Mississauga public meeting

This public community meeting took place on September 27, 2016 at International Centre in Mississauga.

Paulette Senior, Moderator: Good Evening, everyone. We are just about to get started. The Minister was a little delayed.

Steve Pekens, Indigenous Elder: Hello, everyone. I was asked to come here this evening and start off with some good words, some heartfelt words, words spoken from the heart to open up our meeting. So I want to go through a little bit about myself. My name is Steve Pekens and I'm an Ojibwa from about maybe four hours north of here. I've been often asked to do these openings. And start these meetings off in a good way. In native tradition, it’s often customary to open up our meetings and speak to the spirit of our ancestors and relatives to be here with us, especially when we talk about difficult topics that weigh heavy on our hearts, which leaves people feeling often in a very frustrating position, feeling hurt and pain. And often a variety of different emotions come up, and it takes a lot of energy and focus to be able to speak in a constructive way. So I'd like to start off today by just doing a land acknowledgment. So this territory that we're in in this City of Mississauga, named after the Mississauga people of the new credit, this area used to be home of the Mississauga and Anishinaabe people. This land we are on today is the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe people of the [missing text] it was also land of the Odenoshowne brothers and sisters and before that the Huron people. So there is a long history of native people crossing these lands. And sometimes some of our traditional native territories, even their borders cross each other, which reminds me of -- I don't know if anyone ever heard of the treaty of the one dish one spoon treaty. This is a really old treaty that was between the Anishinaabe people and the Iroquois confederacy people. Basically, what it is, if you look at the land territory where the territories sort of overlap, you view it as a big dish, and this dish is where we would all gather our food, where we would hunt and gather our food to sustain ourselves and sustain our families. And in that dish, the responsibility with all the people who agreed to this treaty was to keep that dish clean, to treat it well, to only take what you need and not take more than what you need so that food in that dish will remain clean for future generations, for all of our families to be able to draw upon, even though they may come from different groups of people.

So this is the area of that treaty of the one dish and one spoon. And then another thing that reminds me of words that might be fitting for tonight, there’s an old Ojibwa story that talks about . We all have our creation stories, but this one might be appropriate for tonight. The people of turtle island, they say in creation, even before the earth was here, even before the sun was here, they say all of us were there at the beginning of creation. And we're next to our creator, and they say that the creator sent its thoughts out in all directions. When the sent thoughts out in all directions, it made a real unique sound. Chuck, Chuck, Chuck, Chuck, like a rattle. That’s why sometimes, no matter what part of the world we come from, what race of man, one thing all of us have in common is when we have babies, we have them rattles, because it reminds us of that beginning time and creation was made, when that creator sent its thoughts out in all creations.

So the creator sent its thoughts out in all directions to see how big this universe is, to see how vast it is. And this universe is immeasurable just how big it is. Then the creator started putting thoughts into action. The creator took its hands, cupped them together, blew twice into his hands and made a big ball and set it out there, and that ball was glowing. It was hot. It was red. And it lit up our part of the universe. And that big ball that the creator had put out there was for all of us, for all of creation, and that was the sun or, as we say in Ojibwa, and it lit up this part of the universe. The creator again grabbed its hands together and made another ball and had it circle around the sun, but that ball was too hot. It was too close to the sun, no life could live there. So the creator made another ball and put it out there and had it circle farther than the other one that circled the sun, and it was too close and no life could live there. So the creator again made another ball, but this ball, it was way different than the others, and creator put a lot of different plans into that ball. The creator went just a little further than the third ball the creator made. This ball was way different. It had water and it had a little bit of land, but made of mostly the water. It was far enough from the sun where it could still take the heat to maintain life. And the parts when the sun wasn't shining on it was cold enough to let plants flourish.

