Ottawa still hesitant to commemorate mosque shooting with anti-Islamophobia day

After receiving a recommendation in February to mark January 29 as a national day against Islamophobia, the federal government has still not decided how it will respond.

Parliamentary committee recommended marking January 29 as day against religious discrimination

People lay down candles, flowers and signs that read, 'I will remember,' on Jan. 29, 2018, to mark the anniversary of the shooting at a Quebec City mosque where six men were killed. (Peter Tardif/CBC)

The federal government is not committing to marking January 29 — the day of the shooting at a Quebec City mosque — as a national day against Islamophobia.

Four months after a parliamentary committee recommended the Liberals mark the anniversary of the attack as a day against religious discrimination, there is still no clear indication in the government's response.

The government's response came down in the House of Commons on Friday afternoon.

One paragraph of the 24-page document drafted in response to committee's recommendation reads, "Canadians must remember this tragedy," but doesn't indicate whether or not January 29 should be declared a day of commemoration.

The office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Mélanie Joly, had not confirmed by Friday afternoon if this meant that the recommendation was being thrown out altogether.

More than 1,000 people took part in the anniversary vigil in Quebec City on Jan. 29, 2018. (Peter Tardif/CBC)

Thirty recommendations were put forward by the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, which had the mandate to look into "Systemic Racism and Religious Discrimination."

Joly, who signed off on the government response made public Friday, argued at the time that she needed to consult with her colleagues to know their point of view, before taking action. 

"There is always a process. I must ensure I represent the government's positions, and I will eventually be able to share that position," Joly said on Feb. 1.

The National Council of Canadian Muslims wrote to Justin Trudeau in January to demand that this day be declared a commemorative day for the shooting that left six men dead.

Translated from a report by La Presse Canadienne