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Montreal, June 17, 2020 — Last night, Montreal’s City Council unanimously adopted a Motion tabled by City Councillor Marvin Rotrand, which calls on City Council to “unanimously and vigorously denounce acts of hate, racism, and violence directed towards persons of diverse Asian origins in Montreal.”

The Motion is the result of Councillor Rotrand’s cooperation with CRARR in responding to a worrisome uptick in reported acts of racist harassment, assaults, and insults perpetrated against Asian Montrealers in stores, public transit and in the streets. The rise of anti-Asian violence is linked to the stigmatization of the coronavirus as the “Chinese virus”, as well as the media frequently showing photos of Asian people when reporting on stories related to COVID-19.

The Motion also calls on the City of Montreal to “provide all Montrealers of diverse Asian origins with safety and effective protection against hate, discrimination, and violence throughout the entire territory of the City of Montreal.”

“We applaud all City Council members for voting in favor of this Motion last night,” said CRARR Executive Director Fo Niemi. “We wish to thank Councillor Rotrand for acting on his conviction, and our community partners for pushing for this motion.”

On April 1st, CRARR launched a campaign to denounce rising incidents of anti-Asian racism in Montreal, inform Asian Montrealers of their righs and recourse options, and to push for government actions to combat hate and violence directed at these vulnerable communities.

“Last night, City Council sent a clear and powerful message to every resident of Montreal, Asian and non-Asian alike, that racism, hate and violence have no place in our city and that they run contrary to our fundamental Canadian and Quebec values,” Niemi added.

“We hope that Montreal’s voice is heard across the country and around the world. It is a call to embrace diversity, equality and solidarity. It’s also a call to other Canadian cities in Canada to follow our lead by committing to do the same, and to take concrete action against anti-Asian racism”, Niemi concluded.

The 65-member City Council has only one Asian Councillor, Cathy Wong, who is also the Council’s Speaker. She expressed her thanks to members of City Council for their vote, “on behalf of all the Asian communities in Montreal, and myself and my future daughter, from the bottom of my heart.”

Councillor Rotrand’s motion is endorsed by the Filipino Association of Montreal and Suburbs (FAMAS), the Groupe d’entraide contre le racisme envers les Asiatiques au Québec, Progressive Chinese of Quebec, the Montreal Chinatown Economic Development Council, the Concordia Student Union and the Students’ Society of McGill University.