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March 21, 2002
City poster campaign reinforces need to eliminate hate activity
  
"Hate. It's taught. Fight hate. Combat racism."

These are the messages behind the City's current poster campaign, one of
several City programs recognizing March 21 as the International Day for the
Elimination of Racism.

The City has allocated space for the posters in transit shelters and on
recycling bins between March 11 and April 8 to respond to the increased number
of reported hate crimes in the City.

"We are experiencing an increasing rate of hate activity in Toronto," declared
Councillor Pam McConnell (Ward 28, Toronto Centre-Rosedale), chair of the
City's Working Group to Eliminate Hate Activity. "We are asking all residents
to join the campaign to respect and honour the diversity of our people. If we
don't speak out against hatred and racism, our city will lose its reputation
for tolerance and respect for everyone."

Councillor Sherene Shaw (Ward 39, Scarborough-Agincourt), the City's Diversity
Advocate, stated, "We must be pro-active and take all necessary steps to
eliminate hate activity. Our residents come from 169 countries and we must show
that we respect and value what they bring to our city."

The Hate Crimes Unit of Toronto Polices has reported a 66 per cent increase in
hate crimes in 2001 over the previous year. The Police estimate that 90 per
cent of this increase came directly after the events following September 11.


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