The Government of Canada Announces New Funding for Black Canadian Youth

News release

OTTAWA, June 29, 2018

Canada’s diversity is a source of strength and an important factor in our success as a country. However, our success has not been equally shared by all members of our society. All Canadians deserve equal opportunities to thrive, no matter their origin, culture, religion, language or skin colour. Unfortunately, Canada’s Black community faces unique and significant challenges, such as an overrepresentation in the criminal justice system and a higher prevalence of low income. Anti-Black racism also remains a consistent problem, with crimes targeting Black populations being the most common type of hate crime related to race or ethnicity in the country. The Government of Canada recognizes these challenges and is taking steps to address this discrimination and help equip young Black Canadians with the tools and skills they need to overcome barriers.

Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Multiculturalism; the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship; the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; and the Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board, announced the Government of Canada’s plans to launch a new funding initiative to address the significant and unique challenges faced by the Black Canadian community. This announcement was made at events held across the country, with Minister Joly in Montréal, Minister Hussen in Toronto, Minister Sohi in Edmonton and Minister Brison in Halifax.

This new funding is in line with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement to officially recognize the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent. As part of that commitment, Canada is reviewing the issues that have persistently disadvantaged Black Canadians.

To enhance community support for Black Canadian youth, Canadian Heritage is investing $9 million over three years, an investment that was originally announced in Budget 2018. The initiative will fund projects that respond to key concerns of Black Canadians to help address issues faced by Black youth that affect their full and equitable participation in our society. This new funding will help empower Black youth by promoting Black history, culture and identity; developing leadership skills; and encouraging local community involvement. The funding will also go toward projects that help combat discrimination. Projects funded by this new initiative will foster a better understanding of the experiences of Black youth and help facilitate dialogue between all Canadians.

Those interested in applying for funding under this new initiative should contact Canadian Heritage at for more information.


“We know Canada as a welcoming and diverse country, but we must acknowledge that there remains significant work ahead before we attain true equity for everyone. With today’s new funding to support projects for Black Canadian youth, our government is building toward a stronger and more inclusive future for all Canadians.”

—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Multiculturalism

“Thanks to this new funding, communities across Canada will receive the support they need to realize important projects for young Black Canadians. I am particularly proud to be sharing this news in Nova Scotia, which has the largest indigenous Black community in Canada.”

—The Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board

“Black Canadian communities are strong and proud across the country. I am pleased that the initiative will support these vibrant communities through projects to promote the equitable treatment of Black Canadians, as well as combat the many challenges they face.”

—The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“Racism and discrimination are real challenges faced by some Canadians every day, including Black Canadian youth. With this new funding, Black Canadians and communities across Canada will receive support to help fund projects that overcome these issues through education and understanding.”

—The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Quick facts

  • Budget 2018 announced $19 million to address the significant and unique challenges faced by Black Canadians. This included $9 million for Canadian Heritage to enhance community support for youth at risk and $10 million for the Public Health Agency of Canada to develop research in support of more culturally focused mental health programs in the Black Canadian community. 

  • The Black population in Canada is the third largest visible minority group in Canada, totalling nearly 1.2 million people in 2016. Black Canadian youth ages 15–24 experience disproportionately high dropout rates and have a lower than average labour force participation rate at 52.3 percent, and 25.6 percent experience low-income status.

  • Black Canadians have diverse origins and identities, with approximately 30 percent of Black Canadians reporting multiple ethnic origins in the 2011 census. 

  • Canada is continuing to combat the inequity and exclusion that prevents full and equitable opportunities for some Canadians to participate in our democratic society.

  • Equity needs to be cultivated and protected. Racism and discrimination against racialized and religious minorities cannot be tolerated. Still today, too many Canadians have to deal with barriers related to their identities.


For more information (media only), please contact:

Simon Ross
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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