November 23, 2020
Treaty 1 Territory, Winnipeg MB— Today NDP MLA Jamie Moses introduced legislation that would require all employees of provincial government bodies and agencies to complete annual and ongoing anti-racism training. This legislation is a community-led response inspired by feedback from the NDP’s survey on systemic racism in Manitoba.
“I’m proud to introduce this legislation today,” said Moses. “As a Black Person, I know it’s not always easy to speak out and share lived experiences of racism and our caucus is listening to and working to help combat systemic racism in Manitoba. Manitobans are asking for real leadership on this issue and we can’t just leave this work to community leaders and frontline workers.”
Survey responses made it clear that the government should use education to address systemic racism in all sectors of society including the public sector. They identified this should be an ongoing process in order to effect change.
Valerie Williams, an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion administrator with the University of Manitoba stressed the need to address systemic racism. “Systemic racism is sewn into the fabric of Canadian society; it works as an interlocking and reciprocal relationship between individual, institutional and structural levels of racism which function as a system,” Williams said.
“Systemic racism continues to result in racially inequitable outcomes across public sectors such as government, education, child welfare, health care and justice. It can be hard to see because it has become so normalized and this only adds to its powerful hold. Every institution needs to be held accountable to identify, dismantle and address racism in their workplace.”
Titi Tijani, President of African Communities of Manitoba, said people of colour need a government who is an ally.
“The provincial government can be an ally by helping their employees access some of that education with regular training and practical tools to combat racism.”