So then the creator again started placing things on mother earth. That’s what it was made, the fourth ball. And the creator made all of the animals that could walk, that could fly, that could crawl, that could swim. And also made all the plant life. And all that have creation lived here on mother in earth harmony with each other for a long time, and they did he penned on each other to live and they lived in harmony, great piece with each other. But then the creator made man. When the creator made man, you know, they say in our teachings, on the medicine wheel there’s four colors on that medicine wheel. I know we all come in many different shades of colour, but the four original types of people that the creator placed on earth were those that represent the ones that fit within that red direction, the white direction, it is yellow and the black. And they say when the creator placed each four of those types of people in their area of mother earth, he gave them all special instructions. And he gave them different instructions to take care of the earth and to take care of each other, and the people that the creator placed on earth, we were quite pathetic. We weren't the same as the animals or the planted life. We depended on all of creation to support our lives, to feed us, to clothe us, to shelter us. And all the animals and plant lives willingly gave themselves to us to help us to live. And often we've got to remember to thank those animals and plants that give us life to help us live.

I thought the story would be fitting to just put in the context that we're all placed on this earth to live with each other, to live in harmony. And sometimes, you know, we need meetings like this to bring that harmony back. Talk about these things. Talk about it in a good way. And I know sometimes when we talk about these things, you know, feelings of hurt come up. And when people are hurt, sometimes you don't communicate in the best kind of ways. So I also wanted to remind you of teachings that the Ishnabe people were given a long time ago. And these were teachings we were given to share with others, teachings of the seven grandfathers, and basically seven qualities that we should try to 'em base in ourselves to live a good life.

There’s one quality called wisdom, and that is to know the difference between positive and negative and know the result of your actions. It’s the love, you have to love one another to love all of creation, to have love in our heart, and to love ourselves. To love yourself is to live at peace with the creator and to live in harmony with all of creation. To respect and honor all of creation. Showing respect is showing honor and the value of all persons and things. To honor our teachings, to honor our families, the others, and ourselves. Then there’s humility, and that’s one of the seven grandfather teachings that I always try to remind me self of is to be humble, because, you know, sometimes when people aren't humble, they might think they're actually bigger than they are. And I'm sure one or two of us might know folks like that. I think everyone does. Okay. So often if you're not humble and I think you're bigger than you usually are, all you have to do is look up. Look up in all of creation. This universe is immeasurable. Just imagine how big you are in comparison to that. We're pretty insignificant. So to be humble is to walk on mother earth’s side and to be thankful for things.

Honesty. Honesty is to be honest in the action and character, to be faithful and act to fact, in reality, and to walk-through life with integrity is to know honesty. Bravery is to face with courage and is to know bravery. Personal strength to face difficulties, obstacles, and challenges. And then the last of these seven grandfather teachings is truth S to know all of these other grandfather teachings I talked about is to know the truth. It’s to apply these teachings over seven grandfathers and to have trust in our creator, whoever our creator may be.

So anyways, I'm going to do a little prayer to get us started off in the Ojibwa language and I'll tell you what I said afterwards, and then we're almost ready to get started.

(prayer in Ojibwa.)

What I said in the language, you understand what I said? No. I'll tell you next time.


Oh, okay. What I said is I introduced myself in the language and I said I'm from Nipissing First Nation and my heart is of the Martin clan, which is a little animal that my family is from. And I said thank you, creator, for all that you have created. Thank you, grandfather sun, for shining down on us during the day. Thank you, grandmother moon, for shining down on us at night. And thank you mother earth for giving us life, for giving us food. And thank you for giving us water and for giving us the animals. And thank you for giving us the air that we breathe.

I was offered tobacco, and I'll be offering that tobacco to the north, the east, the west, and the south. And the creator helped me and hear our prayers. So before I walk away from the podium, one other thing I wanted to do is I'm going to sing a song for you. I brought my drum, and I know I see that we probably have a lot of people from many cultures around the world and it’s beautiful. I'm really happy to see that. I've been able to travel around the world almost and drum. I have a drum group and we're popular in many circles. I'm sure none of you has heard of my drum group, but that’s okay. I've traveled to many countries and represented the Indigenous people of Canada and drum and danced there. One afternoon I went to South Korea, because they also make drums and I really have a passion for drums. Drums are like a magnet to me. The people that I could speak to from other cultures around the world, I asked them their stories of the drum and their origins on them or the cultural teachings on the drum, and one thing I noticed when I was speaking to the different people, the different cultures from around the world, is I think no matter what culture we come from, from anywhere in this world, we all have the drum in common. I think that’s one thing as human beings that ties us together. So I wanted to open today with a song. So after that, I'm going to step away from the mic and quit talking. Okay?

