Rodriguez (Government House Leader) and Mélanie Joly (Economic Development and Official Languages), to quickly and adequately support local initiatives against anti-Asian racism and xenophobia, which, if left unchecked, could lead to more violence, and continue spreading against other racialized and Indigenous groups.

“The Prime Minister and the federal government have shown tremendous leadership in responding to the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19 and to the needs of Canadians everywhere,” said CRARR Executive Director Fo Niemi.

“Now is the time for the federal government to show the same kind of leadership and move as fast and boldly as possible against the tide of racism against Asian Canadians and other vulnerable groups. Now is the time for solidarity and social cohesion,” he added.

On April 1, CRARR launched its bilingual campaign with the message, “COVID-19 Does Not Discriminate. Neither Should You!” With donations from a local Chinese group, it has also published safety tips for victims of anti-Asian hate in English and in French (for more information, visit CRARR on Facebook and at

The following Asian groups and allies have joined CRARR in calling for urgent federal government actions against anti-Asian racism in Montreal:
• Canadian Muslim Forum (FMC-CMF)
• Canadian Council of Muslim Women – Montreal
• Chinese Association of Montreal
• Chinese Family Services of Greater Montreal
• Concordia Student Union
• Council of South Asian Communities
• Development Council for Montreal Chinatown
• Federation of Black Canadians
• Groupe d’entraide contre le racisme envers les Asiatiques au Québec
• Montreal Chinese Community and United Centre
• Montreal Korean Language and Culture Centre
• Progressive Chinese of Quebec
• Sun Yat Sen Park Foundation
• Teesri Duniya Theatre
• Vietnamplify

More organizations will sign on in the coming days.

“We are particularly grateful to the major allies of our Asian communities, such as the Federation of Black Canadians; one of Montreal’s most important Muslim organizations, the Canadian Muslim Forum; and one of the most active student unions in Quebec, the Concordia Student Union, for their invaluable support,” Niemi noted. “We are not just a coalition, we are a movement for equality, security, and solidarity.”

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