New Zealand Mosque Attack - BCGEU

Like all of you, I am angry and shocked and heartbroken at the news of the terrorist attacks in New Zealand.

Some of you know that I grew up and started my career as an ECE and a labour activist in New Zealand. I still have family and friends there and I think of New Zealand as home.

This attack feels very personal for me and I am writing to share my thoughts with all of you.

First, I want to echo the words of New Zealand's Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, and utterly condemn not just the people who perpetrated this appalling act but all who find common cause with them-extremism has no place in our communities.

I also want to express my deepest condolences to the families who lost loved ones and to the Islamic communities at the Al Noor and Linwood Mosques in Christchurch in their time of grief.

I want to send a message to the people of Christchurch and the people of New Zealand-regardless of where they were born-that Canadians know this tragedy neither reflects nor defines your city or your nation.

Finally, I want to offer my support and solidarity to my Muslim brothers, sisters and friends in the BCGEU and around the world. The 78,000 members of the BCGEU will do everything in our power to defend your right to pray and gather and live free from violence in any form.

As a labour activist I am proud of everything our union does to protect, promote and expand diversity.

All communities are made stronger, richer, and more vibrant by diversity.

Today I am more resolved than ever that we can and must do more to stand against all forms of violence and hatred and to build more open, inclusive and diverse communities where everyone is safe.

Terrorism is about tearing people apart.

We fight it by coming together.

In solidarity, I know we will prevail.


Stephanie Smith 
BCGEU President