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Joined: 02 Mar 2009
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Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:21 pm    Post subject: Wynne to fight "systemic racism " ? Reply with quote

( want to make it clear that I'm not in favour of systemic racism and if anyone feels they have been mistreated by a government agency that is unfortunate .

I personally have a hard time believing this is an issue in modern Ontario and that its necessary for government agencies to collect race based data , I personally don't believe our school boards and government agencies and racist to non-white people , just don't see this as being a crisis or why so much money is being spent to deal with a problem there not even sure exists )

Ontario government unveils 3-year plan to battle racism

“Our government is ready to take responsibility and to make change,” said Michael Coteau, minister of children and youth services in unveiling strategic plan to fight systemic racism, including the collection of race-based data.

Michael Coteau, the minister responsible for anti-racism initiatives, says the Ontario government is "ready to take responsibility and make change."

Michael Coteau, the minister responsible for Ontario's anti-racism directorate, unveils the province's three-year plan to tackle system racism at a news conference in Toronto Tuesday.

By Jennifer Yang Identity and Inequality Reporter

Tues., March 7, 2017

The provincial government has announced a sweeping new plan for tackling systemic racism that includes Ontario’s first anti-racism legislation, $47 million for black youth, and a framework for collecting race-based data — something community activists have long demanded.

The “pan-government” strategy — developed over the last year by the province’s still-fledgling anti-racism directorate — was unveiled Tuesday at a crowded news conference attended by the Attorney General and several cabinet ministers.

In his remarks, Minister of Children and Youth Services Michael Coteau, who heads the directorate, promised “concrete steps” to end systemic racism in government institutions.

One of these steps is proposed legislation to be introduced this spring — which, if passed, will mandate the collection of race-based data across multiple sectors, including child welfare, education, health and justice. Another is a new framework to apply an anti-racism lens to future policies and programs.

The “A Better Way Forward” strategic plan highlighted specific barriers faced by black youth, who will become the beneficiaries of a four-year, $47-milllion “action plan” aimed at reducing disparities and helping them succeed. “I want black youth in this province to know that their lives matter,” Coteau said.

The plan also calls for education initiatives and public awareness campaigns — something Coteau believes is “especially needed when we talk about Islamophobia.”

“Our government is ready to take responsibility and to make change,” Coteau said. “It’s taken us decades to get to this point. And I believe that it’s never too late for us to correct our course.”

The anti-racism directorate was formed to “address racism in all its forms” in February 2016 — 10 years after the Ontario government first passed legislation that enabled them to create an office for tackling systemic racism.

The directorate fills a long-time void left by the province’s former anti-racism secretariat, which was killed in the mid-1990s by the Progressive Conservative government at the time.

In February 2016, Premier Kathleen Wynne said the need for an anti-racism directorate had “sharpened” in recent times, pointing to ongoing issues like police carding and the debate over Syrian refugees.

Arguably, the need has since become more acute. In the hours before the anti-racism strategy was unveiled, news broke of bomb threats made against Jewish community centres in Toronto and London.

Tuesday’s threats come on the heels of several other, troubling events: the Quebec City mosque shooting in January; last week’s bomb threat against Muslim students at Concordia University; and a string of racist and anti-Semitic vandalism attacks, to name a few.

The anti-racism directorate has spent the past year holding a series of emotionally-charged public meetings across Ontario, meeting with community members everywhere from Toronto to Thunder Bay.

Last July in Toronto — where the first of 10 meetings was held — a crowd of more than 1,000 people packed Daniel’s Spectrum in Regent Park. Some criticized the province for only allocating $5 million to the anti-racism directorate and the crowd periodically broke out into chants of “black lives matter.”

Attendees expressed frustration over what they described as an endless cycle of proposed — and failed — initiatives to address systemic racism in Ontario.

“There hasn’t been a time in the last 50 years when we have not marched on the streets of Toronto calling — calling out, calling out, calling out — to put an end to racism,” said Akua Benjamin, a longtime black activist and professor with Ryerson University.

“There hasn’t been a time when we have not faced (policymakers) — whether it is the Liberals, whether it is the NDP, whether it is the Conservatives — around this issue of racism. And so here we are again.”

On Tuesday, some community members again expressed skepticism of the new strategy, especially with a provincial election looming.

But the mood was markedly more optimistic. While Avvy Go was disappointed by the strategy’s lack of focus on employment inequities, she was heartened by the strategy’s embrace of race-based data collection.

“The collection of disaggregated data is foundational to the success of any anti-racism strategy,” said Go, a founding member of the Colour of Poverty campaign and director of the Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic.

“Without such data, we simply cannot properly measure the progress over time of any plan that the government might choose to adopt and implement.”

Donna Harrow, executive director of the Alexander Park Community Centre, also stood up to thank Coteau for his work with the directorate.

Harrow has seen many government promises come and go in her 40-some years of black activism. But this new strategy, she believes, “is different.”

“This is the first time that they have actually named systemic racism (and committed) funds to African-Canadian young people who have not had an equitable chance in our society,” she said.

“For the first time, I can say that someone from the Ontario government has listened and has acted for a specific group of people — my specific group of people.”


Joined: 02 Mar 2009
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Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well this announcement mostly went under the radar and was seen as " feel good " news by most of the media it raises some " red flags " to me

first off they are alleging there is " systemic racism " in Ontario's institutions and don't have any proof to even back this up which is why they want to keep stats to try and prove something happened

but my biggest concern is the province is setting itself up for a class action lawsuit or a financial settlement similar to the residential schools settlement

which was the largest class action settlement in Canadian history , worth over a $ billion dollars

why do I feel that is possible ? well its clear if there out to prove Ontario's institutions are racist , this will no doubt lead to calls for some sort of financial settlement to make things right and when you consider the amount of people in Ontario who could qualify for financial restitution from such a settlement it could actually end up being much larger than the residential schools settlement and set the province up for even more financial ruin down the road

the big question is why would a provincial government set itself up for this to happen ?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Usually when governments are wildly unpopular and almost inside a year to the next election they do what they can to focus on things that most people can agree on or are in favor of to avoid discussing the reasons they are wildly unpopular.

Joined: 02 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cosmostein wrote:
Usually when governments are wildly unpopular and almost inside a year to the next election they do what they can to focus on things that most people can agree on or are in favor of to avoid discussing the reasons they are wildly unpopular.

well true that's why this announcement went mostly under the radar and no one seemed to have an issue with it

but considering Canada's past history and past settlements given towards other groups who felt they were mistreated by the government or school system , wouldn't you agree there is a realistic possibility there opening the government of Ontario up to having to pay out such a settlement down the road ?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They 'solve' every problem with money. Most often, the money only goes to government workers and is used to build bureaucratic empires.

One thing for sure -- it won't be used to deal with the real growth centers of racism in 2017 -- groups like Black Lives Matter.
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Wynne to fight "systemic racism " ?

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