Joint message from ADM(HR-Civ) and CMPC on the London Tragedy
June 10, 2021 - Defence Stories
These past few days have been exceptionally difficult for all Canadians, as we process last Sunday’s tragedy in London, Ontario. Four Canadians lost their lives in an act of hate and bigotry. They had goals, ambitions, and futures to achieve and enjoy together. Instead, a child lost his beloved family, and the Muslim community is distressed and shocked to lose four of its members in this act of violence.
We stand by our Muslim colleagues and members in denouncing Islamophobia, as well as hate, prejudice and intolerance in all of its forms. We empathize with the hardship you have experienced and continue to endure. The recurring hatred has a cumulative impact on you, your families, and your communities.
There are no words that will alleviate the gravity of these losses, nothing that can be said to undo the harms experienced by the family, friends, and community of those who were killed in this atrocity. Last Sunday’s event highlighted the pure evil that can arise when hate and ignorance are left unchallenged and unchecked. We must remain vigilant – because these beliefs and attitudes cannot be allowed to exist within our communities and our organization. This is a time for us all to reflect on the ways in which we can reach out and support each other. We must take swift and decisive action against Islamophobia, to eradicate discrimination from our institution, and create a Defence Team that is inclusive, safe, and respectful for all members.
If you witness or experience Islamophobia, speak up. Take the time to learn more about Islam, and what you can do to support and become an ally to your Muslim colleagues.
This tragedy is being felt by all Canadians across the country. Please know that if you are impacted, you are not alone. We must take care of one another and work to heal from this together. If you or your family need support during this time, there are a number of services available to you:
- Employee Assistance Program, 1-800-268-7708 (for civilians)
- EAP Peer Advisors: Call 1-833-747-6363 to be connected with a readily available colleague who can provide confidential active-listening skills and resources to employees in need.
- CF Member Assistance Program (CFMAP), 1-800-268-7708
- LifeSpeak: A web-based service that offers free confidential access to hundreds of short videos by experts on a variety of issues.
- IFSSA Services | Counselling and Mental Health (English-only web site)(you are now leaving the Government of Canada website): The Islamic Family & Social Services Association (IFSSA) was created to serve those going through difficult times, who need a shoulder to lean on, or new to our cities and country.
- Naseeha mental health support for Muslims (English-only web site) (you are now leaving the Government of Canada website): Call or text 1-866-NASEEHA (627-3342), which provides confidential support from 12 p.m. – 12 a.m. EST, 7 days a week.
- Your local CF Health Services Centre.
- Your local military chaplains.
- Additional mental health resources for CAF members and their families
To our Muslim colleagues and friends, know that our thoughts are with you, and we are here to support you through these challenging times.
Kin Choi LGen Steven Whelan
ADM (HR-Civ) Chief of Military Personnel
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