Ontario is combatting systemic racism by releasing a new three year strategic plan in order to break down barriers for racialized people across the province, including Black, Indigenous and other racialized communities.
The government has heard from people that despite efforts to promote inclusion and equity, histories of slavery, colonization and institutions of our past continue to shape the present and create a further gap between racialized people and others.
Following community meetings held across the province in 2016, Michael Coteau, Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism, today released A Better Way Forward: Ontario’s 3-Year Anti-Racism Strategic Plan. The plan is part of government’s commitment to fight systemic racism and create fair and equitable outcomes for Black, Indigenous and other racialized people.
The plan includes measures to help identify and eliminate systemic racism. It is also an acknowledgement that systemic racism — including anti-Black racism, anti-Indigenous racism, Islamophobia and racism experienced by other communities, including the Jewish community — is real, and can act as a barrier to achieving opportunity.
The strategy includes:
- Developing a framework for the collection of race-based data in various institutions, including the child welfare system and the justice, education and health sectors. Collecting race-based data is a valuable way to better understand where racial inequalities exist, which will help government work toward solutions to address it.
- A new Ontario Black Youth Action Plan targeted at increasing access to supports and opportunities for Black children, youth and their families to address outcomes disparities.
- Implementing an anti-racism impact assessment framework to help anticipate and remove unconscious bias in proposed policies, programs and decisions.
- New legislation that would, if passed, ensure the sustainability and accountability of the province’s anti-racism work by providing a framework for government and organizations to identify and combat systemic racism.
- Public education and awareness initiatives targeting racism, including Islamophobia and antisemitism
Eliminating systemic racism and advancing racial equity is part of Ontario’s plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.