Introduction of the Our London Family Act

(Toronto – February 23, 2022) 

Last year, three generations of a family were killed in a single night in the London terror attack. 

One year ago, in Etobicoke, Mohamed Aslim Zafis was killed at the IMO Mosque in Toronto at the hands of a man with links to a white supremacist group. 

Ontario has lost far too many people to Islamophobia far too often. This cannot be allowed to continue. 

In the aftermath of the attack, at the London Muslim Mosque, there was a call for change. All three party leaders in Ontario – from Premier Ford to Leader Andrea Horwath to Leader Steven Del Duca – promised swift and decisive action to confront Islamophobia. 

Today, the Our London Family Act will be entered into Queen’s Park for First Reading. The Our London Family Act is a seminal piece of model legislation that provides comprehensive reform to challenge Islamophobia through education, human rights reform, and much more. 

The Our London Family Act will be tabled by the Ontario NDP, and has been explicitly endorsed by the Ontario Liberal Party and the Ontario Green Party. We have also heard a commitment to the principles of the legislation by the Ontario Progressive Conservatives. 

“For too long, our community has watched as individuals motivated by hate and Islamophobia take the lives of our loved ones and inflict violence on our neighbours,” said NCCM’s CEO Mustafa Farooq. “We are way past the time of empty platitudes and polite words. This is the time for action, the time for our elected officials and institutions to step up to fight for an Ontario without fear and intimidation.” 

The Act will, among other things, ensure a provincial review of hate crimes and hate-motivated incidents in Ontario; provide anti-racism and anti-Islamophobia strategies for schools; establish safe zones around religious institutions; prevent white supremacist groups from registering as societies and gathering to intimidate; and establish an Ontario Anti-Racism Advisory and Advocacy Council to make sure that racialized communities have a say on government policies.