• Should police be required to collect race-based data to fight discrimination?

    In the U.S., race data has proven instrumental in revealing problems of discriminatory policing. Some also point to the Star’s racial profiling investigations as providing the proof of concept that while race-based statistics can be misused to stigmatize vulnerable groups, they can also be a powerful tool to expose and destroy systemic racism.

  • Ontario government unveils 3-year plan to battle racism

    Queen’s Park will introduce a framework for collecting race-based data across various institutions, including in the justice, education, health and child welfare sectors — a move that anti-racism activists have long called for. The directorate will also introduce an action plan for black youth and new legislation to “ensure future sustainability and accountability of the government’s anti-racism work.”

  • Black health needs to become a priority

    Black communities are disproportionately affected by health-related issues such as mental health, HIV/AIDS, heart disease, sickle cell, stroke and hypertension. But they have yet to be adequately addressed effectively within the Canadian health-care system… policy-makers need to recognize that racism and violence along with the social determinants of health play a role in the health outcomes of black communities in Canada.

  • Open the doors

    Economic-class immigrants, who gain entry into Canada primarily in recognition of their marketable skills, education, work experience and official-language fluency; family-reunification immigrants… and refugees. Statscan data show that skilled workers in the economic class earn very close to the national median after two years in the country, but family-class newcomers earn, on average, more than 40 per cent less… Government-sponsored refugees earn more than 60 per cent below the national median.

  • Learning black history makes Canadians better

    With black Canadians at just three per cent of the population, we’ve heard the argument that Black History Month is less relevant than commemorating the larger Indigenous or South Asian community’s respective histories. But Black History Month doesn’t come at the expense of others. In fact, learning about the black Canadian experience builds empathy; it doesn’t divide it.

  • Unfounded sexual assault cases: A human-rights issue

    The OHRC has made enforcing human rights in the criminal-justice system one of its key priorities for the next three to five years. We are also committed to promoting a human-rights culture through education – to address and eliminate, at the source, the kinds of stereotypes that may be behind some of these statistics. This is about our humanity and the true meaning of equal justice for all. Sexual-assault survivors must be taken seriously.

  • Hysteria from Conservatives over harmless motion on Islamophobia

    We live in a time both of much more widespread and open expressions of racism — thanks, internet — and of acute hypersensitivity to rude or even frank speech of all kinds. Each feeds off the other. But the alternative to “political correctness” is not bigotry and intolerance, and the answer to racism is not censorship. Indeed, we have too much of that already… The burden of proof is always on those who wish to restrict freedom to show why they must.

  • Finland’s social climbers: How they’re fighting inequality with education, and winning

    Canada can learn from Finland’s even more comprehensive approach to ensuring that the most deprived children get the same education as the most privileged; it’s not perfect, but it represents a different, and potentially valuable, approach… education systems keep appearing in studies of social mobility… compulsory-schooling laws have a huge effect: With each extra year of required schooling, the lifetime wealth of individuals increases by about 15 per cent.

  • Don’t deny my right to celebrate Christmas

    … as we move to a more culturally diverse society, the controversial greeting, Merry Christmas is now replaced with Happy Holidays… I may not be Christian, but I am Canadian. And for me, the cultural sensitivity to which we’ve all been trying so hard to adhere has become overly sensitive. Diversity is about sharing. So I don’t mind if you share your Christmas with me.

  • A heritage language lost can become a culture gained

    Individuals, families and governments have to make choices about how to best use the resources – time, energy and money – available to them. My family chose to immigrate to Canada and is confident our lives are better for it. School boards are already struggling to help all students learn the basics in an official language… Cultures are unchanging only in memory. All evolve with the passage of time.