OPSEU’s Workers of Colour Caucus (WOCC) and Provincial Human Rights Committee (PHRC) are calling on the Ontario Government to address the growing racial inequities and lack of access to racial justice for people of colour in Ontario. We believe it is a critical time to address discrimination and social and economic barriers experienced by people of colour and Indigenous communities in such areas as:
- poverty and income security
- child welfare
- policing and the justice system
The WOCC and PHRC welcome the development of a new Anti-Racism Directorate (ARD) in Ontario. The ARD was established on February 16, 2016 to increase public education and awareness of racism. The ARD is also tasked with developing an anti-racism perspective in the implementation and evaluation of government policies, programs and services.
The Government of Ontario is now engaging in a series of community consultations with the public to provide feedback on the ARD’s mandate. This includes identifying priority areas of the Directorate’s work and measures to be taken to develop and promote an anti-racism perspective in all government policies and practices.
We are calling on our members to attend public community meetings – hosted by Michael Coteau, Minister of Anti-Racism –to help ensure the ARD is truly effective in addressing racism, is accountable to racialized communities, and most importantly is sustainable in the long term.
The first meeting was held on Thursday, July 14 in Toronto. 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 a second meeting in the Greater Toronto Area. Dates and times for these meetings will be announced and posted on www.ontario.ca/antiracism
Summaries of the meetings will be made available as the government considers all feedback received.