Albertans must guard against racism

The increasing ethnic and racial diversity of the province requires extra vigilance by Albertans against racism and intolerance, says the Alberta Federation of Labour today.

"Thousands of new immigrants and temporary foreign workers are flocking to Alberta as a consequence of our booming economy," says AFL President Gil McGowan. "We need to ensure that all these workers not only enjoy the same rights and protections that current citizens enjoy - but that they are also welcomed into our society."

"That means going beyond mere 'tolerance' of ethnic and racial diversity," says McGowan. "We need to ensure that new Albertans feel safe, welcome and are encouraged to become active members of our communities and broader society."

"The Alberta government can and should do more to protect new Canadian workers' human rights, prevent exploitation and ensure they are treated fairly when they come to our province. That means enforcing workplace regulations scrupulously and providing much more funding to all of the various social agencies and NGOs that work to help their transition into Canadian society."

"The government should lead by example by making it a priority to assist and welcome these new Canadian workers - whether their status is temporary or not," concludes McGowan.

Forty-one years ago, the United Nations declared that March 21st would be the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. This date was chosen to commemorate the Sharpeville Massacre, when in 1960 South African police shot and killed 69 people who were peacefully demonstrating against the apartheid regime.


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For more information contact:

Gil McGowan, AFL President @ 780.483-3021 (office) or 780.218-9888 (cell)

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