Statement from Mayor Alto on Conflict in the Middle East

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The violence and destruction happening right now in Gaza is disturbing and heartbreaking. The harm that this is causing cannot be overstated. The loss of civilian life, including the lives of children, is catastrophic and will only stop when this conflict ends. 

The outpour of islamophobia and antisemitism that we have seen in our community, across BC, and throughout Canada, is appalling. Over the past weeks, I have met with members of the local Muslim and Jewish communities and heard about the violence and vitriol that have been directed towards them. These reprehensible acts of hate have no place in Victoria. I want the local Jewish and Muslim communities, and all those who are affected by this hate, to know that Victoria will not tolerate this. I – we – value your presence in Victoria, and your contributions to our community. I implore every Victorian to treat all our community members with dignity, kindness and care.

I join my local government colleagues from around the nation to urge the Canadian Government to call for a ceasefire in Gaza, to advocate and work with our international partners to support the unrestricted access to humanitarian aid and to secure the release of all hostages.

I urge my fellow Victorians, please, reach out to your friends, neighbours and loved ones. This is a time for comfort, empathy, understanding and support. This conflict affects many people here in our city, and the immense pain and fear that our residents are experiencing due to the violence and loss of life happening in the middle east is crushing. My heart goes out to every person feeling the grief, weight and impact of these devastating events.

Media Contact:
Colleen Mycroft
Manager, Intergovernmental and Media Relations
250.896.5325 |