Transcript - Anti-Racism Directorate London public meeting
The Anti-Racism Directorate held its seventh public community meeting on November 25, 2016 at Wolf Performance Hall in London, Ontario.
Read the transcript below to learn more about what we heard during our meeting.
The following is a transcript created with real-time captioning software. It is not verbatim and may contain errors. This transcript may not be copied or disseminated to anyone else unless you obtain written permission from the Anti-Racism Directorate. This transcript may not be used in a court of law. This transcript has been lightly edited to protect the privacy of those who attended the meeting.
>> Ginelle: Hello. Good evening, everybody. We're going to get started in about five minutes. If everyone can take their seats, we're about to get started. Thank you.
Elder Liz : >> I would like to acknowledge the Creator and all of creation, and also to give thanks to school of [inaudible] and Mother Earth for all that she gives us as human beings. To acknowledge the Water Protectors standing on the front lines and fighting for water and standing up and having that voice that we need to have that water. We need to have clean water, that we need to be mindful about what it is that we are leaving our children, our grandchildren, our great grandchildren. So acknowledge all of those women across the universe that are standing up using their voices, and they're doing that, and it is woman’s responsibility to take care of water. So acknowledge all of those ones that are standing up and all of those men that are standing behind those women, and for all of those youth, those young people that are saying what about us? What are you going to leave us? How are you going to leave the earth and the water and the land? How are we going to survive? And it is up to us to be able to support them. And so with that thought and with that understanding, I want to offer a song. Our songs are as strong as prayers. And what this song talks about, it’s asking about the Son in the Sky, Jesus; reminding us about the light that lives inside of us. And reminds us about living a good life. And Mishomas, which is the grandfather, reminding us to live a good life. Nokomis, the grandmothers reminding us to live a good life. Moqua, the bear, [ propose delete; sic] the Bear’s spirit, in my understanding, is the one that brings us that medicine that heals our heart, our mind, our body so that we can be connected to the spirit of who we are. And also, to acknowledge Kokamaqua. She reminds us about living a good life. And I also sing this song, because my youngest son, his name is [Gesus, sic]. My youngest son has no English name. He only has an Anishinaabe name. So when I sing this song, I acknowledge him. He is my youngest, who is like this tall, but he’s also like my oldest. He was born with natural knowledge. He was born with an old spirit. He was born to understand all of these things that are happening today. So I think about him right now as I sing this song also. He’s in University and he’s busy writing right now and doing all of that paperwork that he needs to do. But I sing this song for him, also, so that he will be connected to the spirit of who he is, so he doesn't lose his way by just living in his mind. That he will always remember to live from his heart and in his body, and that he will be connected to his spirit. So with that thought and with that understanding, I would ask all of you to put your feet flat on the floor with your hands open, and in your own thoughts, think about those things that you're grateful for. Think about that good life and what it is that we continue to remind each other about that good life and reminding each other about the spirit of that light that each and every one of us has, regardless of what nation that we come from.
Elder Liz: And I would like to acknowledge all the people in this territory, the Onediga people, Anishinaabe people that are in this territory where my grandfather has come from, and also the Lanope people who are where one of my son‑in‑laws comes from, because they are the ones that are taking care of this territory, and to acknowledge all of the nations of men that come to this territory, to this city, to this place, and to acknowledge all of those that are using their voices for the benefit of the highest good of themselves for their children and their grandchildren. And to acknowledge that all four nations of man are to come together and to give thanks to all four nations of man. And I learned just from the grand fathers and the grandmothers 30 some years ago, they never understood who I was, didn't know about ceremony, don't know my language. I'm only learning [indiscernible] because I was not taught. And because I'm a daughter of a man that was raised in a residential school, I was born into a colonized setting. I was born into violence. I was born at a time where life was not good. I was born at a time where I was told to be ashamed of who I am. I was told every day as I walked through the education system that I was stupid. I would never have a job. I would become an alcoholic. I'd have a whole bunch of kids. I'd live on welfare. And I used to hear these people of God that would say these things and I would hear them as a small child. Don't pay any attention to that child. She’s not going to end up doing nothing. So I think about those people that would say those things to me directly and indirectly in the community that I was raised in. And because my mother was adopted into the community that I was raised in, she didn't know who her parents were. So she, too, was displaced, and my father, he grew up in an institution, had no sense of who he was. He grew up very angry. He was kidnapped from his mother. He was four‑and‑a‑half years old playing outside. Truck comes along, picks him up, and takes him far away from his home. And those adults that took him said, your mother doesn't know how to take care of you. Your dad can't [educate] you. My Papa was a fisherman. We lived right beside the water. We had everything in our community to sustain life. I cannot imagine what that must have did to my grandmother to have her child taken away, and I didn't fully understand that until I got older. My dad didn't know what love was.
>> Elder Liz: My parents [indiscernible]
>> Elder Liz: For ceremonies. I'm so grateful for medicine. I'm so grateful that the man that raised me, my step‑dad, took me to ceremonies. Took me to those old ones so I could learn about who I am, because I walked around like this all of my life, waiting to be hit, waited be to be scolded, waiting to be told, you don't belong here. Growing up and being ashamed of who I am, I didn't know what racism was, but I knew I was treated differently and I knew when we went into the neighbouring town that my mom was treated badly. Didn't understand that. My mom never consumed alcohol. My mom took care for children I don't know to this day how she fed us. There was never food in my home, but she fed us somehow. And I used to hear people saying in that town that we grew up by, oh, those Indians, they're just lazy. So, they're just drunks. Oh, if we would, you know ‑‑ all these negative things, and I used to sit there and think, why are those people saying that about my mom and my dad when they're the most hard working people that I know? That my mom ‑‑ that I know? That my mom loves us. My mom takes good care of us. Our home is always clean. We're always doing something. I never understood that term lazy Indian. I then find out when we got older, we're not Indians anyway. We're Anishinaabe. So it’s interesting now that is. But I had to leave my community Niashamingaming to go to the big city to find the old ones who remembered ceremony, who remembered the language, which is really crazy. I did not learn this in my own community. And it was amazing to me to go, have to go to a big city to go find these wise ones that knew those ceremonies. But I'm really grateful that I did that. And grateful that I had the opportunity to go sit with many First Nations people in this territory in North America, both across the river and in Canada. So what I know and what I do today and what I learned is I learned from the people. Not from no educational system. The education system was not nice to me ever. And I'm still in awe that my six children, my three sons and my three daughters were able to walkthrough that system but I also had to protect them and take care of them so the teacher would not stomp reminders on their spirit and make them ashamed of who their mother was. They make them ashamed of who their grandmother was. She made them ashamed of the colour of their skin, because they, too, were getting labeled. But I was still learning and understanding about who we were as a people and how we're connected to mother earth. I learned to find my voice and I go to go to many schools in the city to go educate those principals and those vice principals and those teachers. My child is a First Nations child. My child is the most precious gift that I'm going to trust you with, coming to this institution. And the only reason that they're coming here is because we're forced to bring them here. And it was my responsibility as a mother to keep teaching them about who they are, about the medicines, about ceremonies, taking them to ceremonies, taking them to those old ones that knew more than I. And there is a lot of times I had to protect them and remind people, this is our original land. We did not come from no place else. This is where we belong. We have no other place to go to, except here. I used to walk‑through the malls and I used to watch all of these different women talk to their babies in their language, and I was driving home one time and I started to cry. And one of my girls said, why are you crying, Mom? I say, because I should be able to talk to you in my language. And it wasn't that I was ‑‑ it was sad, because listening to all of these other women from other nations that could talk to their children in the language, I thought, God, that must be so beautiful. That must be so nice that they have the freedom to speak their language, that they didn't have to give up their language to come to this country. And I'm from here and I couldn't speak to my babies. Because my dad or my step‑dad did not teach us; because my step‑dad would say, because I don't want you to go through the pain that I did. So I'm not going to teach you. And that’s sad, because all of you that speak your language, you know that the language is in here, there is your identity when you have your language. That is what keeps us connected mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually to who we are as people, no matter what nation we come from. So every day I sit and I try to learn a little bit and add it to when I'm speaking, and the grandmothers always say, use the little bit that you know. Share that with your children. Share that with your grand babies. So I say Meegwetch for my life. [indiscernible] for all that she gives us as human beings, and that as human beings we continue to disrespect her and she’s the one that gives us life. She is our original mother. We need to give back to what she gives to us, because as human beings, we can live without food for a long time, but we cannot live without water. And all of those grandmothers remind us water is life because it’s true. And it is the women that take care of that water. It is the women that carry that water, because all of us came from women. The water comes first and then we come out of our mother’s body. Every one of us comes from women. And to be mindful that water is life. So I put that prayer and that intent out there for all nations of men so that they remember about the water and that all four nations of women will stand up and be that voice for the next seven generation coming behind us for our children, our grandchildren, and great grandchildren. I sing for all of those men that stand behind the women, because it is man’s responsibility to protect the women, the children, and the land so that the women can take care of the babies. So I say Meegwetch to all of those grandmothers and grandfathers who taught me what I know today and continue to teach me.
I still feel like I'm this young person walking through the world, because there’s so much to learn, hope to do, and so much to learn about each other. I learned this from my own people. They're the ones that talked about the four nations of men. I never heard that before in my life, and I talked about the gifts that those four nations of man brought to the earth, and they said that we are connected to, not separate from. So that is our teachings, and our teachings is our education system, from the time we are born until we talk across the earth, until we leave to go to Creator’s world. We have so much to offer the rest of North America. The original people of North America have so much to share and so much to give, and it is time and I'm really grateful for this gathering and I'm grateful for these women that ask me to come, and it’s time. And the only way we're going to do about each other is we need to sit and visit. We need to share. I learned that from my youngest son when he was in public school. He'd come home and say, Mom, I met this person and they're from this country and they have this kind of food and they talk like this. They're like us. And he would share with them, that’s like my Mom. That’s like my grandma. This is what we eat. This is what we have. But it had a really powerful way of respecting all of those other nations of people. And what he taught me, he taught me about seeing the light in other people, and that’s what my baby always sees. He sees the light in other nations of people. And so we can learn lots from those little ones, because it’s like they're the old ones. So I say Meegwetch and Yamagoa, and it’s going to be an awesome evening. Meegwetch .
>> Ginelle: And so I'd just like to thank you so much for sharing the stories with us and introduce Minister Matthews. Minister will introduce Minister Coteau.
