Ontario is taking action to address the intergenerational impacts of slavery, an extended history of racial stigmatization and ongoing systemic racism that contributes to disparity in outcomes for Black Ontarians.
The province today released the Anti-Black Racism Strategy, which creates a roadmap for how government and its institutions will work to eliminate disparities for Black Ontarians in the child welfare, education and justice sectors. The strategy focuses on improving outcomes by:
Setting long-term targets to reduce disparities for Black Ontarians in the child welfare, justice and education systems
Creating anti-racism tools to support transformation within the government
Partnering with organizations that serve a high percentage of Black Ontarians to run pilot projects to understand how anti-Black racism manifests and work in real time to address it
Fostering stronger relationships with the Black community
Increasing public awareness and understanding of systemic racism and its impacts on Black communities.
Fighting anti-Black racism is part of Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
“Everyone in Ontario has the right to lead a life free of prejudice and discrimination. We can’t stand by and allow systemic racism to persist — it is wrong. And it’s up to all of us to tackle these issues head-on. When Black people in Ontario are victimized or discriminated against in any way, we are all diminished. With the launch of this Anti-Black Racism Strategy, we are making ourselves accountable in the fight to eliminate the discrimination and inequality that Ontario’s Black community continues to endure. Together we will build a fairer, better province for everyone.”
— Kathleen Wynne, Premier
“The persistence of anti-Black racism in Ontario hinders not just Black people, but everyone in our province. When we all have equitable access to life’s many opportunities, we can reach our full potential as a society.”
— Michael Coteau, Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism and Minister of Children and Youth Services
In February 2017, the Ontario government recognized the United Nations (UN) Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024), and is taking action to eliminate anti-Black racism.
Between 2001 and 2016, Ontario’s Black population increased by more than 50 per cent, to approximately 627,000, or 5 per cent of Ontario’s population.
Of all racialized people in Ontario under the age of 15, 20 per cent are Black.
By 2036, racialized people will account for an estimated 48 per cent of Ontario’s population.
The Anti-Black Racism Strategy is a commitment outlined in A Better Way Forward: Ontario’s 3-Year Anti-Racism Strategic Plan, released earlier this year, which builds on decades of activism, research and reports calling for government action to address anti-Black racism.
Systemic racism occurs when institutions or systems create or maintain racial inequity, often as a result of hidden institutional biases in policies, practices and procedures that privilege some groups and disadvantage others.