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Should Canada boycott the 2014 Olympics in Sochi?

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – As another group calls on Canada to boycott the Sochi Games because of Russia’s anti-gay laws, News1130 is finding out how you think our country should handle the situation.

We have been speaking with people in Vancouver about the controversy, and what do they want our government to do. Many want more of a stand to be taken, but the question is how.

Some want our athletes to pull out, but one man says that is just punishing them.

“It is also not fair for the athletes to give something up that they have been working on to boycott going over there. It sucks, it is stupid, they (the Russian government) are idiots, but what are the athletes supposed to do? What is our government supposed to do?”

One woman says if Canada does participate, it sends a message that Russia’s human right violations are okay. “Every country should be responsible for themselves, and if that includes being taken out of the Olympics… then so be it.”

Others are protesting in their own ways.

“I own a restaurant, and I continue to not serve Russian vodka,” says one business owner.

The Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion is the latest group to speak out today. Its founder and CEO Michael Bach says “Human rights must come above all.”

“Any country that participates in these games is, by their action, complicit in human rights abuses that are taking place in Russia today. If a country cannot ensure the safety of their citizens and residents, they must boycott the games.”

It says a boycott would do the following:

1. Ensure that Canadian citizens and residents that are attending or participating in the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic games in Sochi are not subject to harassment, violence, criminalization and fines as a consequence of being LGBT or an ally of the LGBT community.

2. Send a clear message to Russia and other countries that do not respect the human rights of LGBT people, that there is a financial impact for this type of abuse.

3. Solidify Canada’s commitment to human rights and sends a message to the world that Canada is a country that encourages dialogue and differences of opinion, provided that all people are treated equally.

However, it does recognize that a decision to support a boycott does not come easily.

*How do you think Canada should handle the situation? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!