City of Toronto Councillor calls on Ontario’s medical officers of health and Premier to strongly discourage a planned mass gathering and potential COVID super spreader event at Dundas Square on Saturday May 22
TORONTO, ON – Councillor James Pasternak is calling on Ontario’s provincial officers of health and Premier Doug Ford to issue a strong statement to discourage a planned mass gathering and potentially COVID super spreader event at Dundas Square and Bloor Street in Toronto scheduled for May 22.
“I am condemning this scheduled anti-Israel rally at Yonge-Dundas Square, and I am calling on my colleagues at city hall and the Ontario government to do the same. The right to peaceful assembly and the right to free expression are core Canadian values- however, this comes with a responsibility. As we saw last week anti-Israel sentiments and expression have led to hatred, violence, and threats against the Jewish community. Amid heightened fear and tensions, we must be looking to de-escalation, and an event of this nature must be condemned by civil society and political leaders alike,” said Councillor Pasternak.
Last week’s anti-Israel rally at Nathan Phillips Square at the height of the pandemic included repeated images of Nazi symbols, comments such as “Hitler was right” and “Jews should have been gassed and burned.”
“I am working with prominent human rights organizations and community leaders to put an end to hate rallies such as the one planned for this Saturday starting at Dundas Square. We are exploring with city staff and police services every legal means possible to stop and vigorously respond to this continuing display of racism and incitement of violence happening in our public spaces in Toronto,” said Councillor Pasternak.