Message from the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth

Minister Bardish Chagger

Diversity and inclusion are both fundamental to a more inclusive society, where all Canadians are able to participate and thrive.

Although our government has already taken important steps to combat racism, systemic racism is still a daily reality for too many Canadians. That is why our government pledged to address systemic racism in the Speech from the Throne, and committed to do so in a way that is informed by the experiences of racialized communities, religious minorities, and Indigenous Peoples.

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, our government introduced a new national strategy against systemic racism, Building a Foundation for Change: Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy, 2019-2022. The strategy is designed to take immediate steps to combat racism and all forms of discrimination. It builds a foundation for long-term action by supporting three guiding principles: demonstrating federal leadership, empowering communities, and building awareness and changing attitudes. As part of the strategy, we also established the Federal Anti-Racism Secretariat.

Formed in October 2019, the Secretariat is committed to advancing human rights by collaborating with equity seeking groups, all orders of government, and all sectors of society in dismantling systemic racism in Canada. Part of this involves setting up a one-stop shop for anti-racism resources and tools. This work also involves helping government departments identify systemic barriers and gaps in initiatives, implement new responsive efforts, and track impacts with the aim of better community outcomes.

Still, more work needs to be done. We continue to witness persistent racism and discrimination across the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether aimed at Indigenous Peoples, Black Canadians, Canadians of Asian descent, Muslim Canadians, Jewish Canadians, racialized and religious minority communities, newcomers, LGBTQ2 people, women, or people with disabilities, discrimination and racism are unacceptable. It is the duty of every Canadian to stand up against all forms of discrimination and racism, wherever they are found. This will take federal leadership, and that is why it is fitting that it is the first of three guiding principles of the strategy.

As Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth, it is my goal that the Secretariat’s work will empower and enable all Canadians to ensure that we build a better, stronger, and more consciously inclusive society. As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Canada Day 2020, “We know that our work together is not done, not while anyone faces racism or injustice.”

Working together for true and lasting change in society is worth the effort, because it benefits us all.

The Honourable
Bardish Chagger

Minister of Diversity and
Inclusion and Youth

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