|QUEEN’S PARK — The Official Opposition Ontario NDP Black Caucus released the following statement in response to Toronto police arresting and charging a man in relation to two nooses found at a construction site at Michael Garron Hospital:
“It is incredibly important that hateful acts like this and the grave, violent threat they present be taken seriously. This crime was hate-motivated and hate crime charges should absolutely be laid in this case.
This goes far beyond mischief and harassment. Nooses have a clear, painful, meaning and context to Black communities. They represent the very real threat of lynching – of murder and white supremacist terror. This is what the perpetrator of these crimes intended to invoke and evoke.
Toronto police have noted that this arrest is part of a ‘hate-motivated mischief and criminal harassment’ investigation that includes multiple similar incidents at other Toronto construction sites. This context is important. This cowardly act was not an isolated event – there were seven nooses found on GTA construction sites over just a few months in 2020.
Ensuring our institutions treat cases like this seriously, and lay charges accordingly, is a critical part of how all of us – as neighbours, Ontarians and Canadians – stand together against hatred wherever we see it.
We will continue to closely monitor this case, as well as the broader investigation into hate crimes on GTA construction sites. We are calling on the Ford government, and in particular, the Attorney General to do the same.”
The Ontario NDP Black Caucus is the first official Black Caucus in the Ontario Legislature. Its members are Laura Mae Lindo (Kitchener Centre), Jill Andrew (Toronto—St. Paul’s), Rima Berns-McGown (Beaches—East York), Faisal Hassan (York South—Weston), and Kevin Yarde (Brampton North).