June 27th is declared Canadian Multiculturalism Day, while Canada’s celebration of the ratification of The Constitution Act is July 1st (commonly known as Canada Day). The two dates of recognition go hand-in-hand as SEIU-West strongly supports the belief that there is strength in diversity.

Our diversity should be celebrated because our country is built upon so many different races, religions, and cultural practices that can spark many opportunities.

We are fortunate that we have the chance to learn and appreciate all kinds of new foods, traditions, celebrations and languages without the travel expenses of world-wide travel.

These differences should encourage our communities to be more accepting and open-minded. Yet in many communities across Canada, some people are turning to anti-immigration groups due to frustrations with the economy. The decision-makers and influencers use this divisiveness to pit us – our communities – against each other. Turning workers against workers is dangerous because when we recognize and understand that it is the majority of us who are experiencing poverty and inequality, decision-makers and influencers know they are outnumbered.

It is important that we confront any discrimination and stop it in its tracks before the situation is manipulated. If you hear someone say ‘immigrants are taking our jobs’, that’s discrimination, and it must be confronted. We cannot allow discriminatory feelings and sentiments to be deemed acceptable.

Now, more than ever, we must bring people together across the country to unite in our diversity. Our union’s motto, Stronger Together, is true – when we’re united, we can achieve gains that benefit all working people; not just the 1% and decision-makers. After all, there is strength in numbers, just as there is strength in diversity.

So for this year’s Multicultural Day and Canada Day, we encourage you to stand up for your coworkers and your communities, no matter their race, religion, or gender. If you need tips in taking a stand, we encourage you to visit the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan’s kit to confront discrimination.  We’re all in this together and together, we can make the world a better place together. 

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