Moderator: (sing and go drumming – applause) Thank you so much, Steve. I think that sets us on the right tone with the right beat, some good rhythm for our time together this evening. So let me just introduce myself. My name is Paulette Senior. What I do for a living, I'm with YWCA Canada, and then I'm moving on to another role, so that’s going to be something really exciting. But I am very pleased to have been asked by the Minister to be moderating this session. I've had a chance and privilege of moderating two sessions prior, and so this is the third one I have the opportunity to do, so I think each session really is quite different in terms of the feeling of it, the tone of it. The people’s passion really is the same, though, and commitment to actually being able to move the issue forward and ensure at the end of the evening, the Minister and the staff and the Anti-Racism Directorate are receiving the information that they need in terms of ensuring that we have a directorate that is ready to take on and tackle the issue of addressing Systemic Racism in our province.

We're here to get your feedback on that. Before we start, it is my pleasure to introduce the Minister who will come and say a few words and introduce Minister Coteau.


Attorney General Naqvi: Thank you very much, and Good Evening, everyone were it’s a great pleasure for me to be here for this consultation, and of course I'm joined by my very good friend, Michael Coteau, the Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism. I'm the Attorney General for the Province of Ontario, and before I got into this role about four months ago, I was the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services. I met, I think, some of you in various consultations which we were doing on carding and street checks. Happy to report we passed the regulation that would put an end to random and arbitrary carding in the street in the Province of Ontario. We're the first jurisdiction in Canada to do that. And I thank you for your advocacy and for your voices that enabled us to do that.

The other thing that we started while I was Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, which is ongoing under the new minister, is a complete evaluation of how policing is done in Ontario to make sure that we bring a 21st century model of policing that really focuses on community of policing. And we're doing that through our Strategy for Safer Ontario. And by next spring, we will be bringing legislation, introducing a new police services act that, again, modernizes policing in our province.

In my new role as the Attorney General, one of the tasks that the premier has given me is also the modernization of our police oversight bodies. That includes these special investigations unit, the SIU. As you know, we have asked Mr. Justice Michael Tulloch, who is a judge of the Ontario Court of Appeals, just an incredibly bright, bright human being who is doing public consultations across the province right now to give us, the government, recommendations by next March as to how we can make police overnight bodies like the SIU more transparent, more open, and more accountable. And I want to say one thing. It is our expectation. The Premier has said it and I want to also repeat it, that we do make SIU reports public. The question is how? And that’s what Mr. Justice Tulloch is looking into, and one of the things he’s looking into, and he will be giving us advice and we will act on his advice.

So there is a lot of incredible work going on right now in the province in making it a leader when it comes to ensuring that we build inclusive communities, that all of us, regardless of our colour, regardless of our faith, where we come from, whether we speak with an accent or not, have the same opportunities to succeed. We recognize there’s a lot of work that needs to be done, and the work that Michael Coteau is doing in the creation of Anti-Racism Directorate is such an important work, because we recognize that there is systemic racism that needs to be dealt with. We recognize that there’s Islamophobia that needs to be dealt with. We realize there’s Anti-Black racism that needs to be dealt with. We realize there’s still discrimination towards Indigenous people that needs to be dealt with. I know through your advice, we will get a better direction as to how we accomplish that, and I think and I feel very strongly that this directorate is going to play an important role. And I cannot think of a better person than Michael Coteau to get that done. A trustee who has worked with provinces, especially in the Toronto area, now also Minister responsible for children and youth services, the man is passionate. He is compassionate. He brings incredible level of energy, and I'm really proud to call him a close, close friend. Please welcome Michael Coteau.


