Influencers urge respectful exchange of views

Influencers urge respectful exchange of views

Monday, October 30, 2023

Prominent players in the commercial real estate industry have joined more than 70 influential Canadian voices underscoring the importance of a respectful exchange of views on the current strife in Israel and Gaza. The group has submitted an open letter to all levels of government urging them to take a firm stance against hate and to enhance security for potentially threatened people and properties.

“The fog of war in the Middle East is manifesting in hate and extremism on our streets here in Canada,” states the letter, which was released publicly on October 28. “We must clearly condemn those who are calling for violence against Jews, Muslims and others, condoning murder and kidnapping, intimidating customers at Jewish-owned businesses and defacing mosques, synagogues or community buildings.”

Signatories include: Michael Evans, founder of Atlas Development Corp.; David Forbes, co-founder of Enright Capital; Andrew Hoffman, chief executive officer of CentreCourt Developments; Scott Hutcheson, executive chair of Aspen Properties; Karim Kanji, president and chief executive officer of Sutter Hill Properties; Sam Kolias, chief executive officer of Boardwalk; Jon Love, founder and chief executive officer of KingSett Capital; Bernie McCaffery, president of CEB Investments; Andrew Moor, chief executive officer of Equitable Bank; Paul Morassutti, chairman of CBRE Canada; Jim Peplinski, chair of Property Investment Company; Bud Perves, chief executive officer of Sorbara Group of Companies, Adrian Rocca, chief executive officer of Fitzrovia; Stephen Smith, chief executive officer of First National Financial Corp.; and Guy Turcotte, founder of Stone Creek Resorts, along with 59 other leaders in Canadian business, academic, cultural, legal and non-governmental organizations.

The letter endorses priority actions for governments, beginning with the enforcement of laws that prohibit incitement of hate and violence. They are also urged to improve monitoring and threat assessment of infrastructure, to support security guards for targets of hate and to task the House of Commons’ standing committee on public safety and national security to review strategies for countering ideologically motivated violent extremism.

The authors decry rising anti-Semitism and Islamophobia rippling from the Middle East conflict, and stress that Canada’s diverse population has the right to feel safe and free from discrimination. “Every Jew, Muslim, Israeli, Palestinian and every individual living in Canada deserves unwavering assurance that our leaders and institutions will protect them from bigotry and violence,” they assert.

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