August 13, 2020
To whom it may concern,
The Black Lives Matter movement for racial equality and justice has stirred our collective conscience these past few months. While the struggle against Anti-Black racism and police brutality has continued over the past several decades, we remain determined to ensure that the rise in activism and solidarity by so many Canadians will lead to substantive and meaningful changes by all levels of government, and our society at large.
As Members of Parliament representing constituencies in the Region of Durham, we are proud to serve diverse communities that have been built and supported through the contributions of Black Canadians.
The Durham Black Accountability Coalition (DBAC) is a community group working to address systemic Anti-Black racism and ensure that real, tangible steps are taken to respond to the demands for racial justice and equality. Their work includes a petition, signed by over 15,000 residents, to reallocate financial resources from Durham Regional Police Services to better equip mental health response teams and alternative community-centric programming to policing.
The Parliamentary Black Caucus, chaired by MP Greg Fergus, recently proposed concrete policy solutions to address the roots of systemic Anti-Black discrimination. As allies, we support the proposed reforms that it outlines. This includes changes that would collect race-based data to measure the pervasiveness of systemic discrimination, implementing a Black Canadian justice strategy and establishing community justice centres across the country as an alternative to imprisonment. We also support calls by the Parliamentary Black Caucus to ensure that Governments provide economic assistance to support Black-owned businesses and Black artists and creators.
Words of solidarity are important, but they are simply not enough. As Parliamentarians in Durham Region, we support the work of DBAC and will continue to push for strong reforms and a new approach to dealing with systemic Anti-Black racism.