>> Minister Matthews: Meegwetch , Elder Liz. That was a wonderful start to our evening. It is so important that we get to know one another better, and that’s what tonight is all about, and I am so delighted so many leaders in this community have come, and I want to recognize my colleagues in the legislature. Peggy Sadler, Teresa Armstrong are both here. Thank you for being here. Mayor Matt Brown is here. Thank you, Your Worship. And I saw Harold Usher come in and I saw Mosali come in. I don't think I missed any members of council. I'm delighted our Chief of Police, Chief Percy is here, and Jeanette Eberhart. Thank you so much for being here. And I am also delighted that we have very senior people from the government. Deputy Minister Nancy Matthews is here. Associate Deputy Sam Erry is here. We're all here because we want to listen. My colleague, Michael Coteau, is traveling around the province listening to people on this very, very important topic. This is number seven of 10 meetings that he has attended. I think tomorrow is Thunder Bay. And he is really wanting to hear from people in communities around the province about what we need to do to make Ontario a racism‑free place. I look south of the border and we have seen the ugly, ugly head of racism rear its head and I think we would be foolish if we thought we were somehow immune from that. So it’s more important than ever that we have this conversation, so I'm very much looking forward to hearing what my community has to say on this most important topic. So please join me in welcoming Minister Michael Coteau, the first Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism .
>> Minister Coteau: Good Evening, everyone. Good Evening. It is a real pleasure to be here. This is the seventh out of 10 meetings that I've had the honor to attend. And every single conversation has been so unique. We've had really, really big crowds and we've had very small crowds, and they both brought value to this larger conversation. You know, the conversation around racism, it is a difficult conversation. You know, it’s a conversation that people don't like having. This week, I know the city council here had a conversation around carding, which relates back to, you know, race in many ways, and it’s great that many members from council are here, and of course the Chief of Police and the Mayor and our politicians. I was saying earlier to someone that throughout this process, I think we've had one other Chief of Police attend and we've invited a lot of other folks, and it’s hard to get a city councilor to show up, and we've had one other mayor attend. So I think we should give a big round of applause to our officials here with us tonight.
Minister Coteau: : Because I think you're the best represented as a group when it comes to showing up. And these conversations are very difficult, because racism is something that is especially, systemic racism, because it’s hard to point a finger at, because it’s entrenched deep within organizations. It changes, you know, every little while and takes on new forms. It’s hard to pinpoint sometimes, but we know it exists, and we know that there are people out there that, you know r not getting a fair chance or opportunity when it comes to employment, when it comes to education, when it comes to corrections, when it comes to, you know, justice. There are some people out there, and statistically we know the numbers, that are at a disadvantage. So it’s our hope and it’s the Premier’s hope of the province that we look at systemic racism and look for ways to remove those barriers that exist within our society. So at the end of the day, those barriers once removed, we can build an Ontario where everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential, and in the past we talked about multi‑culturalism and diversity and equity and those are all great things, but whether systemic racism plays a role in the daily lives of Ontarians, it holds us back as a society. And if we really want to continue to build this great oasis, and you know, I was a Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. People love coming to Canada, because it’s a great country and there’s a lot of opportunities here. There’s no doubt, and we're all very happy. I'm an immigrant and I'm happy that I've had the opportunity to grow up in this country, but I also know that there are barriers that are there. And imagine an Ontario where we maximize the full potential of all of our citizens? You know, today we've got 70,000 young people who are not working, not under a training program, or not in school. This is untapped potential, you know? We've got over‑representation of our Indigenous and racialized communities in prisons. It’s unacceptable to me. We need to put in place those systems, those tools that will move those barriers, that it will allow us to build the type of Ontario that we all aspire to be. So I want to thank everyone for being here tonight. I want to thank Elder Liz for opening up tonight’s evening. Your words of wisdom were incredible. In every single community we've gone into, we've had someone from the Indigenous community, First Nations community come and bless the meeting. And the words of wisdoms have just been incredible. In fact, in Sudbury, I remember this so profoundly that the gentleman who came out said, you know, we feed things into our bodies, you know, thoughts. And you know, if we feed ourselves with negative thoughts like, you know, racism, imagine the type of people we become. You were talking about the fact that, you know, at a young age, people were saying this and this and this. Imagine a young child hearing that all the time. Now, imagine that kid who is sitting in a room and their parents are racist and they're feeding that into a child. It only breeds hate. We need to build a society where young people are fed with love. They're fed with hope and opportunity and caring, you know, caring environment and love. And I think that translates to a healthy, you know, prosperous community, not a community where people are suspicious of each other and if someone loses their job they're blaming the other person, because of the colour of their skin, that’s not the type of society we want to build. So thank you so much. I also want to thank Sam Erry and the whole Anti-Racism Directorate team. They're still building a team. It’s an incredible group of people. They've been building a team and most of their team, I would say 70 or 80% were hired from outside of government, which I think is an important thing, and there’s still a very important process in place and near hiring more people and I think that’s great. I want to thank the Deputy Minister at Children and Youth Services , because this is not her file. She’s not the deputy responsible for this. But Deputy Matthews is here tonight, because she knows that racism and anti‑racism affects all of our ministries. It’s a whole of government. So thank you for being here tonight. And I want to thank the volunteers who are with the London youth cabinet. Did I get it right? Advisory council. So let’s give them a big round of applause for helping us tonight.
Minister Coteau: And they're pretty unique, because you're elected, which is just incredible. What a great model. They actually have an election to the advisory council, so I think it’s a model that needs to be replicated across the province. So thank you very much. Let’s start the conversation. And now I'd like to introduce Sam Erry, who’s going to bring us up to date on what we've learned so far and what we're hoping to accomplish and we'll open up the conversation. Thank you very much to everyone for being here and taking time on a Friday night. You're here, so you must really, really, really be passionate about this issue. So thank you so much and I look forward to the conversation.
Sam Erry: Good Evening, ladies and gentlemen. It’s a pleasure to be here. It’s a special evening for me, not because it’s my birthday, but it’s a homecoming, having spent time at Western, and I have to tell you, I used to live at Sarnia and Wonderland and it used to be bush, so those of you that are continuing to be residents of London, you know what I'm talking about. The city has grown enormously. It’s a beautiful city, so thank you. It’s really a privilege to lead this organization. I commend the government for, I think Mahatma Gandhi says be the change and create this organization. I want to start off saying the anti‑racism sits inside of government, but it’s really for all Ontarians. We'll have the right values to make sure that we're trying to achieve racial equity at the end of the day, which is our objective. The Directorate develops the right skills, as the Minister mentioned. The right focus, the right vision to drive the change we need to. We're doing it on behalf of all Ontarians. So let me just give you a quick overview, what some of the priority areas are and how we're going to move forward. And as the Minister mentioned, these are still early days for us and one of the reasons we're having these conversations is so we can hear what some of the important themes are, what’s relevant today, and how we can then incorporate your good advice and your perspectives and your lived experience into the work that we're doing. So let me ‑‑ and I will be around later, so I won't be able to do justice to the whole exercise, but if people want to have a discussion or a quick chat, I'm happy to do that. So you're going to see how dysfunctional I am. I'm going to try to do two things at the same time. So the Directorate is really an organization that ‑‑ here we go. Okay. There are many forms of racism in society. Right? And this graphic is basically showing all those different types of anti‑racism that’s encountered. And our focus is really going to be in that top right hand corner. It’s going to focus on systemic racism. All the homework shows that if you solve the problem upstream, you solve it all the way down. Systemic racism, I'll be honest with you, we've been to many forums. Most people respectfully don't understand what systemic racism is. People understand racism. They understand what they encounter and, you know, what they hear, but they don't understand what systemic racism is. In fact, most people will say systematic. It’s not systematic. It’s systemic. I'll give the definition to you there. So systemic racism is something that is deeply entrenched and, you know, hard wired in the DNA of government and government institutions. And you know, depending on how far back you want to go, you know, in the Colonialist era, that was a very conscious policy. In the post-colonial era, you could say it was a conscious policy. Over time it became an unconscious activity. We talk about unconscious bias and those types of things. So systems and institutions have been created to support the privilege of the dominant culture. And so systemic racism is deeply entrenched and wired. So we're going to try to figure out, where are those challenges and how do we undo those challenges? If we solve the problem upstream, we solve if all the way down, so this is going to be our focus, and that’s a nationally and internationally accepted definition of systemic racism. Now sorry. So as much as the Anti‑Racism Directorate is there and is housed inside government to bring about change in terms of government and institutions, racism and solving racism is everybody’s business. Anti‑racism is everyone’s business, so government obviously is and will demonstrate leadership and driving out that change, but communities play a very, very important role. Business community plays a very, very important role, because those of you that are deep and practitioners of? anti‑racism, you know that at the end of the day, economics plays a significant role relative to this conversation of racial equity. So this is simply to say that there are many, many partners in this, and it’s going to ‑‑ I know it’s an old cliché, but it’s going to take all of us rowing together to bring about racial equity in the province. I can barely see this from this angle, but I'll do my best. So the thing I wanted to point out here for you is that we are not starting from scratch. So I'm sure there are many of you in the audience saying, okay, we're having this meeting and that’s great, but there’s lots of work that’s been done absolutely, so you know, the reports that you see there, a lot of information, time, and focus and expertise went into those reports. We have full access to those reports and those recommendations, so I do not want to leave the impression tonight or at any time that somehow we're starting from scratch. Of course it’s important to hear from you today as citizens and members of the public about what you see as being priorities, but we will be mining these reports and are mining these reports for some strong recommendations, and of course the most recent, you know, the very painful exercise that our Elder alluded to earlier as well as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the government’s response in our journey together to those recommendations. Okay. So in terms where we want to be at the end of the day, I won't go through each of those, but you can see for yourself. This is really about trying to achieve racial equity. Any healthy democracy that engages all of its citizens benefits from having racial equity, because the cost of racial inequity is enormous. There’s an economic cost. There’s a social cost. There’s a psychological cost. So all of those things need to be factored in. That is our objective at the end of the day is to achieve racial equity. Now, so where are we going to focus? These are the four primary areas where we're going to be really, with laser precision, looking to do our work. First and foremost is in terms of policy and research. Again, we're going to use the information we already have. I want to give you an expression. No data, no problem. Okay? No data, no problem. So good public policy is about evidence‑based policy. And evidence‑based policy begins with data. So we are going to put a lot of effort into collecting disaggregated race based data. The Human Rights Commission has already opined on this and said it’s absolutely no problem to do that, so we're going to start there. And as