Minister Coteau: Well, Good Evening. It’s a pleasure to be here, and I want to thank the Attorney General for joining us here tonight. I know he'll be joining us at a couple of these consultations. We'll have additional members throughout the process join us.

It is an important time, I think, to be an Ontarian in regards to the opportunity for change that we have in front of us. You know, Yasir Naqvi, the Attorney General, and our caucus, Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Education. My responsibility is Minister responsible for anti-racism, but also children and youth, we're looking after -- I've got the direct responsibility for children’s aid societies and youth corrections. Thank you very much.

We've got an incredible opportunity. We've got a Premier who wants to make a change, wants to it make a big change in the Province of Ontario. So the opportunity is here. However, you know, last night in Hamilton, and I've heard it in Toronto, in fact, I've heard it many times throughout my career, there’s going to be frustration with process. You believe, when I was back at the Toronto district school board in 2004, when we had a debate on race-based statistics and data collection, I heard this for the first time, because I was elected, the debate happened back in 2004, and the debate went something like this. You know, we've been here before. Back in the early nineties, we were collecting data. We've been through this process and it’s frustrating. And then we had folks like Lloyd McKell and people who were part of the movement back in the sixties and the seventies and the eighties who have been working, you know, on race relations and trying to make a change, and here we still are. So it’s very frustrating. So people say, well, let’s just get on with it. Let’s just do what we have to do. Why are we even having a conversation? Let’s just go? And I heard that last night loud and clear.

I think the opportunity today is a little bit different. I think we have a government that is 100% committed to making those changes, and fielding an Anti-Racism Directorate that will have the opportunity to, I believe, withstand the change of government. And that’s one of the intentions that we want to do. And I've seen the change when you start to collect the right type of data and you start to apply it in the right type of way, what it can actually do. And when you think about it, at the end of the day, it’s about accountability. It’s about making sure that people are accountable. The folks who are out there who have the responsibility to educate your children, the responsibility to keep your community safe, people who are there to protect us and to ensure that, you know, every single child in this province has the opportunity to find success and every single person in this provinces has the right to justice and fair treatment.

When I was at the school board in 2004, we passed a motion to collect race-based data. And I told the story last night that we passed the motion. We started collecting the data, because we didn't know how to do it. We didn't know what it would cost or how we would go about doing it and we started to collect the data and we started to notice things within the system. The way we're allocating resources… Where we're sending specialized programs… What type of curriculum they have? Even how fundraising was taking place in local communities. We started to collect so much data that we could start, first of all, revealing what the system was about when we talked about suspensions and expulsion rates, revealing what the system is about around graduation rates. Up to that point it was all speculation that, you know, black males, for example, purposely failing school. We got the numbers and we could see 40% of students of the Toronto district school board who were from the African-Canadian community were not graduating. To me, that was an important number, because it showed not only that obviously we needed to focus more attention on kids from that he particular community, but it was about accountability. Why was this happening? How did we let this happen? And I believe that the data we can collect and the accountability measures we can put in place. Like there’s no reason why Children’s Aid Societies should not be collecting good data and be transparent when they're actually putting forward their public reports. We need to hold publicly funded institutions accountable. We need to hold them accountable and they need to be transparent, because they work for us. They work for the people of Ontario.


I'm not going to tell anyone in this room not to be frustrated, because you have a right to be frustrated, but what you need tonight, and this is what we need from you, we need your comments to these questions posted on the screen. And people are going to say that we've heard these questions before, but when we're talking about race-based data, if I have a year and a half to two years to actually do something, which I think will be revolutionary here in the Province of Ontario, in fact, in North America, you know, if we're going to focus on collecting that data, which sectors should we be focusing on? If we're going to invest millions of dollars into a public awareness campaign, should it be in our schools? Should it be in the workplace? Should it be in the broader society? Those are the types of questions in the feedback we want to take. There’s no question. We're not here to ask you, should we run an awareness campaign or should we collect data? We're asking you, where should they focus? We're going to do exactly what we say we do. We are going to collect data. We are going to do an awareness campaign and build an Anti-Racism Directorate and bring a race-based lens to government that extends beyond children and youth service, but to all ministries. So we need your help to tell us exactly if you're in our position and you have these resources and you knew you were going to go in this direction, where would you target? That’s what we want to hear from you. Ideas, but also, we want to hear your experiences.

