May 18th, 2022 - 5:09pm
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 18, 2022
MASSE CELEBRATES THE HOUSE OF COMMONS PASSING BILL C-232 WHICH ESTABLISHES APRIL AS ARAB HERITAGE MONTH
(WINDSOR) – Today, Brian Masse M.P. (Windsor West), NDP Innovation, Economic Development, and Great Lakes celebrated the House of Commons passing Bill C-232, which establishes April as Arab Heritage Month.
“It is a worthy cause (establishing Arab Heritage month) because there is no doubt that the Arab population, not only in Windsor but across Canada and the world, has contributed quite significantly and continues to do so despite some recent challenges with Islamophobia and other types of sensitive issues over the years. The community deserves this type of positive recognition, especially when we consider its economic, social and cultural contributions, which continue in our neighbourhoods,” Masse stated in the House of Commons during the debate on bill yesterday.
On February 7, 2022, MP David McGuinty introduced Bill C-232 – An Act respecting Arab Heritage Month. The Arab Canadian community have been advocating for a federal Arab Heritage Month across party lines for years. On March 3, the Bill was debated in Parliament for the first time and received praise from all political parties. It was debated for the second time yesterday and was voted on today. “I also thank the member for Ottawa South for bringing this critical legislation forward,” Masse stated in the House of Commons during the debate on bill yesterday.
The Canadian-Arab community is growing in different parts of the country, where they help build the social fabric of Canadian society in places like Edmonton, Toronto, Halifax, Moncton, Montreal, Windsor, Vancouver, PEI, and Regina. There are about 1 million Arabs living in Canada, based on the 2016 census. This number is expected to increase by 25% in the 2021 census (data to be released later this year). This is because the Arab community is currently the fastest-growing immigrant community. Between 2006 and 2016, the Canadian-Arab community grew by 75%. Although the first Arab settled in Canada exactly 140 years ago in Montreal in 1882, the Canadian-Arab community started to majorly expand after 1990.The majority of Arabs in Canada today are first-generation immigrants, who have made Canada to be their home. Arab Heritage Month will give Arab Canadians the chance to both showcase their talents, culture, and why they’re proud to be both Arab and Canadian, and also raise awareness about the struggles and discrimination that they face while trying to integrate into Canada. Despite being one of the most highly educated communities, Arab-Canadians currently have the highest unemployment rate amongst all racialized communities – and this was the case even before the pandemic. Almost two-thirds of hate crimes committed against Arab Canadians reported to the police are violent in nature.
“In my community, Wyandotte Street East is being redeveloped. It has been phenomenal to see the Arab population come together. This is what is really important about this bill. It brings us together in a way that we have seen with some really good measures in the past, especially with some of the other months that have been designated, such as Black History Month and others. That is one of the things that we can build upon because there is the educational element and the necessary celebrations that bind communities together and show how much we can actually learn and understand where we came from. Some people do not understand that even though we have some great moments, there have been some challenges in the past. Therefore, we need recognize that, reconcile those and work toward celebrating what we can further accomplish.,” Masse stated.
For additional information please contact Mohummed Peer (519) 982-8816