An Overview of Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy 2019-2022
Canada’s federal anti-racism strategy, Building a Foundation for Change: Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy 2019-2022, was launched in June 2019.
The strategy acknowledges the need for the Government of Canada to combat “racism and discrimination that is anti-Indigenous, Islamophobic, antisemitic, anti-Black, or homophobic.” The strategy identifies key terms, including:
- Racism: any individual action, or institutional practice which treats people differently because of their colour or ethnicity. This distinction is often used to justify discrimination.
- Systemic or institutional racism: consists of patterns of behaviour, policies or practices that are part of the social or administrative structures of an organization, and which create or perpetuate a position of relative disadvantage for racialized persons. These appear neutral on the surface but, nevertheless, have an exclusionary impact on racialized persons.
The strategy contains the following new investments:
- $4.6 million to establish a new Anti-Racism Secretariat within the Department of Canadian Heritage, to lead a whole-of-government approach to address racism.
- $30 million for community-based projects, in the form of a newly launched Anti-Racism Action Program. The program funds local, regional and national initiatives that address barriers to employment, social participation and justice for Indigenous peoples, racialized communities and religious minority communities. The Anti-Racism Action Program also has community-led digital and civic literacy programming to address online disinformation and hate.
- $0.9 million to support Public Safety Canada’s efforts to develop a national framework and evidence-based guidelines to better respond to hate crimes, hate incidents and hate speech.
- $3.3 million for a national public education and awareness campaign that aims to increase public awareness and understanding across Canada of the historical roots of racism and its impacts on Indigenous peoples, racialized communities and religious minority communities.
- $6.2 million to increase “reliable, usable and comparable data and evidence regarding racism and discrimination,” including support for Statistics Canada and its Centre for Gender, Diversity and Inclusion Statistics.
- Additional funding to be provided to the Community Support, Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Initiatives Program.