the Anti‑Racism Directorate, our job is to support the organization by providing expertise. So one of the things we're going to kick out very soon is a disaggregated race based data collection framework. So just if I can fast forward the movie, just imagine various sectors collecting that raw data in the same consistent manner so we have apples to apples. That starts the conversation about where the gaps are. So data collection is going to be very, very important. Having said that, data collection will respect all the important principles of privacy and so on, is this is not a conversation where we're just out there collecting data for the sake of collecting data. So on that point, we are not just collecting data for the sake of collecting data. There’s a very powerful tool that’s already been tried and tested in many progressive jurisdictions, and I can name them for you. The City of Portland, Seattle, King County in Washington State, they have used this tool and it is called the Racial Equity Impact Assessment. And the best analogy that I can give you, it’s like an environmental assessment that we used to do. So we don't build bridges, hospitals, and highways today without doing environmental assessment. Correct? So the Racial Equity Impact Assessment is the same thing, but it’s designed for programming to look into policies and programming and services for racialized communities and Indigenous communities. So that’s going to be a powerful tool. And data is the beginning, it’s the front end of that conversation. So that data is going to feed into this assessment and we're going to apply this assessment at the front end of the work that’s going on. See that’s going to be a critical feature. The other is public education and awareness, so that’s going to be an important exercise. And again, we're going to take an evidence‑based preach. We've already kicked off some work to do some market research and find out, you know, how do Ontarians feel about racism? What does racism do to them? What does systemic racism do to them? As the Minister alluded, it is a very emotionally laden topic and a difficult conversation to have, so we're going to do that research, and that research is going to then inform our public education and awareness campaign. We've heard this through many, many community sessions. Public education and awareness is a very important role. So hopefully that homework will help us develop strategies. For example, you know, we could have a fairly extensive social media campaign around this. Our elder was talking about youth and the younger generations. I think I'm young, young enough, but there are people who are younger than I am, obviously, who are growing up in a different world with different tools. So, we, so to speak to all of those audiences that are out there when we talk about racism and anti‑racism. I forgot to mention in the pillar above that, we're also going to have a province wide Anti‑Racism campaign ‑‑ I'm sorry, Anti‑Racism Strategy, and that Strategy is going to have a number of components. It’s going to have an anti‑Black Racism Strategy. It’s going to have a policy around Islamophobia and around anti-Semitism. The ugly heads of all of this is rearing itself, as you've seen in terms of what’s happening at synagogues and mosques and so on. So we will have a targeted and focused strategy on that. And in addition to the racialized populations, is working with Indigenous communities, having an Indigenous, informed Anti‑Racism Strategy. That’s a very core recommendation that came out of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as well as the inquest in Thunder Bay in terms of what happened there. So those will be critical features. Number three is community collaboration. This is a very, very important point. And I know that bureaucracies are not very good at this and so we are going to use new ways and new approaches of reach out to marginalized people and making their voices come to the tape. If you're familiar with new principles of Open Government and open engagement, those are the kind of principles that apply. So working with our anti‑racism partners is going to be very critical as we develop these strategies, we develop these products, and make sure that when we do push them out that they resonate and they make a difference in our province. And last, but not least, is sustain annual governance. So the one theme that’s coming out loud and clear from many of the meetings that we're having is please make sure that the Directorate respectfully is not a political exercise. That the Directorate is permitted and allowed to do core foundational work so that it can continue and sustain that work, because it’s going to take time to collect data. It’s going to take time to do some of that. That doesn't mean we can't go faster, but to do that core foundational work, so to look at governance options of stability for the Directorate so that it can bring about measurable change. So on that point, the Minister mentioned this, but I want to be more public on it to say anti‑racism competencies have traditionally not been the strength in public services. Our strength is service delivery, you know, policy development, program design. So part of our recruitment strategy has been to have an open recruitment so we can bring in racism experts who understand public policy, who are good researchers, whoever has those skills to do what we're going to do, so when we go into government departments and government ministries, we have those skills to help those various ministries do the work they need to do. This is not about uploading their mandates. This is making sure anti‑racism is everybody’s business, but the job of the Directorate is to provide expertise and that advice so the work can be done. So I'll just stop there in the interest of time, because this evening is about you. I'll be around later to take any questions that you might have. Thank you.
>> Ginelle: Okay. So now is the time where we get to hear from you. And so I'll just take care of a few housekeeping things and then we'll get started. So we've heard first from the remarks of the Minister, Minister Coteau, Responsible for Anti-Racism and Children and Youth Services . We also just heard directly from the Anti‑Racism Directorate, and now it’s your turn to tell us a little bit about it. About how you feel about it. I want you to note that the meeting is being livestreamed and recorded and it may be made available publicly after today’s session. So joining the meeting means that you understand and consent to this. We also have French and American Sign Language translation available for this meeting, so in order for them to do their job well, you have to speak very clearly into the mic and try to speak as slowly as you can and very clearly. We have several things to get through and some of the questions that are displayed here are where your comments are to be focused as you speak. However, of course we're open to hearing directly what you want to say, so you can treat these as a guideline. You should have received some comment cards so that you can fill those out. If you run out of time and you have to work with me on this so that we get everyone being able to speak, so if you run out of time at the mic and I interrupt you or ask you to wrap your comments up, please be gracious about that. Thank you very very much in advance. And I am inviting you to fill out the comment cards and also there is an e‑mail that you can use to have more fulsome feedback. Anti‑racism@Ontario.ca. And that’s also for those who may be watching online. You can comment that way. So I think that’s everything that I have to say to you before we can get started. So the young people who are here in the red T‑shirts that were mentioned before who are here tonight, they will guide you to the microphone, and if you are unable to get up from your seat, they would be happy to bring a microphone to you so that you can participate. Okay? There being no further questions, I'd like to open the floor for speakers. Okay. So we're taking questions at the mic over here to my left. Pardon me? Oh, the light is too bright there? Okay. So if you could stand back, that might work.
>> Audience Member: Good Evening, everybody. (name removed) And I want to thank you, Mr. Coteau, for being here tonight and coming back to London. And I know you get a lot of responsibilities. Not easy task. It’s racism exists not [indiscernible] but exists a long time ago. And I don't do sort of the 10 years time frame. It’s a good start. And I thank you for being here. And racism, unless you've been in their shoes, the person who has been discriminated, it’s hard to understand when you have not a marginalized community, you don't face daily, daily, racism and it’s hard to understand other fellow citizen, Canadians who sometimes wondering, what’s racism? Racism, we have to live with it. We have to be skin colour. [You have to be with accent sic]. It doesn't matter, even though you're a citizen and you're living here, whether you pay any taxes, but still you've been discriminated. And as a fellow citizen, Londoners, I've been listening to the radio. I receive the London Free Press. It’s very, very hard to read, hard to hear, and how to start to talk officials. When you see, and I write it to a lot of my community, but they feel a little more intimidated because they're scared. One is involved with police, because they said, oh, they might stop in the street. They might do something to me and follow me. I don't want to be seen on TV. So a lot of people, they don't want to be here today. And I understand when you are in a marginalized community and you hear the police, because of where we come from, the police do terrible injustice, scaring the community, and doing so many evil things, and being here in Canada here, we should have just a system and the police more comfortable to be here. And London especially, he took so many years to build the bridges between the police and the community here. And I'm very, very ‑‑ I don't know how to describe. Our Police Chief, I don't know what he’s looking for, because Hamilton say no carding. Kitchener say no carding. The mayor, everybody say no carding. Generally first, do you want to do it by law? Because they're going to issue the receipt. This is unacceptable. I don't need badge number. I don't need the police officers' name. When I'm walking and randomly I've been stopped or my fellow community has been stopped, how are we going to work with the police? How are we going to build approximate bridges with the community and the police when at night we are stopping, our young folks in the street, and saying just because give me your ID. Where are you coming? Where are you going? This is unacceptable. And I hope, Mr. Erry, you understand. I don't know where you're getting this idea. We don't accept and we're going to do a rally [ December 9,] against the police.
Audience Member: And we invite everybody, everybody, and [inaudible] to come and join with us November and December 9, 4:00 o'clock. This is unacceptable. We stand shoulder to shoulder as the Canadians, as Londoners. We say no, no carding. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not forever. And I want you to be clear to get this issue. And other things I want to speak about, this is my own experience ‑‑
>>Ginelle: One moment, please. Your time is up, but I'm noticing that there’s no one else standing at the mic, so I'm going to let you continue. Okay. We have one other? Okay. If you could wrap up your comments.
>> Audience Member: I'm going to wrap up, but this is very important.
>> Ginelle: Thank you.
>> Audience Member: Okay? Because are we talking about racism and we need to get this point, because London ‑‑ I want to be clear, also, the mayor, the mayor, Matt Brown, is here, and he should be repudiating this kind of stuff and stand up like how they did in Hamilton and how they did in Kitchener, not just saying they don't agree, no carding. We needed the mayor to take leadership of the city and stand up and say no to carding, but you have to go further. You have to be persistent about the police doing this stuff. And I thank you very much.
>> Ginelle: Thank you.
>> Ginelle : Okay. Next person in line, please step right up.
>> Audience Member: Good Evening. Thanks so much. I've been ‑‑ I feel like I've been traveling with you all across several communities, so as you're already aware, that on the community lens, the Colour of Poverty had submitted written submission with a list of recommendations. I won't reiterate that, but I do want to say that there is definitely out in the London community support for that division and also its recommendations. In addition, The Ontario Federation of Labor has made several verbal deputations, as well as a written submission to the Ministry on the issue of what the mandate and the direction of the Anti‑Racism Directorate should be and I do believe that there are communities in London that also support that, so I won't reiterate a lot of that. What I do want to focus my attention on is that by way of addressing systemic racism, this Directorate’s mandate must be to pull people from the margins. Out of the margins. And we cannot do this by shortchanging marginalized people once again. So my message to the Ministry is that there are people who ‑‑ I hope that is not my phone. Sorry. There are people in this community and across all of Ontario who have followed step by step from the eighties to the nineties. The history of the Directorates of our past and elect the ghost of the Christmas past. It’s the Secretariat and the Directorate has kind of been the same thing. This isn't our first rodeo. We know that this is our, you know ‑‑ this isn't our first attempt at doing this. People of colour are not convince that this government is serious about addressing systemic racism when the funding issue, big gap isn't addressed in a tangible way. Although this Directorate is at a higher level than the former Secretariat, the funding indicated is lower. And so my ask is that the Ontario government must put its money where their mouth is. We need to know what you're willing to invest in addressing systemic racism. And on to question number five, as I mentioned, this isn't our first rodeo.
