Towards a just society.
By Thomas S. Saras*
In a democratic society, media is tasked with the essential service of information exchange. Media, and the news it delivers, is an important platform of communication between citizens and their government. In a diverse society like Canada, ethnic media has a particular importance, as Canadians, both new and old, often seek information about their society in their most comfortable tongue. In some instances, the ethnic media uses familiar languages to convey important homeland issues to immigrants in Canada. More important than this however, is the ability of ethnic media outlets to transmit and display the most
intimate parts of Canadian identity, including culture, laws, and politics to Canadians of all stripes.
We, in this country should always remember that our population stems from many races and languages and tongues. And speaking of the human diversity of our country, allow me to remind you that the most serious of our achievements has been the fact that race groups which were divided abroad are united here. Enmities and antagonisms are forgotten; former opponents meet here as friends. Groups which had fought each other overseas, work here together, their children attend the same school and intermarry, and to some extent they all are contributing to our democracy and peace.
For this the reason and in order to honor these achievements we must be constantly vigilant against attacks of intolerance and injustice. We must scrupulously guard the civil rights and liberties of all of our fellow citizens, whatever their nationality, religion, language, color of their skin and background. To this extent we must always remember that any oppression, any act of injustice, any hatred or discrimination is a virus designed to attack our free and liberal society. This is the reason for us, at all times, to be on guard in order to prevail against any form of intolerance and racial or any other form of discrimination.
A basic rule of a democracy in order to survive, is the acceptance as fundamental to its very existence the recognition of the rights of minorities.
As a nation, we seek spiritual union with all those who love freedom. Although of many bloods and diverse national origins, we stand before the world as one people united in a common determination. As our government is based on the belief that people from different cultures and traditions can live together and also can be united, strong and free. Living together in a democratic society, our instrument should be honor and friendship as we try to understand each other. Our basis should be confidence to each other.
Perhaps, this is the highest service of the York Regional Police, the men and women of the force, of Chief Joliffe, and the commissioned officers for their willingness to recognize this fact and to work together for equality, equal opportunities, dignity and brotherhood, of all people of the great human mosaic consisting the most diverse and vibrant area of the GTA. For the creation of an inclusive society for every Canadian and his aspirations. For a society where social justice is going to be paramount, primarily we have to work hard, very hard in order to totally eliminate any form of racial discrimination.
In order to achieve this we do have to ensure that every citizen of ours, enjoys the inherent right to work, based on his abilities and knowledge regardless his color, or place of origin, or his mother tong or religion. This is a right which consists one of the elemental privileges of all our citizens. Unemployment is a problem for the entire community. It is a social tragedy for the individual who is denied the opportunity to work and earn and we should agree that it is in our best interests to make sure that every citizen enjoys equally the right to work and also a decent house, a place where he can safely place his family.
To this extent, please allow me to say that thousands today are living in conditions which fail to comply with minimum standards of health, safety and decency and even worse they cannot be employed in their profession, in order to exercise their skills and knowledge. If this situation will continue to exist, then disease and crime with great effects on the health and vitality of our present society and the future generations will follow. Today, we are faced with the preeminent fact that, if our civilization, our society, is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships. The ability of all peoples, of all our citizens, to live together and work together in peace, understanding and cooperation with each other.
As the President of the National Ethnic Pres and Media Council of Canada, I would like to express my deepest respect, admiration and gratitude towards the York regional Police and their commitment to celebrate diversity in the most diverse city of Canada. It is an honour and a pleasure to these citizens to be protected by a police force that recognizes the virtues of multiculturalism by enforcing their inclusive for all policies.
Civilization, after all, is not national, - rather is international- even through that observation, ideas are not limited by borders; but they are the common inheritance of all humans.
It is therefore, that peace depends upon the acceptance of the principle and practice of the good neighbor.
The members of this organization are working hard to spread the message of all three levels of our government in order to create a well-informed Canadian citizenship by providing information about policies, the inherent right to work. A right which consists of the elemental privileges of the people. Unemployment is a problem for the entire community, and I repeat it is a social tragedy for the individual who is denied the opportunity to work and earn and we should agree that it is to our interest to make sure that every citizen enjoys this right.
As a final note it is totally unacceptable to have such a situation in this great society of ours. A society, one of the richest in the world, where most of our banks are producing annual profits of more than one or two billions of dollars and some other companies are reporting more than four billion dollars and yet there exist small children and students from new immigrant families, going to school hungry, due to fact that the university or the professional abilities of their fathers er not recognized by our government.. This is something totally undemocratic and unacceptable by any standards of our or any other civilized society.
Thomas S. Saras is the President and CEO of the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada. This text is part of his presentation on the occasion of the celebrations for The Elimination of Discrimination, 2015, by the York Regional Police and the Mayor of Markham.