Office of Councillor Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi Ward, Ottawa | (613) 580-2485  |
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Community solidarity walk

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This past week, there have been five hate crimes perpetrated in our city - graffiti on synagogues, a mosque, and United Church. The graffiti was hateful and racist, with references to some of our society's basest impulses.

Police are investigating these as hate crimes, and anyone with information about them should call the police to pass that on at 613.230.6211.

Whether a crime by a single person or not, we are all disturbed by these incidents. They are not representative of the hearts of Ottawa residents, our values, our tolerance, our generosity.

Councillors Catherine McKenney, Tobi Nussbaum, David Chernushenko, Jean Cloutier, and I invite you to walk on Sunday to give expression to our desire that Ottawa residents work every day to fight hate. We need to address hate's causes, and we need to call it out whenever we encounter it in our daily lives. We need to talk about it with our loved ones, friends and colleagues. It is all of our responsibility to build a city on a foundation of love so that the hate that is in the hearts of some is not allowed to fester.

Please join us at the corner of Island Park Drive and Scott Street on Sunday at noon, from where we'll walk to Wellington and Somerset streets and finish at Plant Bath. It's 3k in total, and shouldn't take more than an hour and a half.

There is also an important opportunity to express solidarity this weekend as Congregation Machzikei Hadas invites the whole community to attend a special service on Saturday at 11 am that will be attended by Mayor Jim Watson, Imam Samy Metwally and Chief Charles Bordeleau. The congregation is at 2310 Virginia Dr. I hope many of you will be able to attend that. All are welcome.

Talking with our kids about hate is important. Locally-based MediaSmarts has a tip sheet that may help here.

Posted November 18, 2016