>> Ginelle: I'm going to have to ask you to wrap up your comments.
>> Audience Member: As Secretariats of the past disappeared at a time where First Nations communities were without water. And today, that issue still stands. The previous anti‑racism Secretariats and Directorates disappeared when Black, brown, and Indigenous people have been arbitrarily stopped by law enforcement and their information has been documented to then in the future be held against them. So what we're asking, this all looks great. The presentation is wonderful. Incredible. How do we, then, fund all of this and in the meantime not replicate our mistakes of current and former Secretariats and Directorates of the past? Thank you.
>> Ginelle: Okay. We're going to ask Sam to address that comment.
>> Sam Erry: Thank you. Thanks for that comment. This issue has come up many times in terms of the funding for the Directorate. So right now much of the work that the Directorate is doing is what I'm describing, what we're describing as core foundational work. So we have in this year’s allocation $5 million to get the Directorate up and running and to start focusing on some of the core work, like developing a disaggregated race based data collection framework and doing that stuff. The thing I want to stress home is that if you look at this as a whole government approach, the government is spending a lot of money in a lot of areas. So we are going to leverage the mandates of those ministries to make sure that anti‑racism work is embedded in the work that they do, because that is what matters at the end of the day. So we're leveraging those mandates. The Ministry of Children and Youth Services, the Ministry of the Attorney General, they have many programs and services that they provide, so our job is going to be to work with them and to leverage those mandates. So it is a whole of government approach and the outcomes that you see, the outcomes you'll be feeling through the delivery of services in those ministries. In other meetings, is more money is required and has to be focused, we do what we do in the rest of the government. We make a business case. We go to the Treasury Board and we make our case for that money. So what you see right now is exactly what we need at this moment in time, so we will definitely be moving forward as we mature as an organization. Leverage other mandates and if we need more dollars, then we will go there. But I want from the community’s lens, you know, dollars might seem to equate to results, but that’s not necessarily true. We spend a lot of money, the Ontario government spends $128 million operating from where we focus, where we leverage, and before we can get outcomes, where we can get real results in a very short period of time. So that’s the kind of work we're going to be focused on. I hope that helps.
>> Ginelle: I just have a small tech question. Is that buzzing coming from my cell phone? I have it on airplane mode, but I need it for the stop watch? It’s coming from over here? I’ll just keep doing what I'm doing over here. Okay. Next speaker?
>> Audience Member: Thank you. Father, in Jesus' name I stand before you first to give you thanks and praise that we, as a community, could come together. I thank you for each and everyone here. I ask for your blessing and your peace and I ask, oh God, for all the dignitaries that are here, that you strengthen them with wisdom, knowledge, and understanding even as they go forth, in Jesus’ name. My reason for standing here is, first of all, to give thanks for the community that I live in and for each and every one of you. I also, as the young lady has mentioned and the gentleman mentioned about different things that have happened before and the different frustrations, in my simple view, I am asking that first truth be put forth. All of us have gone through many things that are negative and have had to sustain mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically through many of these things. But if we use truth as hard as it may be, and as difficult as it may be, to come to terms of what is happening here, we will be farther ahead, because even the racist person is hurt and is being hurt. The victims of racism are very much hurt. But I'm trying to say, you know how you have that little circular thing there? At the very beginning? It was on where it says sustainable governance. It was one of the first one. Number one, where does it start? It starts with individually just the bottom there. Thank you very much. It starts individually, and if we will be truthful not to respect one another, whether it be for invading one’s privacy with carding or giving the job to someone else that we think is favoured, whether they are qualified or not, this thing is a cycle. So please, I am asking from every level of government and every individual to really think about that, because it’s just going to keep going around in circles, and a rodeo is terrible thing when you think about it. I'm not talking about the sports and I'm not talking against the sport, because people enjoy it. That is their affair that’s not what I mean. I'm talking about how brutal going around this is going to be. So please, I am asking, just let’s start with truth. You know, the lady, the Chief ‑‑ I'm sorry.
>> Ginelle: The Elder. And you have to wrap up your comments.
>> Audience Member: Yes, I will wrap up. Many children, and even in society today, are being abused seriously, and I'm sorry that that happened, because many of that happened in the name of the Lord. And it’s very dreadful, but I'm telling you, if we keep going around without addressing the truth of the matter, we're just going to be the same way again from generation to generation.
>> Ginelle: Thank you so much. Thank you.
>> Ginelle: Okay. Do we have a speaker from the audience? I thought we did. Okay. Let’s take it back to the mic, then.
>> Audience Member: Okay. Hi. (name removed), and I would like to address the first point that we had.
>> Ginelle: In the questions?
>> Audience Member: In the questions. The systemic racism. I have to admit, I am a little biased in that I spent a good part of my life as a school teacher and a principal, mostly working in the north of Manitoba and the Northwest Territory and primarily in native communities. I strongly believe that one of the problems that we have that brings about some of the ‑‑ maybe not all, but some of the racist behavior in our society starts at the school system. And this is something that needs to be addressed.
Audience Member : For example, I remember one class I was teaching, it was a grade five class in the Northwest Territory. And during the year, that year a new teacher that started teaching there and she had a son who ended up being in my classroom. Now, as soon as he came into the classroom, nice boy, and sat down, I immediately notice something, and that is that all of the native kids in my room stopped talking. As soon as this white boy was there, and he really did try to fit in as much as he could. The other kids in the classroom simply stopped answering questions, stopped doing their work, and it got so bad that I actually had to ask him during my class to work on his own in the library, because as long as he was in the classroom, everything else shut down. Now, to me, that said that even at the grade five level, now we're talking about 11 year olds, there was already such a low self‑esteem among the native children in the classroom that just the presence of a white boy totally shut them down. This kind of thing has to be dealt with. And I think that one of the ways to do it is, in some ways, to change the education system as it relates to Aboriginal people. The system that exists today simply does not function properly. Another example that I can give you, again, this is from the Northwest Territory, but there are several times in the year that events happen in many communities up north. For example, the caribou migrate once a year. They go north. They go south and when they go [my freight sic] in the area of the communities, the community shuts down to go and harvest the caribou, which they depend on for their livelihood. The boys go with their fathers to get helpful, the girls go with their mothers to smoke meat and to look after the camps, and basically, the attendance in your classroom goes down to virtually zero. When the ducks are migrating, people are out there and when the fish are running, again, the community shuts down. Now, I made many presentations to the superintendent of the division that I worked in, suggesting that possibly the school year could be changed to take this into account. Like why are more kids absent and then not pass them because they don't have enough attendance to pass from one grade to the next, when they're supporting their community and their families? Another thing, in the Northwest Territory, that’s the land of the midnight sun, and in the spring and summer, it’s very light. It’s very late. And people stay up very late, but in the winter, it’s very dark and there’s very little to do. When I suggested that maybe the school year should be changed to take this into account where in the wintertime, we could actually run school until 8:00 o'clock or 9:00 o'clock in the evening, and the students would love to have something to do, because there really is nothing else at that time. Whereas in the summertime when there are activities for the community, it could be changed. The answer, to me, was simply this is the way it is. School runs from 9:00 to 4:00 or 9:00 to 3:30 and also designed that way and you're just trying to get extra time off.
>> Ginelle: I'm going to have to ask you to wrap up your comments, please.
>> Audience Member: Pardon me?
>> Ginelle: I'm going to have to ask you to wrap up.
>> Audience Member: Okay.
>> Ginelle: Well, you can just say your last few words, please. We're listening.
>> Audience Member: Okay. Anyway, the point that I wanted to make is that by the time native students reach even junior high school, we already have a deeply ingrained sense of low self‑esteem. Not all of them. And it’s my joy to report that 30 years later, many, many of the students that I've had are now my friends on Facebook. And I've met their children and some of and grandchildren through the social media and we still stay in touch. I think that if the education system was changed to suit the people that it’s supposed to work for, that it would be more effective.
Audience Member: And the thing that I've discovered is that a young person who has a good sense of self‑esteem will always do better later in life. I think that’s all I have to say.
>> Ginelle: Thank you.
Ginelle: Next comment, please? Step right up.
>> Audience Member: Thank you for coming to hear us out. (name removed), a local Muslim group put together by the Muslim students of London. With respect to our honoured guest, I think if we want to address systemic racism, we've got to address the actors that are in the system. And some of the actors that aren't in the system. So the people in the system, perhaps are perpetuating systemic racism. We also have to turn our mind to the people who don't want to come into the system, because they fear, what’s the point? If I'm going to go up against these barriers, what’s really the point of doing that? So we have to address both aspects of that, and that’s a societal issue. So I'm going to suggest that in our experience, there are three causes of and core causes of racism. Number one, fear. Number two, ignorance. And three, to be candid partisan politics. I'll get to all three in a moment. On the issue of fear, we know that people relate to what is familiar to them. Conversely, we develop anxiety or fear when we are confronted with that unknown. A new school. A new city. A new job. Or people that might be different from us. And racism plays on this fear. Those who promote racism rely on this, that fear. They play the fear game. Be afraid of what’s different. Be afraid of immigrants who are going to come here and take your jobs, invade your neighbourhoods, change your identity. And this ties into the second core cause of racism: Ignorance. We know that people have a routine. That’s all they know. Then by human nature, they become comfortable with that routine. If you know a certain way of doing things, you're going to become comfortable with that process. If you're surrounded by a certain view of the world, you become entrenched and believe that your view of the world is right and other views are not and by human nature, you take comfort in those views that surround you. It is, for example, when there are numbers, a strength in numbers game and conversely, there’s a lack of incentive to go against that group for fear of becoming an outcast. We have unfortunately seen how this last pointed manifests itself in the last two years, in the third core cause of racism, partisan politics. Unfortunately, our political system and some of the participants in it share the blame for racism in our society. We've seen the most obvious examples of that recently south of the border where we have witnessed a legitimization of hate. And while it’s easy to blame that on a single person, the reality is that its roots are much deeper than that. Back to the deepening divisions in our political system. It’s this notion of partisan politics. That if you're different from me, then you are wrong and you shouldn't be in power and you should lose. The politics of fear and what it does to create and set a tone for the general public. The idea that if you're different from me, you're bad. You shouldn't be allowed to Main Street and you should stay on the sidelines. And you have no role to play in governing society. So we've seen in the last two years this politics of fear has turned to issues related to refugees, immigration, and in the Muslim community we've seen it specifically directed at us. It’s not surprising that in these last few years, incidents of hate crimes have shot up. So this dangerous notion of if you're not for us, you must be against us, has now become entrenched in our society. In terms of solutions, we're asking the government and the Directorate to take into account two things, two main areas. Number one, leadership. Number two, education. And so we're asking that the Government of a Directorate do two things: One, provide leadership. Two, facilitate education. On the issue of leadership, our political leaders must provide true leadership by signaling a change in partisan politics. We need our community leaders. I know the mayor is here and he believes in this. Councilors Sally and Usher believe in this. Minister Matthews believes in this and BPs Armstrong and Sadler believe in this. We're lucky in London. Our leaders must demonstrate to the electorate that it’s okay to be different. Being different, though, doesn't mean you get to hate or marginalize. Having different ideas doesn't mean that one person’s ideas or platform makes that person superior to other people.
