Ottawa, July 11 : Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has denounced a racist incident that was caught on camera at a Chinese supermarket in Ontario province.
"This is hard to watch. I'd like to echo what (Minister) Mary (Ng) said and thank the employees who took a stand against ignorance and hatred. We all have a responsibility to call out racism and discrimination - so call it out whenever and wherever you see it," Trudeau tweeted on Friday.
Trudeau was responding to a video, which was recently posted to social media, which shows workers of T&T supermarket in Mississauga asking an unmasked man to either wear a mask or leave the supermarket in accordance with with the mask-wearing mandatory rule.
The incident occurred at the supermarket on July 5 and was captured on video and posted to YouTube, where it has been watched nearly 400,000 times.
In the video, the unmasked man yells at a worker, saying "go back to China where you came from and take your coronavirus back to Wuhan".
The worker defended himself by saying, "I am Canadian".
The unmasked man also purported that he couldn't wear a mask due to his asthma.
"If I wear a mask, I will have an asthma attack. And these communists are all attacking us - attacked my wife, this man pushed me. So you're going to be in trouble. I'm gonna have the police right here at the door." The supermarket workers eventually succeeded in getting the unmasked man to leave.
In a tweet, Mary Ng, Canadian Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, said that the video might make Asian-Canadians fearful of possible tense interactions.
"'I am Canadian'. A powerful response to this hateful interaction at a T&T Supermarket in Mississauga," Ng wrote.
"Chinese and Asian Canadians, especially young people, who watch this video may be filled with anger, fear, and sadness." Opposition New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh also commented on the incident, calling for an end to hateful speech.
"We have a collective responsibility to deny any space to this type of hateful, divisive and racist speech," he said.
"And let's be clear, the consensus of health-care experts is that wearing a mask helps prevent the spread of COVID-19. Wear a mask and don't be a racist." Police have reportedly confirmed that they are investigating the incident and have identified the unmasked man involved in the incident, asking him to turn himself in.