Building a More Inclusive Canada: Government of Canada Announces Funding for Anti-Racism Projects Across the Country

News release

OTTAWA, October 15, 2020

Strengthening diversity and inclusion is fundamental to encouraging and promoting a more inclusive society, where everyone is able to participate fully. Racism and all forms of discrimination are one the main causes of social and economic barriers for many Canadians. While progress has been made, much more remains to be done to address the systemic issues that are instilled in institutions across the country.

Today, the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth, announced the Government of Canada is providing $15 million for 85 anti-racism projects across the country, which will address barriers to employment, justice, and social participation among Indigenous Peoples, racialized communities, and religious minorities.

The 85 projects funded through the new Anti-Racism Action Program will help:

  • fund organizations working to combat all forms of systemic racism and discrimination, including anti-Black racism;
  •  fund community organizations confronting racism and discrimination, promote intercultural and interfaith understanding, and promote opportunities to participate fully in Canadian society;
  • strengthen research and evidence to build understanding of the disparities and challenges faced by racialized communities, religious minorities, and Indigenous Peoples.

Examples of these projects include:

  • The Diversity Employment Network (DEN), developed by the Black Business Initiative in Nova Scotia, to address barriers to employment for the African-Nova Scotian community.
  • The Community mobilization against racial profiling in metropolitan Montreal, led by the Institute for Research and Education on Race Relations, to address racial profiling.
  • Containing and Countering Canadian Hate Groups, run by the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, which will increase the monitoring of extreme-right groups, report on their activities, and file complaints with law enforcement.
  • Addressing Barriers to Enhance Access to Employment, Leadership Training, Support, Resources and Justice for Indigenous Young Women and Teenage Girls - This project, run by the Justice for Girls Outreach Society in Vancouver, will create opportunities for systemic changes that will improve the outcomes of Indigenous women and girls.

The Anti-Racism Action Program is yet another important step that we are taking to address systemic racism by providing funding to support local, regional, and national initiatives and outcomes-based activities. The Government of Canada will continue implementing the Anti-Racism Strategy as we build a stronger and more consciously inclusive society.


“Through Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy, introduced in 2019, we are funding projects to combat racism in all of its forms. These projects will help address the systemic barriers that are preventing Indigenous Peoples, racialized communities, and religious minorities from participating fully and equitably in all aspects of society. We will continue our work as allies and partners with racialized communities to combat racism as we build a better and more consciously inclusive society.”

The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth

“Too many Canadians continue to face racism, discrimination, and inequality every day. The support provided through the Anti-Racism Action Program will help community-based organizations implement projects that confront racism and discrimination, promote intercultural and interfaith understanding, and foster equitable opportunities to participate fully in Canadian society.”

—Adam van Koeverden, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth and to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (Sport)

“The Diversity Employment Network will address the very high prevalence of unemployment, under-employment, low income, and poverty within the African-Nova Scotian community, specifically the challenges accessing higher quality jobs due to discrimination, perceived or real, and a lack of diversity in most workplaces and boards of directors. This work would not be happening without the support from the federal government’s Anti-Racism Action Program.”

—Rustum Southwell, Chief Executive Officer, Black Business Initiative

“Racism, especially systemic racism, undermines our economic potentials, our social cohesion, our cultural vitality, and more importantly, our core values. Strong leadership from our federal government with adequate resources to combat racism will give us the tools and the faith to move forward together and continue the task of nation building.”

—Fo Niemi, Secretary-Treasurer of the Institute for Research and Education on Race Relations

“There are more members and supporters of hate groups in Canada today than a generation ago. They are hurting many communities across Canada with their violence and harassment campaigns. Unfortunately, these movements are growing. Today, Canada is taking a meaningful step to counter and contain these hate movements. With this new funding, we will strengthen our capacity in carrying out the public service of monitoring, reporting on, and thereby countering hate groups. This anti-racist work is critical to protect people in Canada who are targeted because of their race or religion, gender expression, sexual orientation, or disability.”

– Amira Elghawaby, Founding Board Member, Canadian Anti-Hate Network

“Justice for Girls is very pleased to receive funding through this anti-racism initiative, which will help us advance Indigenous young womens’ and girls’ access to justice, education and employment, and strengthen institutional responses to violence against Indigenous girls. Systemic racism is a serious problem in our country and we are proud to be a part of an initiative to combat racism and discrimination in the lives of Indigenous young women and girls.”

– Zoe Craig Sparrow, Co-Director of Justice for Girls

Quick facts

  • Building a Foundation for Change: Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy (2019-2022), was unveiled June 25, 2019 after extensive cross-country consultations, including 22 in-person sessions. The strategy is a $45-million investment to build long-term changes in supporting communities and improving policies, initiatives, and practices in our federal institutions.

  • As part of the Anti-Racism Strategy, a $15-million call for proposals for the Anti-Racism Action Program, which launched September 3, 2019 and closed January 13, 2020.

  • The Community Support, Multiculturalism, and Anti-Racism Initiative also received $15 million under the Anti-Racism Strategy.

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For more information (media only), please contact:

Danielle Keenan
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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