Dear Constituents and All Canadians,
I have always believed that we need to create a society that embraces diversity, equity and inclusion, and that we need to do everything we can to provide people of all backgrounds equal opportunity. The material conditions that people are born into are far from equal and the family, social and economic context that people navigate through are far from equitable.
The anti-Black racism we are seeing in the United States is beyond disturbing; it is morally reprehensible and yet we cannot pretend that forms of racism, discrimination and unconscious bias are not present in our society and within our communities in Canada. The experiences of many Black Canadians will attest to the fact that we have much work to do right here at home to address anti-black racism and discrimination in its many forms.
I hope we can all have the courage to admit that Canada is not immune to the racism we are seeing in the United States. Racism has been a part of Canada and systemic racism continues to exist within our institutions to this very day. Because our history has included forms of racism and discrimination does not mean that we must accept it; quite the contrary, we should strive to expose and eradicate it everywhere.
We all need to stand against racism in all its forms. We need to support Black and racialized people by creating safe and open spaces for them to share their experiences, which we can all learn much from. Their voices have been ignored for far too long. We need to do better and be true allies of the Black Community.
This is a unique moment in history and only we can choose where we go from here, but I believe Canada’s identity is one that is based on values of diversity, equity and inclusion, and what we need to do is to re-commit to realizing those shared values more fully.
Right now, the Black Community needs to know that we stand with them. This means amplifying the voices of Black and racialized people today and everyday moving forward. Now is a time to listen, educate ourselves, and learn from the lived experiences of Black Canadians and racialized people.
Black Lives Matter. All racialized people matter. It is up to us to demonstrate real and concrete action towards justice and equality. Let us open up this conversation in Canada and begin the journey of addressing the root causes of racism and discrimination, rather than living in denial.