>> Ginelle: Okay. I'm going to have to ask you to summarize, please.
>> Audience Member: Sure. We also need more accountability in government. We've heard about the occupational safety, Health and Safety Act. It’s got to be strengthened to make sure that workplaces are racism‑free. We also need to facilitate education. We need the government to lead on this. We need to provide education on hate crime and to facilitate the reporting of hate crimes and give support, institutional support to victims of hate crimes so that they know that they have the support to come forward and report those, report those crimes and trust the authorities. We need to ensure that workplaces are on side, programs by giving awards to workplaces that encourage diversity and ensure that they're providing orientation in the diversity training. And we hear about an ad campaign. We do need that. We know that bullying, mental health, those have been important issues, and we look to the government to establish some funding for education so that we can combat that fear and that ignorance.
>> Ginelle: Thank you so much.
>>Ginelle: Okay. Our next speaker, please? I'm so sorry. This is a really good mic. Our next speaker, please.
>> Ginelle: Yes, go ahead.
>> Audience Member: [indiscernible] I guess I'd like to thank my friend for inviting me tonight. I didn't know anything about this until we had a conversation the other day and it’s interesting. You know, tackling racism, I think it’s important for everybody here, as well as people listening, and also government officials to understand that Canada was founded on a basis of racism. It was called Doctrine of discovery. If you don't know about it, research it. And we talk about systemic racism. It’s found within everything that you do. Everything, every institution that has as a basis, its roots has that. And we're still teaching that policy, if you want to call it there, that doctrine at the University of Western Ontario today. Essentially, what it says was there might be folks living in North America. They're not really humans. They're heathens and savages. There’s lots of land. There’s lots of resources over there. And one of the things they don't have is the capacity to own land. So all you've got to do is plant the British flag in North America and it instantly becomes [indiscernible] land, and whatever you need to do to take care of those Indigenous people, they didn't have that same for us, they called us savages and heathens. It’s been documented that there’s been deliberate things on our people, infected blankets with smallpox were introduced to kill us. So you roll forward to the 1800s. We have the residential school. Elder Liz talked about that and I acquiesce with everything she said. Those are all true. My Dad was a residential school survivor. He went there for seven years. I can relate to what she said. I don't remember him ever telling me he loved me. I don't remember him ever hugging me. All I remember is getting beat up. That’s all I remember when I was a youngster. So the teacher or the gentleman that was a teacher, I’d also like to reinforce some of the comments he made. It’s true. You know, when I went to school, we were not encouraged to do anything academic wise in terms of leading us to, say, college or University. We were basically told that the best you're going to be able to do is maybe get some kind of construction job or maybe really you guys are going to be lazy and be a bunch of drunks. And that’s what you continue to hear over and over again. And unfortunately, you hear the same message today. It’s a little more subtle. A little more subtle, but you still hear it today. So I sit as one of the traditional chiefs in my nation, and not being here as my capacity of (identifying information removed) organization around here, but I do want to relate to a couple of experiences I experienced just in the last couple of days. We had a mother come to our Board of Directors a month and a half ago and was concerned about the fact that her son was in the Elgin Middlesex detention centre. I'm not going to defend what he did and why he was there, but the problem was that he chose to speak up. He chose to try and react to things and he ended up getting his job ‑‑ he got beat up and ended up in the hospital. So the lady asked our board to see what it could do. So the Board of Director found out what I can do, and one of the things they said was see if you can secure a seat on the Elgin Middlesex Detention Advisory Board. So I contacted the powers that be and I didn't get very high up. I'm not sure what level bureaucracy I ran into. And I said, our Board is interested in securing a seat. And she essentially said, in so many words, well, you know, we advertise openings and you're free to apply. And I said, back to her, you know, that I wasn't really ‑‑ I was really troubled with the answer. She said, I'll send it up to my supervisor and let you know. And that was about the end of that conversation. So I wrote back and I just said, she wasn't even polite enough to address me by name. That bothered me. In my research, I read a report that was published in March of 2016, and it talked about what the MDC was doing with respect to becoming a more user friendly when it came to minorities and Indigenous people. And when I read that and versus how I was treated the last couple of days, to me it’s a lie. It’s a lie. It’s just words. The other thing is that we host an alternative secondary school at our organization. Two years ago, I happened to be looking out in the parking lot. I seen this young man drive in and he got out of his truck. Got a new truck. Not an old trick. Pretty decent shape. He didn't get past the end of his truck and a London police officer showed up, stopped him, and I couldn't hear the conversation, but it seemed to me what she was requesting was ownership and insurance. So he pulls out his wallet, gives her something, goes back in the truck. I guess he got the ownership. So as they're doing that, a second police vehicle pulls in. You're going to ask me to stop, I think.
>> Ginelle: Well, I'm going to ask you to get to the ‑‑
>> Audience Member: Well, everything I'm saying is what I'm getting to.
>> Ginelle: Yes, okay. Thank you.
>> Audience Member: There’s no summary. It’s all the truth.
>> Ginelle: Yes, I hear you.
>> Audience Member: So anyway, the second officer shows up. So the first one goes in the car and runs his information, because you know that’s what they do. The second officer approaches this young man and says, I don't know what she says, but at the end, I'm going back to the vehicle. He opens the door. She starts looking under the seats. She started looking in the back seat. I didn't know what she was looking for. But it must have been something that she assumed that this Indigenous person was carrying or having. And so this is all occurring, like, in a matter of minutes or seconds, and so they exit the vehicle. He’s walking back to the front of his vehicle. The second officer says something to the first officer. She backs out and then the first officer gives his information back. Then he comes in. So by this time I'm up and I'm going to go outside to find out what’s going on. So I go outside and by the time I get out there, the two vehicles are gone, two constables are gone. So I asked this young man, I said, what’s going on? He said, I stopped at Tim Horton’s down the street here to get a cup of coffee. He said, I pull out and I'm making a left turn on Horton street going to Naramer and he said this police car was going by. They saw me driving a truck. They turned around and followed me back into our parking lot. What is that? I think that’s racism. I think that’s carding. And last, I just want to wrap up this one last thing. I was at the forum that they had at the London Police Department this spring and they were talking about I understand the concept or the notion was to try to find a way to get more brown faces in London police uniforms. Good stuff, I guess. But they asked some more questions, so one of the questions they asked, you know, they were sitting at different tables and I was sitting at a table where people who were from various countries throughout the world, and so the second question they asked, regarding the relationship with police, so Councillor Archer was at that table, and he said something that really put it in crystalized form for me. He said, most of us in this room come from someplace else in the world. And we look at Armed Forces or police in our countries where we come from, we look at them as a force. When we come to London or we come to Canada, we look at them as service. And I thought to myself, you know what? Indigenous people still look at the police as a force. They're not our friends. Thank you.
>>Ginelle: I want to get a sense of how many speakers are waiting to speak. Could I have a show of hands? Okay. So I'm going to have to cut the list there, and I would ask people who are about to speak to try and get to what you want the Anti‑Racism Directorate to do or to know about what you're saying. The stories are great to listen to, but it just ‑‑ we have a lot of people to speak and so we want to make sure that everyone gets a chance to communicate tonight. Thank you so much. Okay. Go ahead.
>> Audience Member: I just want to say that one of the things that I believe and I've always believed, that we are all equal, no matter what country we're from, no matter where we're born. We all are born equal. And if we have freedom, it stays freedom. We have a democracy in Canada, so I want the democracy to the start at the top, which is the government, federal, provincial, and if it was there, it would be in our communities and it would be for every person. So I have been white for 62 years. I have never been carded. And it’s a really important point. Never been carded. The only time I've ever been stopped is on a ride program or when I forgot to get my sticker on my license plate. That’s it in 62 years. So I see all the minorities that live in my city are way stronger than I am and way more powerful than I am. And a much more beautiful spirit than I am because of what you have to endure. And so I honour you for that. I did have an experience outside a bank. I was driving into a bank. I heard yelling. It was in the summer. I didn't know where the yelling was coming from, but I get out of my car. I saw two people beside me staying in their cars. They were seniors. They were afraid. There was a black man. He was 6‑foot two. There was a Hispanic man. He was 5‑foot six. There was me. I was 5‑foot three. And I didn't know who was causing this problem. So I went in the middle of them and I'm looking [ sic] at these two men, and I felt which one. It was just a young Black man, but it didn't matter whether it was a Black man or a White man. And the Hispanic man, he was being bullied by the Black man, bullied into fighting, and I got in the middle and I kept saying, what’s your name? What’s your name? What’s your name? Loud enough so he couldn't hear what the other guy was saying. And so I said to him, if you do this, what he wants you to do, then you're just the same as him. And his friend said, she’s right. and they went across the street and they left. And I stood in front of the Black man not because he’s a Black man. The person that I saw, and I just said to him, he’s probably around 19, I said, you only did that because you're insecurity. And it was over. The police came. There was nobody there. But if we would all be peacemakers in those moments and see each other as equal, knowing we've been there at the same time, and I also want to say to the Chief of London, I want to say that from what I read in the paper and what I've heard and not heard, I want to see him drop carding. That is not democracy. I also want to hear if he’s not going to drop carding, I want to hear as a white person what your reason is and I want to hear that it’s not coming from your ego, which is power and control.
