Horwath calls for establishment of Ontario Anti-Racism Secretariat

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is calling for the creation of an Ontario Anti-Racism Secretariat. The NDP will introduce a motion calling for the creation of the secretariat in the next session.

“Ontario is at its best when we’re all included and nobody is left behind. That’s why I am calling for the government to create the Ontario Anti-Racism Secretariat,” said Horwath. “Too many people in Ontario face racism in one form or another; by establishing the secretariat we can take positive steps to challenge inequality and make choices that focus on creating equality and fairness.” 

The Ontario Liberal government passed legislation in 2006 to create an Ontario Anti-Racism Secretariat within the Ontario Human Rights Commission, but have yet to establish it.

The Ontario Anti-Racism Secretariat would exist within the Ontario Human Rights Commission, and would function as a panel of experts whose task would be to take a proactive role in preventing and eliminating discrimination. They would also be given the task of building and implementing public education programs, the goals of which would be eliminating racism.

“Racism affects people in real and lasting ways. We need to be proactive in making sure that everyone has a place in this province. There is no single agency in Ontario whose job it is to fight against racism and for inclusion. Ontario could start setting up the Anti-Racism Secretariat,” said Horwath.

Horwath was joined by Jasmine Noureddin, past director of the Canadian Arab Federation, and Anthony Morgan, policy and research lawyer at the African Canadian Legal Clinic.