Toronto – April 29, 2017 – Asian Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the long, rich, and ever-growing history of Asian Canadians and their continuous contributions to the cultural fabric of our country.
According to a recent census, Canada is home to over 4.6 million people of Asian heritage, with more than 15 percent of the country's population identifying as being of Asian descent. The Asian continent is also the largest source of new immigrants to Canada.
Unfortunately, however, Asian communities have experienced varying levels of racism throughout history. Whether it be the 1914 events concerning Komagata Maru, the exploitation of Chinese workers who helped build Canada’s national railway, or contemporary issues of discrimination in the workplace, Asian History Month is clearly an opportunity to work towards eradicating such barriers.
Together, we can combat systemic racism and discrimination by ensuring that acts of hatred are not welcome in our workplaces and our communities.
To that end, UFCW Canada has taken steps to ensure that our workplace cultures are open and free of discrimination. For example, UFCW Canada’s National Office and Local Unions are currently engaged in a multi-year Strategic Diversity and Inclusion Initiative aimed at making UFCW the most diverse and inclusive union in Canada. This training provides UFCW Canada members and staff with the opportunity to learn about and deal with unconscious biases when making decisions in order to better represent UFCW’s diverse membership.
This May, let us reflect on the actions that we can take in our lives to continue building positive environments for all Canadians. The sky is truly the limit when we work together.
Paul R. Meinema