>> Ginelle: Thank you for your comments. Can I have the next speaker to the mic, please?
>> Audience Member: Good evening, everyone. I'd like to thank our political leaders and our community leaders for being here and listening to this important conversation. My name is (name removed). I'm a consultant and I spent 20 years working as a police officer in this community. I have a two‑part question that’s loosely related to all five of these, but probably most specifically to number five with regards to what’s going to happen after these community consultations are over. So the two‑part question is first of all, given the limit and effectiveness of voluntary diversity programs that many organizations participate in, will the province adopt a legislative approach with an accountability framework like the Employment Equity [indiscernible] Act, which was repealed in 95? And the second part of the question is, if there’s no legislative response, what will be under consideration?
>> Minister Coteau: Well, thank you very much,. Where are you? You're right there? Okay. The second question in regards to legislation, we've heard this throughout the province. I think that it’s one of the I would say key pieces of recommendations that we've heard from people that we've captured. It’s being consistent. What we're going to do is bring forward these ideas and put forward a strategy and bring that, present that to my colleagues at the legislature. That regards to the accountability framework, be you know, and mandating, you know, any type of employment equity, that’s been brought up as well. We've probably received, I would say those core big ideas, like those big ideas, there has been probably three or four dozen of those ideas. Data collection, you know, ideas around, you know, making ‑‑ how to embed it in different ministries and put that race‑based lens, education campaigns. We've heard all of these things. What we're doing here is really collecting these ideas, and we will present in the spring a strategy for Ontario that will include all of those things that we believe are necessary to go forward with. Your advice is consistent with what we've been hearing, but I don't want to say yes, this is what we're going to do at this point, but I would just say that those ideas are very popular throughout the Province of Ontario in regards to the consultation. And we'll just come forward with a strategy probably early next year that will really capture those big ideas that we believe we should move forward with. So thank you.
>> Ginelle: Okay. Can we have the next speaker to the mic, please?
>> Audience Member: Thank you very much. First of all, my voice may be a little bit shaky kind of thing. And I usually speak very slowly. Sorry if that would be the case. First of all, I actually come here almost because of the very first question. As you guys actually put it up over there, for me, I think as everybody knows, the only two [indiscernible] that are destroying our community today are police and CAS. CAS is Children Aid Services (this should be Society). These two organizations, I will not call them as a government part of the system. I will call them organizations. We, as a minority, are dying. I am really sad, because when I came to Canada, what I was told, I was told that if you go to Canada, as soon as you get there, if you get a good education, if you go to school, you will be a good person. But now I realize that when I get to Canada, as soon as I get a good job, I get a good car, that car will be my problem.
Audience Member: That actually happened to me. When I get out from my school, I was a young man who had this kind of mentality that if I get a good job, I will buy a good car. I actually did. But guess what? What happened, I keep getting ticket and ticket and ticket. Why? What did I do on the road? I thought I know how to drive. Then I was told it was because of policing. This is what they do. They get money from you. So for me, I don't know how I can get into this discussion with you, but this one is based on the very first question. I think we come to Canada as an immigrant to get a good life. We left our countries, where we came from, being abused physically, but here, we get here. We are now being abused mentally.
Audience Member: But the question that you could ask yourself, here it is. Which one is better? Would it be better to be abused physically or being abused mentally? I did go to school. I went to University. One of the very important things that I got over there was being destroyed mentally is one of the worst things ever. I actually feel sorry about my people when I say my people [indiscernible] because that’s how they are right now. They are being destroyed mentally. And this is what is going to happen now to African community, to our community. They are now being destroyed by police, by so‑called Canadian Armed Forces officers. And these two governments, I mean, these two organizations, if they are not grabbed on, then there is no life for us as immigrant people. We have no life. I have four kids myself.
>> Ginelle: I'm going to have to ask you to wrap up your compliments.
>> Audience Member: Okay. One thing that I would like to mention, mention I grow up as a young Black man, I protect myself from police. I never get into any trouble, but now I get to trouble because of my kid. What can I do? Because my kid will be at the new school. Did your mom beat you? What the hell is this? Who tells White them a Black man cannot grow up a kid? Who tells White people that a Black man cannot get a good job? Or another person or two other persons. These two governments, these two education for police and the Children’s Aid Society are diseased organizations.
Ginelle: Thank you for your comments. Can I have the next speaker up to the mic, please?
>> Audience Member: Hi. Good Evening. I would like to thank the organizer of this occasion at this moment before I go to my question. Secondly, this is a particular movement for me to be here, because it is a good opportunity to see this written thing like racists. And I believe that the system of racism is working. When I look at it through my personal perspective, because even though I don't have a concrete example at hand [indiscernible] so I have two parts of the question. I'm going to be very brief, because I have also a language barrier. So my first question is this is a core issue that we have to deal with. My first question is how do we resolve the fears and the low self‑esteems among the peers? Usually our children, as my brother mentioned. We have this kind of issue that we are struggling with in our communities, and we don't even know how to do, because in our culture, the way that we have to tackle things, we tackle different problems. We can resolve them, but here in Canada, we live in different communities and also we adopt different cultures. So how can we solve this kind of fears being caused by the low self‑esteem of fears and our children and my second question is based on what my brother mentioned. The children there have been taken away from our hands. Children’s Aid Society or whatever.
>> Unknown: Children’s Aid Society.
>> Audience Member: So they came sometime. They just [indiscernible] because some people, they talk too much and some people, they don't even know how to talk too much, how to defend themselves. If someone said four words, five words, so you may be confused about what you're going to say.
>>Ginelle: You have to make a point, please.
>> And then after all, your kids must be gone, because we have, as I mentioned, we have barriers, language barriers. So what are we going to do to solve this problem? What is the Government of Ontario or Ontario in general or London Ontario have to do to solve such a problem among our community. Thank you for your attention.
>> Ginelle: Thank you for your comments. Next speaker, please, come up to the mic.
>> Audience Member: Hello. Good Evening. My name is (removed name and identifying information, however as he is a public figure could include) Sorry I was late, because I've been in Toronto and in Ottawa trying to get more money from the federal government for the City of London over the past week. But I'm very pleased to be here and I'm really, really happy that you folks are here and that the audience are here. I'm really sorry that the mayor has left, because one of the things that I wanted to talk about was some of the things that he and I are involved with, which may not put a good taste in his mouth, but nevertheless ‑‑
>> Unknown: He’s coming back. [indiscernible]
>>Unknown Oh. >> [indiscernible].
>>Audience Member: I've been involved with this since I arrived in London. I've moved to London back in 1981. I came here working for Bell Canada. I'm an engineer. And I started doing volunteer work. And one of the first organizations that I did volunteer work with was an organization called the London Multicultural Youth Association. And through this association, I found that there were lots of people, lots of kids, teenage kids. We get together every summer. They were from different races: White, Black, yellow, brown, whatever you want to call them, and they were there and they worked together. They do a lot of projects together, and they were very successful. And that, to me, tells me that if you educate them and you give them time? , they could live together. They could work together. And we could create opportunities for each other. But since then, it seems to me the bottom fell out of London, and everything seemed to get worse and worse. I joined the London Race Relations Advisory Committee in the late 1990s, and I became the Chair of that organization. And one of the first things that we did or one of the last things that we did during my tenure was to create a race relations policy for the City of London. We spent two years on it. I was the co‑chair with a member of staff. We came up with a with [a Paper; word was missing] through a lot of focus groups, and it’s still a paper, but it’s a very thin paper. Since then, they've built on it. My problem about all of this, however, is that the idea of that race relations policy at the time was to create opportunities within the City of London, and it was supposed to start with the administration of the City of London. Versions, the cooperation of the City of London. And I have to tell you that I have not seen a lot of improvement. During those days, the number of visible minority in this London was 9.8t%. And that was based on a 1996 census. In 2001, the census was 11.2%. In 2001, it was 11.2. 2006, it went up to 13.1%. And 2011 it went to [six.1% this number doesn’t look right]. Now, that’s the number, the average, sorry, the percentage ever visible minority within the City of London, the demo graphics. You can look anywhere and we can start with the City of London, and we don't even have half of that demographics as employees. More so ‑‑
>>Audience Member: And I have to tell you that way back in 2002, we did a demographic study and at that time, like I said, it was 9.1% and they came to me with the paper and said look at this. Look at this. It’s 9.4% and when I looked at the paper, I notice that there was one department that had 36% visible minority, and all the others had 4%. What kind of demographic is that? What kind of success story is that? The point that I'm making is at this time, if you go and you do the demographics, you might find exactly the same thing. And what is happening is that we have the talk, but we don't walk the talk and if we, in the corporation of the City of London, cannot do it, do not expect other institutions to do it.
>> Ginelle: Sir, I'm going to have to ask you to wrap up your comments, because you're over time.
>>Audience Member: Yeah. So that is only in general. Look at the administration. Look at the management. Look at the higher levels and you will find practically zero. We have to do better than that. I know that the City of London is going to create a strategy over the next few months and I believe there’s a paper outside where you can join. It says here, I think this is it, because I was away and I just saw this for the first time, but it says are you passionate about diversity and inclusion then join this group, and you can give your input. So I urge you to do that. Join that group and see if you can give your input. But we've got to change, because you may live in Toronto, but London is not a replica of Toronto. Everywhere I go in Toronto, I don't even feel as if I'm a person of colour. When I walk around London, I really do feel conscious that I am a person of colour. We've got to change that mentality, thank you.
>> Ginelle: Thank you. Okay. Can I have the next speaker up to the mic, please?
>> Audience Member: Good Evening, everyone. I'm not the best public speaker. I get a little nervous.
>> Ginelle: That’s okay.
