Rosie Awori (LJl)
The Canadian government highlighted 16 Quebec anti-racism projects, aimed at removing systemic barriers faced by Indigenous peoples, racialized communities, and religious minorities in the country.
The projects are part of a $15-million Anti-Racism Action Program which funded 85 local, regional, and national initiatives, as well as outcomes-based activities that address racism and discrimination in all forms.
“This program is actually about empowering enabling communities to develop the solutions that the country needs. So. as much as the government oftentimes feel that they have all the answers, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and our government recognizes that Canadians have answers also. So, we are working in partnership with these organisations and we will continue working with them to hear not only their successes but also what the challenges are as we continue to redouble our efforts.” Bardish Chagger, Federal minister of Diversity, Inclusion, and Youth, explained in a telephone interview with the CONTACT.
The investment includes projects that promote integration into Canadian society, intercultural and interfaith understanding as well as research initiatives to better understand the disparities and challenges faced by Indigenous peoples, racialized communities, and religious minorities.
Despite the fact that the provincial government in Quebec maintains that systemic racism doesn’t exist, Minister Chagger says that the government acknowledges the weight and implications of systemic racism in Quebec and across Canada.
“Our government acknowledges and recognizes that systemic racism is real and exists in Canada. Covid-19 has further amplified these inequality’s in equities. We need to work together with equity seeking communities to ensure that our decisions are based at minimum on these discussions that’s why funding these programs is so important because we need to continue working together as we build back even better and consciously. As a society we need to stand together stand up against discrimination and be there for each other in respect.”
Some of the projects funded by the Anti-Racism Action Program
Strengthening Community Responses to Racism: Building Increased Social Participation of Newcomer, Racialized, and Indigenous Youth, led by EQUITAS – Centre international d’éducation aux droits humains will deliver inclusive community programs that increase social participation among newcomers, racialized groups, and Indigenous youth.
In the Know Too (2), developed by the Black Community Resource Centre, will address gaps in access to justice in English in Quebec, which contribute to youth (particularly Black youth) disengagement in society.
Canada Task Force on Online Antisemitism, operated by the Montreal Institute for Genocide Studies at Concordia University, will recommend ways to help social media and tech companies change their policies and develop new tech solutions to combat antisemitism, Holocaust denial, and distortion online.