Ottawa sets up anti-racism secretariat

25 June, 2019

OTTAWA — The federal government is setting up a secretariat to root out systemic racism and discrimination within federal institutions, programs and services.

The secretariat is part of a $45-million federal anti-racism effort, which also includes funding for programs run by community groups on things like job-skills training, youth mentorships, legal services and protections against hate speech.

The effort will also include a national public awareness and education campaign.

Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez, who announced the initiative Tuesday in Toronto, said every day in this country, people still face racism, including Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and anti-black racism.

“It’s often subtle, sometimes invisible,” he said in the text of a speech delivered at a centre devoted to helping those living in poverty or with mental illness.

“But its effects are always very real and completely unacceptable. I’m talking about the inequalities embedded in our society, like who’s called for a job interview, who’s encouraged to aim for university and who’s not, or who gets carded (by police) on their way home from school.”

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