Statement by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of International Development and Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade on International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination


March 21, 2021 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development, and the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, today issued the following statement:

“The Government of Canada is committed to the fight against racism and systemic racial discrimination. We recognize that racism is pervasive and a lived reality for many people in this country, including Indigenous peoples and Black and Asian Canadians and many racialized communities. We know that racial discrimination perpetuates inequality, and that its harmful impacts are exacerbated for those with multiple and intersecting identities, such as those based upon religion, disability or gender identity.

“The Government of Canada acknowledges harmful racism and intolerance people experience today, as well as the ongoing legacy of systemic racism, discrimination, and colonialism in Canada. We are committed to addressing racism and to reconciliation in partnership with Indigenous peoples. We also acknowledge that the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened inequalities xenophobic rhetoric and scapegoating. We have seen a significant increase in hate crimes against Asian Canadians, which cannot be tolerated. To make inclusion a reality, we must speak up and stand in solidarity with victims of racism and hate.

“Today is an occasion to acknowledge these facts, re-dedicate ourselves to ending the scourge of racial discrimination and commit to doing better at home and abroad. Our government is taking action against racism to protect human rights and build a more inclusive Canada—from the ongoing work of the Anti-Racism Secretariat and the Anti-Racism Strategy, to the appointment of a special envoy on preserving Holocaust remembrance and combatting antisemitism. The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals recognize that racism is a root cause of social exclusion, economic marginalization and political disenfranchisement. Canada is committed to dismantling systemic racism and promoting inclusion to advance human rights for all.

“We must continue to work to end racism in all its forms, including in trade. Through our inclusive trade agenda, we ensure that no one is left behind and that the benefits and opportunities that flow from trade are more widely shared. As we continue to address COVID-19, which we know has disproportionately impacted racialized communities, we know an inclusive economic recovery will be critical to addressing the damage wrought by the pandemic and to rebuilding our communities.

“Canada strives to be an inclusive country where racial discrimination has no place. We can, must and will do better.”


Syrine Khoury
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Guillaume Dumas
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development

Youmy Han
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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