Board of Directors Statement on Need for Local Action to End Violence in Gaza

The Horizon Ottawa Board of Directors is urging the City of Ottawa’s mayor and city councillors to join municipal counterparts across Canada in demanding the Federal government call for a sustained ceasefire in Gaza, unrestricted access to humanitarian aid, the release of all hostages, and renewed efforts to end the violence inflicted on civilians.

As we have seen in other cities, from Brampton to Burnaby, leaders have cited a “moral obligation to speak up” which our own leaders at every level of government, including at the municipal level, should take up. 

So far, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (November 14) has limited his stance to calling on Israel to exercise 'maximum restraint' as it continues its bombardment and ground offensive in Gaza. While there has been an agreement for a temporary ceasefire since then, there is a dire need for a long-term solution that protects the lives of innocent civilians involved in this conflict

At home, we have seen large crowds not only rally around Parliament Hill, but march through the streets across the country in solidarity with innocent Palestinian and Israeli civilians. The public is calling on our leaders to push for a sustained ceasefire, support unrestricted access to humanitarian aid, and the release of all hostages.

The impact of the ongoing atrocities since October 7 is clearly felt at home. We are also seeing a rise in Islamophobia, antisemitism and anti-Palestinian racism that has been accompanied by acts of violence against these communities in Canada. Now is not a time for division. It is more important now than ever to support and stand in solidarity with our neighbours against dehumanization and acts of hate in our schools, workplaces, communities and anywhere else these acts might take place.

The Horizon Ottawa Board calls for more active leadership from our local representatives. Moreover, we will continue to join the on-going demonstrations of solidarity, including today’s National March to echo the demands mentioned in this letter, and encourage all of our members and supporters to do the same.

We also encourage residents across the City of Ottawa to call, email and contact their city councillors and the mayor to encourage them to echo the positions taken by other cities in calling for measures to limit civilian death and leading to a peaceful end to the ongoing violence in Gaza, Israel and the West Bank.

The Horizon Ottawa Board of Directors

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