Today, the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, unveiled Building a Foundation for Change: Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy 2019–2022, which helps advance the Government of Canada’s vision of fostering and promoting a more inclusive and equitable country for all Canadians.
"While we take pride in being a welcoming and inclusive country, we know that racism and discrimination are still a reality for many Canadians across the country. Our government recognizes that we are in a unique position to address racism in our institutions and society. This national anti-racism strategy is an essential first step in building a more inclusive country, where all Canadians can participate equally,” said Minister Rodriguez.
A key pillar of the strategy is the establishment of a new Anti-Racism Secretariat that will lead a whole-of-government approach in addressing racism and discrimination. The strategy, with an investment of $45 million, has been designed to support the following three principles:
- Demonstrating Federal Leadership: The Government of Canada must take a leading role in addressing systemic racism and discrimination when found to exist within our federal institutions and in public policies, programs and services.
- Empowering Communities: Funding to support racialized communities, religious minorities and Indigenous Peoples on the ground who have expertise in addressing various forms of racism and discrimination.
- Building Awareness and Changing Attitudes: To increase awareness of the historical roots of racism and discrimination, and their impacts on communities and Indigenous Peoples.
The investments in the Strategy are building on current efforts to create long-term changes in supporting communities and for improved policies, initiatives and practices in our federal institutions. They are meant to be the first step of a longer-term commitment and a foundation for change in addressing racism and discrimination in Canada.
“Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy was developed with the input of many Canadians from coast to coast to coast," noted Gary Anandasangaree, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism. "This strategy is a starting point in addressing racism and discrimination in Canada. It builds on the work our government is already doing to address the root causes of inequality, including the Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy and the National Housing Strategy. It is clear that much work remains to be done, but the federal government is taking leadership in Building a Foundation for Change.”
Applications for new funding opportunities will be available on September 3, 2019. To learn more about the Government of Canada’s anti-racism strategy, visit canada.ca/anti-racism.
The Government of Canada is committed to implementing this renewed federal approach to tackling racism, discrimination and growing concerns around hateful rhetoric in Canada, which will promote equal access to and participation in Canadian society.
In 2018, Minister Rodriguez was asked by the Prime Minister to develop a new federal anti-racism strategy to build a stronger, more inclusive country.
The Department of Canadian Heritage carried out engagement sessions from October 2018 to March 2019 to gather input from Canadians, especially those with lived experiences of racism and discrimination. The engagement process consisted of 22 in-person forums that welcomed approximately 600 people. These inclusive sessions were held in partnership with community groups and Indigenous groups. Equally, all Canadians were invited to participate through an online poll and survey.
The Government of Canada has already taken several steps to help fight racism and discrimination through ongoing efforts to remove barriers and improve the socio-economic outcomes of Canadians, including racialized communities, Indigenous peoples and religious minorities. This includes combating homelessness and precarious housing, reducing poverty, and creating better living conditions for all Canadians.
Budget 2019 announced $45 million over three years to develop and implement this new federal anti-racism strategy.
Originally published by the Government of Canada.