Published Tuesday, October 13, 2020 9:23AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, October 13, 2020 9:37AM EDT
China was the first country to report an epidemic due to the virus and racist comments and acts against East Asian communities have surged worldwide since the onset of the pandemic.
The City of Toronto says these racist incidents are also happening in the city, as a second wave of the virus spreads across communities.
Almost 370,000 people of East Asian descent live in Toronto, according to the city.
The campaign focuses on stereotypes, including the perpetual foreigner and model minority, and racist statements such as “go back to China.”
The city released a video that showcases the impact racism has on Torontonians of East Asian descent who share their experiences with racism prior to and during the pandemic.
“It is important that we call out this kind of behaviour when we see it, Mayor John Tory said in a statement. “Anti-East Asian racism, and racism and discrimination of any kind is harmful and has lasting negative impacts on the mental health and sense of belonging felt by our city’s East Asian community.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, 26 per cent of more than 600 reported anti-East Asian racism incidents in Canada took place in Toronto, according to the Chinese Canadian National Council.
“Through this campaign, we are calling all fellow Torontonians to be our allies in our on-going efforts to make our city and Canada a truly inclusive place for all,” CCNC-SJ President Amy Go said in a statement.
The city has also released posters and statistics to bring awareness to anti-East Asian racism on its website.
The campaign is the 10th phase of the “Toronto for All Campaign,” which has an overall goal of eliminating all forms of discrimination.