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Inquiry launched into assaults against Asian Canadian anglers

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November 2, 2007

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For immediate publication

Toronto - Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall today announced the launch of an inquiry into alleged assaults against Asian Canadian anglers. The inquiry is being conducted in partnership with the Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic and involves other community partners. It arises out of concern following a number of violent incidents involving Asian Canadians who have been either physically or verbally assaulted while fishing in a number of communities around the province.

Human rights concerns have arisen because reports indicate that Asian Canadians are being targeted. The reported use of racial slurs and negative terms make it likely that racial stereotyping or prejudices are at play.

Through this process, the Commission hopes to learn more about the nature of the incidents and the extent to which a systemic problem exists, support those who have been affected and refer them to appropriate resources, build capacity within communities and responsible government bodies to deal with issues of tension and conflict, identify possible solutions and raise public awareness about racism and racial profiling.

"By hearing firsthand accounts from individuals who have been subjected to such assaults, we can support affected individuals and communities as well as help government ministries, local municipal representatives, police services and sport and recreational organizations in their efforts to defuse tension and conflict situations when they arise,” stated Chief Commissioner Hall.

A telephone hotline and online questionnaire are being set up to receive the information. Over a four week period, from Wednesday, November 7th to Thursday, December 6th, interested individuals who have experienced or witnessed such incidents, are invited to share their stories by telephone, through the Web or in writing:

By Telephone:
Local: (416) 971-5939
Toll free: 1-866-237-1897

Interpretation services will be available in Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Korean and Tagalog

Via the Web: An online survey can be completed at

In writing: Submissions may be sent by mail or fax. If responding in writing you must provide contact details: name, address, phone number, e-mail address (for verification, not publication). Send your written comments to:

Ontario Human Rights Commission
Inquiry Into Assaults On Asian Canadian Anglers
180 Dundas Street West
7th Floor
Toronto, ON
M7A 2R9
Fax: (416) 314-4533

The Commission plans to share preliminary findings following the close of the inquiry and follow up with additional information as it becomes available.

Available in Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese:

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Afroze Edwards
Sr. Communications Officer
Communications and Issues Management
(416) 314-4528

Jeff Poirier
Senior Policy Analyst
Policy Education, Monitoring and Outreach Branch (PEMO)
Ontario Human Rights Commission