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International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

March 21, 2013

Saskatchewan’s population is growing at a pace that is nearly unrivalled in the last forty years. Recent statistics indicate that, last year, over half of the growth in our population occurred because of immigration. More than 11,000 people, from all over the world, chose to make this province their home. The regular infusion of talented individuals from all over the world helps our workplaces, and our economy, to thrive.

New Canadians also bring with them their passion for sport. Recognizing the global importance of sport, the United Nations chose “Racism and Sport” as the theme for the 2013 International Day for the Elimination of Racism. True sportsmanship requires each and every player to know the rules, respect the other players, and demonstrate fair play.

Similarly, knowing our rights and respecting the rights of others demonstrates our commitment to fairness and, importantly, to our responsibility as Canadian citizens. Acting on the responsibility of citizenship is a skill that we can improve. Last year, and for example, more than 20% of the complaints of discrimination received by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission involved ancestry, Aboriginal ancestry, nationality, colour, place of origin, and perceived race.

Saskatchewan is a strongly multicultural, multidimensional, and pluralistic society. Many linguistic, cultural, and social forces underlie our unique and complex social tapestry. At a fundamental level, we know that we can learn from each other and that we are better for it.

Racism in sport, as within every other area of our society, is not “just part of the game,” and it must not be tolerated. On or off the field of play, I have confidence that the people of Saskatchewan are up to the challenge.

David M. Arnot
Chief Commissioner
Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission

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