>> Audience Member: I couldn't come here today and not come to the mic and have a question, but before, that I just have a couple of comments. I've lived in London [-, for a few] years, and I am a proud union member. And I work at one in health science centre. Good paying job. I'm proud to work there. I think we do great for the community. Listening to brother, as well as a lady earlier, a sister earlier, there was conversations about does this have teeth? And my biggest concern and what we deal with in the union all the time is fairness, decent wage, and the fact that decent wages, good jobs, high tuition costs impact, marginalized workers especially. So my question, I guess, to you guys would be with this thing that’s going ‑‑ I'm sorry. A little nervous. With this thing going on that you guys are doing, how are you going to go across a government to deal with wages that impact deals that impact marginalized workers. London is one of the worst place for workers. We're 50%. I work in a hospital and I swear there’s 10 of us, people of colour or black origin. So how are you guys going to take this and address things first that should be wages? Good decent jobs. Education. High tuition. How is that opportunity for marginalized workers to make those differences? Because I think that would make a difference in systemic racism. Systemic racism to me is the status quo, and it’s the fact that white privilege, believe that immigrants should be taxi drivers and people of colour like my husband, should be the cleaner in the hospital and not the tech in the hospital, because he can't afford to go to school.
>>Audience Member Thank you very much. Those are just some of my questions. So can I have that question and then I'll get snug?
>> Ginelle: Okay. So we're not going to do question and answer at this time.
>>Audience Member No?
>> Ginelle: [We're just going to take your question and perhaps]
>> Unknown: Yeah.
>> Minister Coteau: You know what? Can I just [indiscernible] without going to the microphone. We're looking at the ways [indiscernible] so when you go across government and you look at [indiscernible] looking at Children’s Aid Societies. I've actually said in answer to the last gentleman’s question, I'm going to it mandated Children’s Aid Societies [indiscernible] Toronto is the only place that does that, and look at new legislation that’s been passed by the legislature to look at ways to really modernize Children’s Aid Societies. But one of the big things we've been hearing from the public is you want to talk about systemic racism? The first thing you should start, look at government. It goes back to what you're saying. I have a new job to look at the way in which government operates. Who is given opportunities and how we can accelerate growth and opportunities for young people, from racialized communities in government, because the opportunities are there and we [indiscernible] people asked for those opportunities. Steve Orsini [indiscernible] is the head of the OPS. He’s put an Anti-Racism Strategy or Diversity Strategy for employment in the OPS that actually Sam here is responsible [for]. So he has the Anti‑Racism Directorate and he also has the Diversity Office][indiscernible] and those two pieces together will work to improve job opportunities and the nature that there’s equity employment in the OPS or public employment [indiscernible] and Deb Matthews wants to say in regard to tuition and cost, we just brought forward a new issue with government, and Deb Matthews obviously worked closely with education. Anyone earning under $50,000 in Ontario, family wise, will be eligible for free tuition in Ontario. So starting September 2017. So in Ontario, if you are part of a family that earns less than $50,000, tuition now is free. And that’s the average tuition cost in Ontario. So that’s a game changer.
Unknown: [indiscernible] push it out there, because education, there’s no question, is the surest way to success for anything you do. Thank you. >> Thank you for that.
Ginelle: >> Thank you. Our next speaker, please?
Audience Member: >> Good evening, everyone. My name is (name removed), and I just had two points I wanted to bring forward that I thought were important. The first is an appreciation to the Committee as it stands. In that scene that Islamophobia is brought here, because although Muslims were not a race, Islam is racialized. And so Islamophobia then can be a form of racism. So I really do appreciate seeing that here and as one of the targets that the Committee is addressing. The second, in my opinion, I really believe that if we're going to be talking about combating racism, we also have to be talking about justice, because we cannot achieve an equitable society without talking about justice, and this means talking about the ecological warfare that’s waged against our Indigenous brothers and sisters. We have to talk about no‑fly list and surveillance practices that affect Muslim communities. We have to talk about police practices as has been mentioned repeatedly that impact communities of colour. And we have to talk about the notion of cultural competency that is used against [immigrant ] communities to deny equal opportunities in our societies. So without this notion of justice, then we are going to be here in the next 10 years. We're going to find themselves filling this auditorium again. Unless this practice is seen to be persuasive through all levels of government, then we will be talk and go having the same conversations over and over again.
Ginelle: Thank you so much.
Unknown: Thank you so much.
>> Ginelle: Thank you. Next speaker, please.
>> Audience Member: Yes, Good Evening. I understand that there’s a possibility to be interpreted to English. I'm going to talk in French. Who is going to interpret?
>> Ginelle: Who is the translate officer?
>>Audience Member: I'm not going to be able to translate.
>>Audience Member: You told people that there is someone to translate.
>>Ginelle: Uh‑huh. Okay.
>> Audience Member: Who is going to do it?
>> Ginelle: One moment.
>> Audience Member: My English is not good enough to explain everything I want to say now.
>> Ginelle: I understand. Yeah.
>> Audience Member: One extra barrier.
>> Ginelle: Trying the translator.
>> Audience Member: Sorry.
>> Ginelle: Could we have the next speaker come forth and then when the translator is here, you will be next. And is that the last speaker?
>> Audience Member: No. There’s one more speaker.
>> Ginelle: Okay. Go ahead. Do you want to use the microphone to translate simultaneously? There we go.
>> Ginelle: Thanks for your patience with that.
>> Audience Member: Thank you. My comments are the following: As far as question number two is concerned, when we're talking about collecting data and analyzing them, I would like the government to think about the words and the expressions that are used.
>> Audience Member: Because when I saw we were so racialized ‑‑
>> Interpreter: Because when I saw the word racialized, that gives a label. That re‑victimizes. Because for me, there’s only one race on this earth and that is the human race.
Audience Member: The second point I'd like to add, the Minister had said earlier, and I'm very happy to hear that he’s going to establish an Ontario Plan to fight against racism. But what I would like to see in this Plan, if I compared that to The Ontario Plan to fight against sexual violence, and that one works very well, we would like to have a holistic approach. I will give you one concrete example. When we talk about employment, the government should put in this strategy positive discrimination towards immigrants. What does that mean? We know, for example, that the government gives to companies big subsidies for them to start. So these subsidies that come from our taxes must come together with things that people must do. For example, to recruit a quota to, for example, recruit immigrants. That is something that a company called the strategic plan. And also to take away the matter of Canadian experience that constitutes an attack on fellow immigrants. [indiscernible] in the province that were good, but after them, the government should put in place permanent sectarian committees to be able to continue with this thinking. It can be at the level of the province and one can work with community leaders, with researchers, with employers, and everybody in the community. And finally, what I'd like to say, let’s be honest. In 10 years there won't be many changes, but I'm happen that at least we have opened up the debate. This is a long‑term permanent and lengthy process. Thank you.
>>Ginelle: Can the next speaker come right up to the mic, please?
>> Audience Member: Hi. My name is (name removed). I'm just going to, if you could just put it ahead to the English, because I'm terrible at French. Thank you. I just want to address the first two questions here. Tackling systemic racism, what systems or institutions in Ontario should the government address first? All of them honestly. I'm just going to call it like it is. If we have to start somewhere, maybe we should start with the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services. That’s been the overwhelming idea that’s come across as carding. No one likes carding. No one likes the SIU. Let’s do something about that. Now, you know it’s easy to criticize, so how do we fix it? The second question, how important is it the government collect race based data and how should the data be used? I'm going to take something that I know, I've done it for 23 years. I've worked in world class manufacturing. You've done quality and QS9000 is pretty simple and it’s a pretty easy way to address this very issue. You take data and you use it to show that you're improving. The basic concept of quality management is say what you're doing, do what you say you're doing, and prove that you've done it.
Audience Member: And that’s the number one issue I see with this. We can collect data and collect data and collect data until the cows come home. We already know what’s going on. We need to prove that we're doing what we say we're doing and we have to have measurables. And that’s another requirement of QS systems is that every year you have to show that you've improved. It’s not enough to say, hey, look what we did. Aren't we awesome? No, you have to show that it worked and you have to show that it’s work and go it keeps on working. In 10 years' time, maybe we won't have what we should have, but we'd be closer than what we are now. And I get frustrated as a taxpayer to continue to see talk after talk and group after group talking about how we collected this data, how we collected that data. That’s great, but let’s see some results. That is it’s what if you use a basic QS world manufacturing system, which you can go to any manufacturer and they'll talk to you about it, it’s pretty simple. Thank you.
>> Ginelle: Thank you. Next speaker, please. Go on.
>> Ginelle: Sorry. Go ahead.
>> Audience Member: Okay. I just want to say, and I'll be as quick as possible, thank you to all the organizers, to all the speakers, and to everyone else who spoke. I'm here personally as a Muslim woman of Pakistani descent and also as the wife of a black man, but more importantly, I'm here for work. I wanted to ‑‑ it’s kind of a two‑part point. Smaller cities, Sarnia is about 73,000, they need events like this just as much, if not more at times, than larger cities. And I know you are planning to have 10 of these town halls, but there really needs to be more outreach to smaller cities. I know you hear sometimes we feel like we're not heard, but it is an issue, because we would love to have more input. And so what I wanted to recommend, and I can even talk to you after, is that you reach out to the local immigration partnerships all over Ontario, because we are an amazing resource. We do research. We do data collection. We can even do the data collection that you have, you know, put together.
Audience Member: In our own communities. If you design surveys, whatever it is, but we can take that and implement it in our communities with funding, but I think that’s a really great resource if you reach out to all the LIPs [Local Immigrant Partnerships]. There’s one in St. Thomas, one in Sarnia, one in London. They're in Toronto. Toronto has more than one LIPs, local immigration partnerships. They're all over, and they are a really great resource. So our mandate is actually to create more welcoming communities for immigrants and newcomers, but that encompasses everyone. If we're talking about racism, we're not going to exclude someone if they're not an immigrant. I'm Canadian born and raised and I fill out their surveys all the time. That’s essentially my main point. Smaller to mid‑sized cities really need to be included and I would likely recommend that local immigration partnerships be a part of this discussion in moving forward.
>> Ginelle: Thank you.
>> Ginelle: Thank you. Next speaker, please.
>> Ginelle: Go ahead.
>> Audience Member: Okay. I'm kind of nervous. I want to say a million things, but maybe I'll manage to blurt out two or three. I'd like to thank the Directorate, first of all, and like to thank the Elder and Moderator and the interpreter and all the government officials who are attending. The first question, what systems or institutions should the government address first in tackling systemic racism? I think first the Department of Education. (name removed) I'm a seventh generation Canadian. My daughter is eight and that’s only as far back as our family bibles go. But when I went to school, I never saw my lineage anywhere in any books. I never heard of my history. And I don't think kids today do. They experience it is same thing. I was at UVC in the Department of Education and we were in a classroom and there were 23 of us and only two of the students there knew that there was slavery in Canada. Something is wrong.
