Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

February 17, 2005 13:03 ET

Ontario Federation of Labour Responds to Harper Speech

Human Rights are not a fad - don't compare Canada to dictorships Attention: Assignment Editor, Media Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Feb. 17, 2005) - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Human rights are not a fad - don't compare Canada to dictatorships

Ontario Federation of Labour President Wayne Samuelson says Canada's labour movement has fought too hard for human rights in Canada for Conservative Leader Stephen Harper to set the bar of our expectations at the level of Rwanda, China or Iran.

"There is no question in our minds that the fair and just treatment of lesbian and gay Canadians is indeed a matter of human rights," Samuelson said. "We are genuinely shocked that, according to Mr. Harper, as long as we don't sink as low as totalitarian regimes then we are doing okay."

In his speech to the House of Commons yesterday, Mr. Harper said that excluding lesbians and gays from civil marriage equality is "not a human rights abuse akin to who they may have seen in Rwanda, China, or Iran."

He also said, "there are some things more fundamental than the state and its latest fads."

"Human rights are not a fad. Mr. Harper just doesn't get it," Samuelson said.

"Canada prides itself, both nationally and internationally, on it human rights record," Samuelson said. "A cornerstone to those fundamental rights must be full legal marriage rights for same-sex partners where ever they may live in Canada. It is time for government and all members of the House to show leadership in this area of human rights."

More information:

Wayne Samuelson, OFL President
416.571.7408 (cellular)

Dana Boettger, OFL Communications Director
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cope343 /For further information: Dana Boettger OFL Communications Director 416.443.7665/ IN: JUSTICE, LABOUR, MEDIA, POLITICS, RELIGION

Contact Information

  • Wayne Samuelson, OFL President, Ontario Federation of Labour
    Primary Phone: 416-571-7408