Happy Canada Day!
We, at the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (CCVT), join millions of Canadians and celebrate Canada Day (Fête du Canada) as our national day in commemoration of the anniversary of July 1, 1867, On this day Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick joined the rest of Canada and paved the way for full independence of the Canadian society that occurred much later with the passage of the 1982 Constitution Act. We are proud of the 1982 Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom that guarantees fundamental human rights and the right to life and security of person. Canada is one of the unique multi-cultural and multifaith countries of in the world. We are pleased that there is no systemic torture in Canada and the Canadian free health is a great help to people in low-income brackets. As Canadians, we must protect these achievements like the pupil of our eyes.
Canada is not, however, free from racism and xenophobia. The rights of aboriginal people have been violated frequently. There is hardly any effective civil control over the activities of police and enforcement officers. Poverty and homelessness are reaching an alarming point. It is fact that poverty brings violence and the vice versa. This dangerous vicious circle must be stopped and the government should come up with a national strategy to combat these social evils.
The CCVT congratulates this important historical day to the great people of Canada and reaffirms its solidarity with them. We expect our government to intervene actively towards implementation of the provisions of the Canadian Charter and ratify all international human rights instruments. A vital link must be maintained by the government between civil and political rights on the one hand and economic, social and cultural rights on the other. The rights of aboriginal people as well as the refugee and immigration rights, including the righty to asylum, must be protected. We do hope that the government takes an active leadership role in international relations towards peace, global justice and general disarmament.
Celebrate June 26 – International Day in Support for Victims of Torture with CCVT!
June 26 is declared by the United Nations to be International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. On June 26, we remember the victims and stand in solidarity with the survivors of torture to advocate for the prohibition of torture around the world. The theme this year is “Supporting victims through the Covid-19 pandemic” CCVT would like to begin by acknowledging that we are currently on the “Dish With One Spoon Territory.” The Dish With One Spoon is a treaty between the Anishinaabe, Mississaugas and Haudenosaunee that bound them to share the territory and protect the land. Subsequent Indigenous Nations and peoples, Europeans and all newcomers, have been invited into this treaty in the spirit of peace, friendship and respect. CCVT celebrates this day with a series of statements by Huda Bukhari (Community Engagement Manager), Teresa Dremetsikas (Programs Manager), Dr. Clare Pain (Physician), Ezat Mossallanejad (Policy Analyst), and lastly, Arif Virani (Member of Parliament for Parkdale-Highpark). CCVT would like to dedicate this event to one of our clients: Sarah Hegazi. She was a software developer, a friend, feminist, queer and political activist. May she rest in power. Please share this video to support the movement and raise awareness for the torture that happens around the world.
Let’s Celebrate World Refugee Day!
We celebrate and uplift refugees on June 20th each year. This year’s theme for UN’s World Refugee Day is #StepWithRefugees. We asked the staff and loved ones at CCVT to go for a walk and dedicate that walk to all refugees and reflect on the journey that they may have taken to reach safety. To all refugees – we recognize your strengths, your hard work and contribution to Canadian society. We welcome you and are thankful for your presence.
In the following week, stay tuned for some of the events that CCVT will be hosting leading up to June 26th, 2020 – UN’s International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. We will be highlighting the journey of some of our community members, sharing their stories, and providing information for change.
Most importantly, CCVT expresses great sorrow in the loss of a dear community member, Sarah Hegazi. We stand in solidarity with her, the work she has done and all that she is. May she rest in Power.
Statement in Support of the Protests Against Anti-Black Racism & Police Brutality
Racism and colonialism have cut open a deep wound that remains open and has deepened over centuries of terrible injustice. Generations have been subjected to inhuman treatment and degrading treatment and torture.
The fight against anti-Black racism, oppressive laws, legislation and police brutality is based in the long, despicable history of slavery, colonization of indigenous communities and Black people.
We are at an historic crossroads for democracy, human rights and social justice in the United States and here in Canada. Across Canada and the United States, and around the world, the Medical Profession including the American Psychiatrists Association has declared anti-Black racism a public health crisis.
Anti-Black racism is also a violation of fundamental human rights, of core principles of justice and is a grave threat to democracy. Racism, police racial targeting, carding, the horrific brutality and violence against Black people, and white supremacy must be named, acknowledged and challenged. This cannot be tolerated anymore and we refuse to be bystanders and to live in a Circle of Silence. This is our commitment to our communities and to the ideals of fairness, equity and equal treatment under the law.
For those who do not experience anti-Black racism, and for those who are not aware of the grave human rights, justice and advocacy implications of the military and police actions against public protest and dissent, we need to take the time, to care, and to respect each other enough to educate ourselves as a first step. We are issuing this statement and information for our members and ourselves to gain a deeper understanding of what is happening and what it means. We are asking our members and supporters to take the time to read this attempt to start to educate ourselves, and look more deeply, to listen particularly to the voices of Black people, and to join and support in every way we can.
As citizens of this great land of ours, and members of the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture, an organization that works with survivors of torture, victims of war, genocide and crimes against humanity we will join hands with all like-minded people, progressive governments and politicians to work towards the eradication of poverty, equal treatment under the law, for an educational system that is open to all members of society and to a society free of racism and discrimination.
COVID-19 and CCVT services:
Effective March 18, 2020, CCVT is suspending all in-person client services for all programs until further notice due to the COVID-19 crisis. In-person appointments will be rescheduled once the office re-opens. Should you need assistance, please connect with your counselor via email. For information regarding COVID-19, please visit the following websites where information is available in various languages on the Ontario COVID-19 website.
Please visit this site for information in additional languages for information on self-isolation.
Please also visit this website for:
Summary of Financial Benefits Available Under Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan (Multi-Language)