'Pro-immigration' rally planned for Saturday in Sudbury
Organizers say event meant to counter planned pro-Trump, anti-immigration rallies across U.S., Canada
A weekend rally in Sudbury, Ont. is meant to show support for immigration and for recent newcomers to the northeast, and the rest of Canada, who arrived as refugees.
The refugees welcome rally and march is scheduled for Saturday in the northeastern Ontario city, and is designed to counter a number of planned events across the United States and Canada supporting U.S. President Donald Trump and opposing more open immigration policies.
"A statement needs to be made and that this is part of a larger opening conversation to how everybody feels in the community no matter what their religious beliefs," said organizer Alan Asher.
"Everybody has concerns and everybody would like to feel that they're a part of the process that moves us to the future."
Asher said he doesn't believe anti-immigration beliefs are supported in Sudbury and among the majority of Canadians.
A statement needs to be made.-Rally organizer Alan Asher
"We feel more comfortable feeling that the work we do as a community can prevent that type of platform from developing at all."
An anti-Muslim rally outside a Toronto mosque in February drew widespread attention; Asher said the goal of Saturday's event is to show support and share a moment of mutual respect with the local Muslim community, especially since immigration is a big part of northeastern Ontario's history.
The Refugees Welcome rally is slated to start at Tom Davies Square at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, followed by a march to Lansdowne Public School.
That's where a fundraiser by the Sudbury Muslim Society is being held to raise money so their Ariabic language school can hold Saturday classes.