Coronavirus outbreak sparks racism in Ontario

Published On January 30, 2020 | By Ashley Radcliffe | International, News

Ashley Radcliffe Reporter

The number of signatures on a potentially discriminatory petition in York region continues to grow, despite efforts by Mayor John Tory and others to stamp out backlash towards the Chinese community in light of the novel Coronavirus.

York region parents have created an online petition to prevent Chinese people from entering schools in the York region.

There are two confirmed cases of the virus in Ontario.

The virus was brought to Canada by a married couple in their 50s living in Toronto who recently returned from Wuhan, China.

This has led to some Canadians encouraging others to stay away from Chinese businesses and neighbourhoods as the virus has spread all over the world.

Xenophobic comments have been circulating on the internet since the beginning of the outbreak and is just now being acknowledged by Toronto mayor John Tory.

“It is ill-founded and in fact could lead to a situation in which we are less safe, because it spreads misinformation at a time when people are in more need than ever of real information and real facts,” Tory said.

Canadians have been advised to be mindful of the way that their personal opinions that are being expressed in such a sensitive time, and to only pay attention to the facts being released by health officials.

A statement was made by Ontario chief medical officer David Williams on Thursday in Toronto.

“I want to strongly discourage that as I said all along, individuals who come back from these areas, the key is the travel history, thus far they have been responsible coming in a timely way and reporting, and are very particular about their own isolation, very concerned about not putting other people at hazard, and are very concerned about their own health” said Williams.

There are approximately 8000 reported cases of coronavirus in China, and 170 people have died from complications caused by the virus.

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