Audience Member: Also, you're doing a lot of data collection. That was great. My experience, and I'm not blaming. I'm identifying. My experience has been that, you know, the Department of Health, when I worked in the Northwest Territory, they wanted to do research and collect data on what the front line workers did. And what they needed. And we were the front line workers and they wanted to get, you know, experts and people with a lot of expertise, but we were the experts, you know? So when you're doing your work and you collect your data and you're looking for experts, look for the people who have experienced racism, who live it.
Audience Member: Those are the people to go to, you know? Yeah, that’s all I have to say. And thank you very much.
Ginelle: Thank you very much for your comments. Do we have any more speakers? Two more speakers? Okay. Thank you. Step right up, please. Three? Thank you. Okay. Step right up, please.
>> Audience Member: This discussion has focused very much on to what has been done to people of colour, people in the multicultural matrix. If, in addressing racism, you step back a little bit and consider recent events in the U.S. election, in the British referendum, and try to understand why the results were as they were, it might be important in addressing racism to consider what is it that caused those people to cast their votes in the way that they did. What are their concerns and how might they be addressed in a way that then shifts their thinking from that which we find undesirable to thinking which focuses on together we are better rather than apart? We are living in a society which is multicultural. What does that mean to the people the rebelling and voting against being part of the systems that were rejected? I think it’s very important that this Directorate, in collecting and analyzing data, have that lens as well as the lens of the people who are complaining about their mistreatment. Thank you.
>> Ginelle: Thank you. Can we have the next speaker up to the mic, please?
>> Audience Member: Hi. My name is David, and I want to say I know we are talking about systemic racism, but I believe that government or institutions, they are made up of individuals. So I think it all starts with [the] individual. And you can stop carding or you can hire more minorities, but if it’s not in their heart, I don't think it matters. And I think to do that, I think more money and more time has to be spent on young children, as the teacher said earlier. And only then can you really solve the problem, because you want the next generation of people that would come up and not have anything that’s on their mind. If you can't have rules and everything is set out on paper, you can’t even have the Ten Commandments here, but you can just rip it off and you can forget about anything. Thank you.
>> Ginelle: Thanks for your comments. That’s the last speaker for the evening. Okay. I just want to say thank you to everyone for their comments tonight, and I'm going to try to reflect what we have heard here tonight. So we heard that the work of the Directorate is to address systemic forms of racism that exist in institutions that support privilege of the dominant culture. That we're not starting from scratch. That there has been a lot of research. There is a lot of data with recommendations that will be looked at. That racial equity is the goal. We heard also that we'd be looking at models from some cities in the U.S. and focusing on sustainability, community collaboration, and a province‑wide strategy that includes public awareness. Your comments shared with us today is that you want us to think about the experience of people who live racism day‑to‑day and start with the top officials. We also took note that some community members didn't feel safe to come here today. They're intimidated, so we take note of that, and I remind you that there’s a way to give feedback online: Anti‑racism@Ontario.ca. No carding, we heard about that. We heard that it’s unacceptable in London. We heard about a rally being planned on December 9. We heard a call for the mayor to take leadership. We heard that London supports the recommendations of the Colour of Poverty Network. We also heard that this isn't our first rodeo. We've been down this road before. And we wanted more funding to show that this is an important issue that’s going to have some teeth and going to be looked after, so we heard that the funding that we have right now is the start and it’s going to be integrated or leveraged, was the word, used within the mandate of other ministries so that this becomes the holistic approach that other speakers have talked about before, that it’s not just, okay, the Anti‑Racism Directorate is established. They're going to do this work. But the effort is to have all of the ministries involved and looking at it holistically. We had a prayer, a prayer that spoke about truth coming forth to address the mental, emotional, and physical toll that this takes and to help us sustain. We heard that it starts with the school system. We actually heard that several times. We heard stories of internalized insecurity and low self‑esteem within the school system. You'll recall the story of the group of native children that were silenced just by the mere presence of a white child in their classroom. We heard that in looking at racism, you have to address the factors and their causes: Fear, ignorance, and partisan politics. We heard an ask that the leadership be provided and that education be facilitated. We heard, also, that Canada was founded on the basis of racism and the doctrine of discovery. And that this prompted a deliberate genocide. We heard a concern about how youth are treated when they are incarcerated. Unfounded suspicions that people are stopped, detained, and questioned by police and that the police force is seen as a force and not as a service to the community. I think the speaker was in favor of it being seen and felt by people who are marginalized as a service as well as others who seem to view it that way. We heard about freedom and democracy having to start at the top. That was a recurring theme. But this time from a white person who recounted that although stopped by police, it was for good reason. And she expressed honour to those who have to deal with it daily. There was curiosity around what’s going to happen after the consultation? We've, again ‑‑ this is not our first rodeo. Been down this word before, so there was a call for action, strategy, legislation, and addressing the police and the CAS was suggested as the first institutions to start with. Later on, we heard that you need is to start with education. So it sounds like those are the top three that we're hearing from the London audience. We heard from about his past involvement in the London Race Relations Committee and his plea to the employers at the City of London to look at the ratio of people who are employed within the city computer to the racial makeup of the population, the demographics. We were asked, you know, does this really have teeth? Are we looking at marginalized workers? At tuition? And there were some answers provided that we're going to start by looking at the Ontario Public Service and we learned that Sam Erry is responsible about employment, so it is a dual responsibility. We heard what the government is doing in terms of eligibility for free tuition in Ontario for families that are earning less than $50,000 and we heard that that is going to be a game changer. We heard that there’s focus on Islamophobia, but Islam is not a race. It’s been racialized. We heard that we must talk about justice and respect the work that is being done by our Indigenous communities to save the ecology. We heard that these things have to be addressed. Again, this is a recurring theme, at all levels of government. We heard also that even the label of racialized, re‑victimizes people. There’s only one race on earth: Human. We heard some doubt that there would be a lot of change over 10 years and then we heard that we're going to make some change over the 10 years. So we're hearing both, a sense of hope and a sense of despair about the timing of things, and another suggestion that we start with safety, correctional services, carding, and the SIU. That we know how to do quality management and we should just do it. That small towns such as Sarnia, and we've heard this in other cities as well, that they need to be heard as well. They need to be included in the conversation. So again, I remind you there’s a way to do so online, but I think they actually came up with an excellent suggestion around Local Immigrant Partnerships and getting them involved in mobilizing community at that level. And we also heard that we should look at what is the underlying cause of things like Brexit in the U.K. and the election in the U.S. and the attitudes of people that are actually voting in this direction and how do we shift them to an understanding that we're better together than apart? And it starts with individuals is our final comment that we heard. So if it’s not in the heart, it doesn't matter how much we change the institutions. That was the opinion, that we really have to start with the next generation and start from the heart. So I leave you with those comments, and I thank you so much for sharing with us today, and I'll turn the mic back over.
>> Minister Coteau: So let’s give our facilitator a big round of applause for doing such a great job.
Minister Coteau: >> I know that it’s often difficult to say that, you know, change can happen. Throughout the seven consultations, one of the strongest themes that has occurred is yeah, this looks great on paper, and yeah, you guys are having a conversation, but do you really believe you're going to actually make an impact or make any type of change? And I just want to tell you a little quick story, because when I was in the Toronto District School Board, I was elected in [ 2006? don’t think this was word Minister used], and in 2006, I asked the School Board, actually, it was 2004, and we started the data collection in 2006. Myself and another trustee asked the Toronto District School Board to start to collect race‑based data. And we won by one vote. And we started to collect that data back in 2006 and the first census came out and we collected a second one so we got to compare the two. And it was really difficult. I think one person brought up the fact that it’s really hard to put people in the category. We're all part of one race. But you know, with data, you can actually look at things from a completely different perspective. So I had a school that was in my Ward that was the 330 is ‑‑ sorry, the third most needy school in the entire Toronto District School Board, which is 550 schools. So the third most neediest. When we started to collect the data and we actually took the data and looked at academic results and demographics and, you know, we looked at that and we applied it to our student’s success money and we looked at the data and we started to re‑evaluate the way in which we funded that student’s success dollars, we found that that same school, which was Forest Manner School, it was the third most neediest school actually, under the new formula we created based on the data, was the 330th most neediest school in the system. So you know, in the old system, we said that if you lived in an apartment building and you were a new Canadian, academically, you know, you might need more help, but we found that third generation students from racialized students doing worse than first generation students. We reconfigured everything. And the Toronto District School Board as a result has less suspensions. It has less expulsions. But most importantly, it has higher graduation rates and higher academic scores. And I honestly believe that that data has played a role in it. So when we look at change and we talk about change, I want you to think about what we've been able to do in Ontario over the last decade. You know, when we ‑‑ 10 years ago or 13 years ago, 32% of young people in this province were not graduating. That number has increased, so we went from 32% to 48%. I was speaking to someone about this today on the radio. They asked me about wind turbines and green energy. You know, in the City of Toronto, by closing those coal plants, we've seen a 43% drop in respiratory issues, hospital visits, and 21% drop in deaths associated with respiratory issues in our hospitals in Ontario as a whole. In addition to that, and this is the last part I want to bring up, because as the Minister Responsible for Children and Youth, and it’s youth justice as well, we've seen a seen a percent drop in the last decade in youth incarceration and 41% drop in violent crime along youth. So when we think about change, I know sometimes it’s hard to accept that change can actually happen, [balls sic] the way government works sometimes, it’s so big and complex, and you know, you're going to collect data and put up all of these great words, but change can actually happen. And I've seen it happen. I've seen it happen at the Toronto District School Board through data collection. I've seen it happen with the provincial government [compliments, sic] major issues. So have some faith in this process. I believe that what we're going to be able to bring back to the community in the spring of next year is a plan that you can be proud of, a plan that will actually look at the next five years, the next several years here in Ontario around, you know, racism, and I think that collectively, we can work together to not only implement that plan, but check in once in a while and continue these conversations to see if we're actually making any change based on the data we're collect and go apply it to the year before with those indicators. So have some faith in us. We've got a great team at Queens Park. I believe that we can actually make a difference. And I just want to say thank you for being here tonight, because being here tonight is really the start of real change. So thank you very much, and I hope everyone has a great evening and I want to thank the officials that were here tonight, the Chief of Police for being [here] for the whole evening. Everyone, counselors, but most of all, the people of London for being here. Thank you very much.