TORONTO – Following the heartbreaking events this past Monday in Scarborough that saw two young people killed and more than 20 injured, Filipino and Latin American groups in Toronto are responding by expressing solidarity with those impacted and calling for an end to violence in our communities.
“Community gatherings are meant to bring neighbors together, building stronger more unified neighbourhoods. No one should have to fear violence on their own streets and in these type of atmospheres,” said Chris Sorio, Secretary General for MIGRANTE Canada. “We want to express our solidarity with that community, with the families of Shyanne Charles and Joshua Yasay and everyone that was impacted. We need to work together as communities to end violence in and among our streets.”
The groups are also condemning the political opportunism of Conservative Politicians, particularly those of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney who suggested that immigration is to blame for these killings.
“For Conservatives Politicians to exploit the tragedy of the Danzig shootings to further their agenda against immigrants is beyond reprehensible”, said Pablo Vivanco, coordinating committee member of Barrio Nuevo. “Mayor Ford and Minister Kenney are not only insulting the majority of Torontonians who are 1st of 2nd generation immigrants, but more importantly they are defiling the sorrow of the families whose lives were forever changed by this senseless act of violence”.
To date, no one has been charged for those killed and injured. There is no indication that the shooters were immigrants.
The groups are calling for communities to express themselves against these baseless, racist and dangerous comments that look to scapegoat immigrants for the emerging problems in our society.
“What’s needed is unity among our communities and real solutions. Instead of trying to scores points with cheap political trickery and sound bites, politicians need to prioritize social spending and ensure that youth have meaningful jobs and opportunities,” said Sorio.
“We also need to start asking where these guns are coming from, who is bringing them into this City and why. These youth are not making or smuggling guns, so we need to acknowledge that there are bigger things at play and target the real players in this morbid game,” said Vivanco.
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