For Immediate Release
June 8, 2021
Mayor Crombie’s Statement on the London Terror Attack
Tonight, as people gather in London, Ontario for a vigil to remember the victims of Sunday night’s tragedy, my thoughts are with all of you.
My thoughts are with the four members of the Afzaal family, who were targeted and murdered in a shocking act of terrorism.
My thoughts are with the family’s 9-year-old son, who was seriously injured in the attack and who no longer has a father, mother, sister and grandmother.
My thoughts are with the London community and all Muslims in Canada who are deeply hurt that something so terrible and hate-filled could happen in our country.
My initial response to the tragedy, like so many others, was anger, followed by deep sadness and frustration.
No matter how many times we say anti-Muslim hate and all forms of hate and discrimination will not be tolerated in Canada, heinous acts like this continue to happen. It was only four years ago that six lives were taken at a Quebec City mosque.
If we truly want to eliminate racism, discrimination and hate, then we have to be more honest with ourselves.
We have to be honest that prejudice against racialized and marginalized groups still exists within the hearts of too many people in this country, fuelled by those with a malicious agenda.
We have to be honest that too many of our public and private institutions continue to undervalue the lives of racialized and marginalized community members and that systemic racism and discrimination are real and pervasive.
We have to be honest that so much more needs to be done to include more racialized and marginalized people in the decision-making process at the highest levels of power.
We cannot pretend that Sunday’s tragedy happened in a vacuum – the reality is that the perpetrator of Sunday’s mass murder is a product of our society, of a Canada that is still grappling with deep-seated racism and prejudice. We do not have the moral high ground.
If meaningful change is to happen, then all of us must reflect on what we are actively doing to build a more inclusive society. We have to ask ourselves what we are doing as individuals, governments, and private institutions to not just denounce racism and discrimination, but to build inclusivity in everything we do, which ultimately creates mutual understanding and respect, and which ultimately challenges existing prejudices.
If meaningful change is to happen, then we must all come to the realization that it is our collective responsibility to elevate the voices and stories of racialized and marginalized groups. We have to realize that by remaining silent, by not acknowledging that prejudice still widely exists, we maintain the status quo and continue to foster discrimination, and in some instances, inadvertently fuel violent hatred.
This is a time to mourn, but it’s also a time for deep reflections, honesty and a renewed commitment to building a more inclusive society.
Tonight, I extend my love to the Afzaal family, to the Muslim community, and to the people of London who must now grapple with reality that such an abhorrent act happened in their City.
The people of Mississauga stand in solidarity in the grief of an entire community.
We mourn together.
– Bonnie Crombie, Mayor of Mississauga