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||Fear & Foment: The Corporate Role in Combating Hate Crimes, Violence & Xenophobic Sentiments in Canada
As a G8 nation with a sizeable immigrant population, Canada is respected worldwide for its notable character in fostering cultural diversity. Yet a recent rise of xenophobic sentiments, extremism, and hate crimes within the nation is cause for alarm. The COVID-19 pandemic has kindled the flames of anti-Asian hate across the nation, causing dread for many citizens, especially in Vancouver, where over 40% affirm Asian heritage. Disputes erupting in Israel have also transpired in Toronto, where both Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are turning peaceful protests into episodic violence. Meanwhile, in British Columbia and Saskatchewan, the discovery of mass graves of indigenous children—linked to what some have described as “concentration camps” posing as involuntary boarding schools—has further lent fuel to a billowing fire of shame, outrage, and frustration. What is driving this disturbing wave of racist aggressions and revelations? Are recent events emblematic of short-term tensions or more intractable (and diffuse) unrest?
As part of an ongoing conversation around the role of corporate social responsibility, this program examines several key questions: How proactive should companies/organizations be in addressing racial intolerance or hate crimes? How can employees and community partners influence swift and effective resolution? And what role, if any, should professional services play in facilitating the pursuit of justice?
Thomas Kim, Chief Legal Officer & Company Secretary, Thomson Reuters
Jonathan Kruger, Director Indigenous Relations Western Canada, Sodexo
Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer, B’nai Brith Canada
Rissa Revin, General Counsel & Chief Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP
Peter Robinson, Vice President, Commercial Credit Risk Management, TD Bank