PMO(Canada) – Elimination of Racial Discrimination Day


Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada

on the

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination


March 21, 2011
Ottawa, Ontario

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination:

“On this day in 1960, police in Sharpeville, South Africa shot into an unarmed crowd and killed 69 anti-apartheid demonstrators, generating international alarm which led to the creation of this day.

“Events like that of March 21, 1960 are painful reminders that the worldwide community must take action to fight racism.

“To live free of racial discrimination is a fundamental right enshrined in Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and our Government takes the defence of this right very seriously. Through Canada’s legal system and a variety of department and agency programs, we work hard to ensure that all Canadian citizens are protected from prejudice and enjoy equal opportunities.

“For instance, we are actively encouraging Canadians of all ethnic communities to participate fully in Canadian society, through ‘Inter-Action: Canada’s new Multiculturalism Grants and Contribution Program’ and by speeding up the recognition of foreign credentials.



“Our Government is also marking March 21 with the … 

 ‘Racism. Stop It!’

national video competition, which allows young Canadians to create videos to express their views on eliminating racism.

“Canada is not only promoting tolerance and equality at home; we are also encouraging racial equality abroad. We are working with various international organizations to strengthen human rights education in developing countries.

“Canada’s reputation as a free and pluralistic nation has been instrumental in helping us attract thousands of talented and hard-working immigrants each year. Our Government will continue working with Canadians from coast to coast to coast to ensure our country lives up to this reputation.”


Office of Prime Minister Stephen Harper


The Prime Minister’s Office – Communications, from the Prime Minister’s Web Site (





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