Jason Kenney Needs to Apologize to Calgary's South Asian Community

Jason Kenney Needs to Apologize to Calgary's South Asian Community

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Harveen Padda started this petition to Premier of Alberta - Jason Kenney

On Wednesday, November 25th, 2020 Jason Kenny spoke on RedFM to give a "wake-up call" to the South Asian community of Calgary. This "wake-up call" was to address the high levels of COVID-19 transmission among this community and NE Calgary, which he stereotypically assumed, is due to "family or friends visiting at home", namely South Asians.

He failed to recognize the other variables that have a stronger potential to impact the high rates of transmission among this community. For example, many individuals from the South Asian community are essential workers (grocery store clerks, healthcare aides, cleaners, taxi and bus drivers, factory/warehouse workers, and truck drivers) who do not have the luxury or oftentimes, the education or qualifications, required to obtain a job where they have the option to work from home during these trying times. He failed to address that many of these individuals have to rely on public transit as a means of transportation. He failed to address that many of these people live in multi-generational households, and in some cases, multiple families live under one roof.

All of these factors; areas of work, means of transportation, and living arrangements put South Asians, other minorities, and those of a lower socioeconomic status, at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19.  The higher rates of transmission cannot be blamed solely on "traditions" and "family or friends visiting at home", and to do so is completely ignorant and irresponsible of our Premier.

This is racism. He is scapegoating the entire South Asian community inciting hate and discrimination.

Additionally, it is unfathomable to see that he feels the need to blame South Asian and immigrant communities, but does not feel the need to address the 1500+ ANTI-MASK protesters gathering and rallying without masks or social distancing of any kind.

This is a call to action for the Premier to take responsibility for his blatant racism, and apologize.

Photo Credits: March 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

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