The Government continues to be an active partner with the Black Community to ensure they can overcome systematic barriers to equality.
” Black history is Canadian history and we’re proud to be celebrating another Black History Month where we can highlight the accomplishments and contributions of Black Canadians. From the trailblazers of the past, to the changemakers of today, Black History Month allows us to acknowledge the diverse Black Canadian communities across Canada, their stories, and their dreams. At the same time, we must also acknowledge the institutional and structural anti-Black racism that exists in Canada and continue to call out and dismantle racism and discrimination in all of its forms. Our Government is not satisfied with just pointing out problems, we’re investing to both uplift and empower Black businesses, voices, and Canadians while tackling racism all across the country.
One of the most impactful methods we’re using to achieve this goal is through our renewed Anti-Racism Strategy. This strategy encompasses several pathways forward and also includes the development of a National Action Plan on Combatting Hate and strengthening the role of the Federal Anti-Racism Secretariat. Together, these bodies will dismantle institutional barriers to equality.
For Black business owners and entrepreneurs, we’ve created the Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund to help entrepreneurs overcome systemic barriers and build up their successes. By providing access to capital and loans of up to $250,000, we’re growing our economy and leveling out the playing field. For even more assistance, business owners can look to the Black Entrepreneurship program which has our Knowledge Hub and National Ecosystem Fund to provide even further support.
To bolster our Black communities, we’ve invested $25 million to projects and capital assistance to celebrate, share knowledge, and build capacity within Black Canadian communities. This will complement our Black-led Philanthropic Endowment Fund, which supports Black-led charities and organizations across Canada with their mandates to create a better and more inclusive Canada. As part of our Supporting Black Communities Initiative, I’m thrilled to see what Aspire For Higher Elite Basketball will do with their new funding from our Families, Children, and Social Development Ministry. We look forward to seeing more of our youth succeed and grow!
As the Black Lives Matter movement swept North America, the injustices within our legal system became abundantly clear as did paths to resolution. Before I was elected in 2015, I started my career working with young offenders as a criminal lawyer and gaining a better understanding of how our legal system could be improved to better serve us. A justice system that targets racialized communities is not fair nor does it keep us safe. Our country cannot stand for justice and equality unless we stand for justice and equality for everyone. That’s why we’re focusing on justice reform.
Our reform policies will include repealing Mandatory Minimum Penalties for certain offences that disproportionately impact Indigenous and Black offenders. We also want to use more Conditional Sentence Orders and require police and prosecutors to consider other measures for simple possession of dugs such as diversion to addiction treatment programs rather than laying charges. We’re also investing over $6 million to support the implementation of Impact of Race and Culture Assessments, which allows sentencing judges to consider the disadvantages and systemic racism that contributed to racialized Canadians’ interactions with the criminal justice system.
Across all of our Government’s Ministries, each Minister is taking the responsibility of implementing their mandates using an equity lens. Our Government wants to ensure that the experiences of racism for visible Canadian minorities, particularly Black and Indigenous people, are taken into account. It’s why we’re focusing on mental health supports for Black, Indigenous, and racialized Canadians, doubling the Union Training and Innovation Program to support apprenticeships amongst more diverse populations, improving support for Black researchers in our science and innovation field, making sure racialized veterans are honoured, and much more. All of our Ministers are taking action to ensure that every part of our Government is doing its part in our goal for a more equal Canada.
While the blemishes of our past cannot be changed, our Government is committed to dismantling racist legacies and supporting Black excellence and empowerment from right here in Brampton to every point in Canada. I know I am personally inspired by the great work being done in our community whether it’s by local organizations like the Congress of Black Women Canada or through some notable community leaders I am lucky to call friends. Thank you to all of our local advocates for everything you to do to uplift Black and racialized Canadians, I hope to build on your work to create stronger communities that work for everyone.
For more information on any of these programs or to learn more about what our Government is doing to support Black Canadians, don’t hesitate to reach out to my office at [email protected] or by phone at 905-840-0505.”