Close to 40,000 people in the Lower Mainland have Latin American heritage. The community is vibrant and diverse, and every year there are plenty of wonderful events and activities highlighting and celebrating their culture. This year, from June 27 to July 8, Vancouver will celebrate Latin American Week. Carnaval del Sol, a free family-friendly festival, is always one of the biggest attractions. This year will be the 10th annual Carnaval del Sol, and will feature close to 400 performers showcasing singers, dancers, bands, and incredible food. Latin American Week will give people the opportunity to attend cooking classes, dancing classes, a fashion show, and plenty of arts and crafts displays highlighting the diversity of Vancouver's Latin American community. From August 23 to September 2, Vancouver will have its 16th annual Latin American Film Festival showcasing contemporary Latin American and Latin Canadian filmmaking. I encourage all Canadians to check similar events in their communities or in communities nearby, as festivals and events like these happen across Canada each year. If there is not one in their community, I invite people to come to Vancouver and check out ours.
OTTAWA – In order to repeal an existing law in Canada’s Immigration Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), NDP Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Critic, Jenny Kwan, is tabling a private member’s bill to remove the discriminatory clause. As it stands, Section 38(1) (c) of the Act discriminates against people with disabilities by allowing for the rejection of an entire family of applicants if one individual has a disability or medical condition.Read more
The call to mark December 17 as the International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers began in 2003 as a memorial for the victims of the Green River killer in Seattle.
This annual day of remembrance serves to raise awareness about the high level of violence sex workers face on a regular basis. The fact is sex workers face assault, battery, rape, and murder on a regular basis, and yet, there is this general attitude that violence against sex workers is somehow expected and therefore accepted.
Surely, we must agree that violence against anyone is not acceptable. Our current laws put sex workers at great risk of violence, and deny them equal access to justice and police protection when they are the victims of crime.
As we honour and remember the victims, we must also renew our commitment to end the violence by taking action to end the perpetuation of the stigmas associated with sex workers.
On Dec. 13, events will be held in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, and B.C. to mark the Nanjing Massacre Commemorative Day.
Eighty years ago, Imperial Japanese army forces raped an estimated 20,000 to 80,000 Chinese women and girls, and some 300,000 people were killed. Western eye-witnesses in Nanjing described the atrocities as “hell on earth”.
After the Nanjing massacre, the military sexual slavery system for the Japanese military expanded rapidly. Some 200,000 women from Korea, the Philippines, China, Burma, Indonesia, and other Japanese occupied territories were tricked, kidnapped or coerced into working in brothels to serve as “comfort women” to the Imperial Japanese Army.
Documents of the Nanjing massacre were included in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.
Thekla Lit, from BC ALPHA, worked with the B.C. NDP government to develop a resource guide, including The Rape of Nanking.
I thank Canada ALPHA for its dedication to ensuring that Canadians remember and learn from this history.