Ontario Introduces Anti-Racism Legislation
Advancing the Province’s 3-Year Anti-Racism Strategic Plan
March 29, 2017
Today, Michael Coteau, Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism, introduced new legislation that would, if passed, embed Ontario’s Anti-Racism Directorate in law, creating a framework for continued work to promote equity for racialized groups across the province.
During public consultations held last year, the province’s Anti-Racism Directorate heard from community members that legislation was needed to ensure the long-term sustainability of the government’s anti-racism efforts. This proposed Anti-Racism Act responds to that request and would allow government and public sector organizations to identify and combat systemic racism in policies, programs and services and effectively work toward advancing racial equity for all.
If passed, the proposed Anti-Racism Act would:
- Establish the Anti-Racism Directorate in legislation to ensure its long-term sustainability
- Ensure the sustainability and accountability of the government’s anti-racism work by developing and maintaining a multi-year anti-racism strategy. The strategy’s initiatives, targets and indicators would be reported upon annually to measure the strategy’s effectiveness
- Require a review of the anti-racism strategy at least every five years, in consultation with the public
- Enable the government to mandate race data collection and an anti-racism impact assessment framework, to apply an anti-racism perspective to public sector policies and programs.
Eliminating systemic racism is part of Ontario’s plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.
- The breadth of Ontario’s proposed Anti-Racism Act is unprecedented in Canada, and would position the province as a leader in working toward the elimination of systemic racism.
- The Anti-Racism Directorate was established in February 2016.
- A Better Way Forward: Ontario’s 3-Year Anti-Racism Strategic Plan was announced on March 7, 2017 and outlines Ontario’s approach to combatting systemic racism.
- The proposed Anti-Racism Act includes provisions that protect privacy and personal information and if passed, would provide the Information and Privacy Commissioner with an oversight role.
- It is estimated that by 2031, racialized people will make up 40 per cent of Ontarians.
“People from across Ontario have told me they want to ensure the long-term sustainability of our anti-racism work. That is exactly what this legislation will do. We’re playing a leading role in eliminating systemic racism. We’re taking concrete actions to ensure that all people have an equitable opportunity to succeed and reach their full potential.”