I want to say thank you very much for joining us here tonight and I'm not going to speak anymore. I'm going to introduce Sam Erry, who is the ADM, assistant Deputy Minister for the Anti-Racism Directorate who is going to speak. Our MPP from Brampton- Springdale, Harinder Malhi who is joining us today. You want to stand up for a second?


Thank you very much for having us in the community. And it was the MPPs from this particular community that really wanted to have this conversation here, so thank you, Harinder, for making sure that we were here tonight to have this conversation. Sam Erry, please. Thank you very much.


Sam Erry, Assistant Deputy Minister: I'm lot shorter so I'm going to have to lower the mic. I'm going to take just a few minutes to run through a few features about the Anti-Racism Directorate, and as the Minister mentioned, these are early days for us. And one of the things that we want to make sure that we do is create a strong foundation for the directorate. You know, the Minister referenced that we'll be taking a hard look at options in his terms of longevity of the Directorate. We're going to make sure we do things right from the get-go so that we can build that strong house, if I can use that analogy.

I wanted to start with this slide, simply to acknowledge that there are various forms of racism, and you know, whether they be individual or cultural or societal, but the primary focus of the Anti-Racism Directorate is going to be on Systemic Racism. If you solve the problem upstream, you solve it all the way down, and so we are going to be obsessed when looking at the systemic challenges that we're facing in various sectors.

This graph is simply to depict that, as much as the Anti-Racism Directorate will be a strong instrument for change relative to government and government institutions, there are various other elements within our society that have equal accountability and responsibility in solving this problem. Anti-racism is everybody’s issue and priority and we need to solve it together if we're going to create a civil society where racial equity is our standard. So we've got the obligations of communities, and many of you are here representing communities and perspectives from communities. We have the obligation of the business sector. We cannot omit that, the business community, given the economic leverage that they have plays a significant role, and those of you that have been in the anti-racism conversation know that they root of achieving racial equity is good sound economic prosperity for all of us, and that helps to take the conversation a long way.

Why the focus on Systemic Racism? And the Minister alluded to this earlier. We don't want to leave anyone way the impression that somehow, you know, we're starting from square one. We're starting fresh. Those [reference to the overhead slides] are very powerful reports written in time, in some chronological sequence there. Prominent people led these reports for various governments. Those of you in the community spent a lot of time offering your opinions and your perspectives, so I'm just flagging all of this for you to say we have the benefit of all this great insight and we're going to mine and go distilling from these reports some of the critical recommendations in terms of involving the systemic challenges. And most recently, of course, we have the truth and reconciliation commission and, therefore, the Ontario response in the Journey Together in tackling I believe the 100 some odd recommendations in that report.

The Directorate’s mandate in broad strokes, obviously we want to decrease systemic racism in institutions regulated by the Ontario government. These are not just the ministries in The Ontario government, but also their agencies, and whoever the government gives transfer payment to. Our operating cost last year was about $138 billion. $100 billion of that was transfer payment money. That’s a lot of money the government is providing to improve the quality of life of Ontarians. So those agencies and departments that are involved and have the privilege of that money also need to be part of this conversation.

Increasing public awareness and understanding of Systemic Racism; I would say to you just based on our experience and some of the discussions we've been at so far very few people actually have an understanding of Systemic Racism. Most people will talk to you, if you took a survey, they'll talk about individual racism, you believe, and may get a little bit past that, but systemic Racism, when you ask people about Systemic Racism, they'll often say it’s system- a-ttic. Systemic and systematic are two different things. Those of you that are in this business, if I can call it that, of anti-racism, you know the difference.

