TORONTO – Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has asked both opposition leaders to rally behind a motion condemning the distribution of anti-immigration flyers in Brampton.
The motion, which is expected to be moved before Tuesday’s Question Period session, states: “That this House condemns the distribution, by the group called ‘Immigration Watch Canada’, of hateful material toward the Sikh community in Brampton, and re-affirms the positive values of tolerance and inclusion that are the hallmarks of modern Ontario society.”
The Premier sent a letter concerning the motion to both NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak Tuesday morning.
“I firmly believe it is important for us to speak to this issue in the Legislature, so that Ontario can be reassaured that we do not support these actions and that we believe in a strong, unified Ontario,” Wynne wrote.
The premier called the flyers “hateful” in a statement issued late Saturday. She repeated her comments at a Sikh celebration in Toronto on Sunday.
“They can’t be tolerated. That kind of divisive action really is not consistent with who we are as Canadians,” Wynne said at the Sikh Khalsa day event.
She refused to speculate on whether the flyers could bring hate crime charges, saying she didn’t want to interfere in a police investigation that is underway on the matter.
Brampton has a population of 521,000 people, about 200,000 of whom have a South Asian background, according to 2011 census data on the city’s website.
Peel Region police said investigators are trying to determine if the flyers could be considered a hate crime of any sort.
With files from The Canadian Press