Government Working to Advance Equality for All Ontarians
Premier Kathleen Wynne announced today that Ontario will establish an Anti-Racism Directorate to address racism in all its forms — including individual, systemic and cultural.
Michael Coteau will oversee the Anti-Racism Directorate as Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism and continue as Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.
The Directorate will work with key partners such as business, community organizations, educational institutions and the Ontario Human Rights Commission. The Directorate will aim to:
- Increase public education and awareness of racism to create a more inclusive province, and;
- Apply an anti-racism lens in developing, implementing and evaluating government policies, programs and services.
The Anti-Racism Directorate is part of the government’s commitment to fight discrimination and ensure that everyone in Ontario has the opportunity to fulfill their potential and participate equally in society.
- Today the government will introduce legislation that, if passed, would formally and permanently establish February as Black History Month in Ontario on an annual basis.
- Since 2003, the Ontario Trillium Foundation has awarded seven grants for a total of $171,100 in support of Black History Month. In addition, 14 other grants have been awarded for a total of $829,900 in support of black history initiatives.
- The Ontario Public Service (OPS) launched the first OPS Anti-Racism Action Plan last November. It focuses on preventing race-based discrimination and harassment; further diversifying the public service at every level, including senior management; and increasing OPS employees’ awareness of racism and its impacts.
- Public servants use a tool called the OPS Inclusion Lens to identify and address potential barriers in designing policies or delivering services. The lens addresses 17 dimensions of diversity, including race, age, gender and disability.
- Every year, the province awards the Lincoln M. Alexander Award to youth who have demonstrated leadership in eliminating racial discrimination in Ontario.
“We know in our hearts that deeply entrenched biases are still at work, disadvantaging entire communities. I have fought for equality my entire life, and I know that government needs to play a leading role in the fight against racial discrimination and inequality. That is why we are establishing an Anti-Racism Directorate to advance racial equality across Ontario.”
— Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario
“Despite all our progress towards building an inclusive society, racial minorities in Ontario continue to face economic and social barriers. I am honoured to assume this new role, and as Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism I will work to make our province a place where everyone has an equal opportunity to flourish.”
— Michael Coteau, Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism and Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport
“The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) welcomes the establishment of the Anti-Racism Directorate. The OHRC has long recognized that government must play a leadership role in the fight against systemic discrimination. We are excited to work closely with Minister Coteau to advance our shared goal of a province where racialized Ontarians are able to realize their full potential free from discrimination.”
— Renu Mandhane, Chief Commissioner, Ontario Human Rights Commission
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