Mr. Speaker, as a woman who is a member of a visible minority, I know what kind of damage intolerance can cause, no matter where it originates. I strongly condemn this form of violence.
It is therefore with a great deal of emotion that I rise to draw the House's attention to the upcoming International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21. This day is an opportunity to recognize how all cultural communities and people from all walks of life help to build our country.
At a time when the government is playing on the fears of Canadians to try to win votes, I would like to remind members of the essential role that political leaders and elected officials must play in combatting racism, discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance. The statements that we have heard recently from the other side of the House are unacceptable. Racism has no place in our speeches.
I strongly believe in the values of love, openness and freedom, which are values that all Canadians share. These values will help us to combat discrimination in our society, help everyone to feel welcome, and help us to work together to build a united Canada that better reflects who we are.