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March 6, 2002
Council condemns Hindu Temple vandalism
  
News Release
Councillor Pam McConnell, Chair of the City's Working Group on the Elimination
of Hate Activity and Councillor Sherene Shaw, Diversity Advocate, requested
City Council to express its shock and deep concern for the wilful vandalism and
desecration of sacred statues at the Gayatri Mandir Hindu Temple at Dupont and
Ossington on February 8.

"These acts of vandalism represent a heinous crime in a place of worship," said
Councillor McConnell. "We are alarmed at the increase in hate crimes being
reported to police. Hate crimes cannot be tolerated in our City."

"We respect and celebrate the diversity of the people of Toronto and, as a
City, we have adopted many policies and programs committed to eliminating hate
activity, harassment and all forms of discrimination" noted Councillor Sherene
Shaw, the City's Diversity Advocate. "Toronto's diverse population strengthens
and enriches the community - economically, culturally, politically and
socially. That is why we must speak out against these actions", added
Councillor Shaw.

In support of the commitment to respecting diversity, Members of Council
expressed their distress, deepest concern and indignation about these hate
crimes and joined with the Federation of Hindu Temples of Canada in condemning
these acts.

At today's meeting, Council supported a motion brought forward by Councillors
McConnell and Shaw and expressed its deep regret to the members of the Gayatri
Mandir for what they endured. Council called upon all Torontonians to express
their support to the members of this community.


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