Promoting fair practices and policies that lead to racial equity, which is where we want to be at the end of the day. It’s important we solve the problem upstream. You solve the problem upstream by focusing on policy and legislation. By making sure that you're putting an anti-racism perspective before you develop those policies, so you're not creating unintentional, unintended barriers and consequences down the road when it translates into a program or service.

And last, but not least, and this is a very, very important point, and I mean this sincerely, engaging with communities, business communities, Human Rights Commission, and so on. We intend to engage the core anti-racism community in our work. Frankly, we need that skill set. We need those competencies. We need that experience. Most public service organizations don't have anti-racism competencies. We have it around inclusion and multi-culturalism, but this is not a skill set that we have. Frankly, we wouldn't be having this conversation if we had the skill set. Recently, just has an example, we launched our HR strategy, and we posted many of our senior subject matter analyst positions open so we can recruit from the community. We can bring that skill set into the organization. We know what we're good at, but we also know where our gaps are and having hard core anti-racism competency is a gap for us, so I look forward to the beautiful talent that’s going to come to the table and help us move this agenda.

And then collaboration and this is an important point. The directorate needs to play the role of a broker relative to inside the organization. So what we want to do is, you know, Minister Naqvi referenced the safer strategy for Ontario. There is a lot of work going on and opportunities. We want to bring the anti-racism competencies to those conversations and those tables. Conversations are happening. The consultations are engaging those who are experts in this area and not just the general racialized or Indigenous communities.

Okay. My last slide. So the focus, there’s a strong focus as the Minister mentioned around policy, research, and evaluation and again, our starting point will be all the unbelievable due diligence that was done in all of those reports. We're not starting fresh. I just want to be clear on that point again. But what we want to do is have an evidence-based conversation. So the Minister referenced data. Despite the fact that many of those reports were written in the text that they were, in many cases, there really wasn't a lot of data relative to racialized groups or Indigenous groups. So the Toronto District School Board is one of the few institutions actually collect this disaggregated race-based data. When you look at other sectors, there is no such thing. You also know the Ontario Human Rights Commission has already opined on this and said it’s fine. It’s okay to collect disaggregated race-based data.

So one of the things we're going to do at the Directorate is to create a framework for the collection of disaggregated race-based data and they're going to offer that framework to all kinds of sectors and organizations so people can start collecting that information. And you know, if you want to tackle the systemic challenges, you want to make sure you have data from all sectors, because the reality is that it’s all integrated and the root cause can only be discovered until you have the analytics that will show you, we believe, why we have disproportionate representation of black and Indigenous new youth in the child welfare system or the criminal justice system. So we want to clearly understand what is the case in that situation. So we'll be looking at that.

We also are developing a province-wide anti-racism strategy, you know, which will have a focus on anti-black racism, on Islamophobia, on anti-indigenous racism. So those strategies and those frameworks are going to come into place.

Number two, public education and awareness. Again, we're going to be doing strong market research, with focus group testing to see, how would we launch something like that? If we're going to spend a lot of money to do it, is social media the right approach? We live in a multigenerational province, so what is the best way to get that message across and who should we target in that messaging?

The third priority area of focus, and I already referenced this, community collaboration. So making sure that we are inclusive and respectful and sincere about engaging communities into work that we do, and that’s going to be critical.

And last, but not least, and I think this is probably something that we've all heard in all of these meetings and also historically, this has been an issue, is that, you know, we have an anti-racism directorate today. We need to make sure that we have sustainability of the directorate and the governance of the directorate in the long-term. If we're going to do strong foundational work, we can't have that, you know, start and stop scenario. We need to keep building on it, because the journey to racial equity unfortunately is a long one. It doesn't have to be, but we need to make sure we have the discipline and the right homework in place so we can drive to that.

So I'll be around later if you want to do a slightly deeper dive, but today is really more about you and your voices and what you have to say, so thank you. And I'll turn it over to you, Paulette.


