TORONTO, Ontario, July 6 (PRIDE) — Ontario is set to launch community meetings across the province, to engage with the public and organizations on addressing systemic racism and eliminating barriers for Indigenous and racialized communities.
Michael Coteau, Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism, will host nine public community meetings to hear from Ontarians about how to address systemic racism and implement meaningful change.
“Our government has committed to fighting all forms of racism, particularly systemic racism, to ensure all Ontarians have an equal opportunity to succeed and prosper,” said Coteau.
“The first step to achieving this goal is to listen to people’s concerns. I look forward to engaging with the broader community, and finding ways to work together to build opportunities and remove barriers so that everyone benefits.”
The Ontario government is envisioning that the community meetings will help further public dialogue, receive input on the Anti-Racism Directorate’s mandate, and identify priority areas for the Directorate, as it applies an anti-racism perspective to government policies, programs and services.
The Anti-Racism Directorate was established on February 16, 2016 to increase public education and awareness of racism and apply an anti-racism perspective in developing, implementing and evaluating government policies, programs and services.
“In Ontario, despite all the progress we’ve made to build an inclusive and equal society of people from all backgrounds, systemic racism continues to create barriers for racial minorities and Indigenous groups.
“To build a better Ontario, we need to confront racism and the barriers and hardships it creates. It is why we created the new Anti-Racism Directorate. With the Directorate holding public meetings across the province, we will listen to communities and identify actions we can take, together, to address and end racism in Ontario. I look forward to attending a meeting and participating in this discussion,” said the province’s Premier Kathleen Wynne.
The first meeting will take place in Toronto on July 14. Meetings will also take place in Scarborough on September 13, Mississauga on September 27, as well as in Ottawa, Sudbury, London, Windsor, Thunder Bay, and another in the Greater Toronto Area. Dates and times for these meetings will be announced at a later date and posted on www.ontario.ca/antiracism.
The province is encouraging “Ontarians to help build a fair and equal society for all by participating in the public meetings. Hearing from Ontarians on anti-racism issues is part of the government’s commitment to fight racism and ensure that everyone in Ontario has the opportunity to fulfill their potential and participate equally in society.