Moderator: Thank you very much, Sam. Thank you both Ministers for your opening comments. And you're absolutely right, Sam, that tonight is really about hearing from you, you've taken the time to be here so you must have something to say. Many places you could have been, but you chose to be here, so now is the time you get to do that.

Before we dive into that, just some housekeeping and some directions in terms of how we're going to be -- and you're lining up already. Fabulous. How we're going to engage. Why did I say that? So this evening, there are three parts. The first two parts have gone where you've heard from the Minister, both ministers, and you've also heard from Sam in terms of the presentation of the ARD and the framework for the group going forward. You know that we're here to listen, so that’s what the government and the staff right here are here to do is to listen. The meeting is being livestreamed and recorded and may be publicly made available for today’s session. So joining the meeting means you understand and consent to being livestreamed. Okay?

There’s also what you can see, French and American Sign Language translations available for this evening. And the bathrooms are out the door and to the right, I believe, and as you can see at the back, there is a spread of refreshments for your partaking. So please go ahead at your own leisure to do that.

So we have several things to get through, and in the interest of hearing from all of you, and I know that there’s very strong comments and information that you want to share, so you want you to think of everyone behind you as you've lined up to share tonight and so the direction that I'm giving is this: That I want you to keep your comments to within two minutes. So that’s going to be difficult for some more than others. Racism is an issue that has depth and width and everything with it, so we're asking you to be as concise as possible. Of course, I have the opportunity to extend as I see fit, because we do want to hear from all of you and we also want to you get to the kernel of what you need to say.

In addition to that, so there’s some questions, as you know, from the cards that you received that were given out earlier, and this is helpful to see our comments. So these cards are here so you can speak to that or you can hand in the cards if you're not interested in speaking this evening. Either way, we're asking that you focus your comments. If you have comments to say outside of that, please go ahead as well. Okay? So you're not being cut off if you're not focusing on that, but that’s so we can hear from you in the areas that are important for building the architecture of the directorate in the following areas.

So as I said earlier: Policy, Research, and Evaluation; Public Education and Awareness; Collaboration with Communities; and Sustainable Governance. Those are the four areas that the Ministry is asking back to hear from you on. So your comments can be focused accordingly. If you don't get a chance to speak, as I said earlier, we'll collect the cards from you, but you can also e-mail to Anti-racism@Ontario.ca in order to share other comments. And if there are no further comments or questions to be made, then I will begin. So we have some youth ambassadors. So those are the two gentlemen over here in the red, so they will be helping me throughout the evening to move things along. Okay?

So please, for the sake of ensuring everyone gets a chance to speak, work with us and we will work with you. Okay? So let’s get started. I'll start on my right. please say your name and if you're with an organization.

Audience Member #1: (name removed) I want to first thank Black Lives Matter, who actually did a lot of work. I am in Toronto liberal council Executive, collection of black unionist Executive, and Toronto local postal workers Executive. But I am a father. I am a father who is also a coach of Somali workers network. The reason I am starting today here is even though we cannot separate the Somali youth from the black youth, Somali youth are suffering a lot. This area a few kilometers from here is Dickson. So far 170 young Somali youth die in the gun violence. And it cannot just happen by chance. It happened by systematic racism, because they will not wake up one morning and say let’s kill each other. It’s an area that’s been deprived for years and years with good schooling. [indiscernible] many times how to help. So it’s an epidemic, an epidemic that’s not only for the Somali community. It’s a Canadian community. It’s a systematic racism created by the system, so first I want to ask the Minister, Michael Coteau, to broadcast it has an epidemics, something we should stop immediately. From July 17 when this directorate started, I went to the microphone and I said there is two boys Speaking in Sunnybrook. One of them passed away. One of them came out. Tonight there’s another two. One died somewhere in Ottawa and that’s all from violence. When we runaway from Somalia, we runaway for a better life and a peaceful life. That’s number one.

Number two, work is a problem we face. It is an opportunity, an opportunity Somali youth are lacking. On Friday, there was a ceremony that we were celebrating the excellence of youth. A room full of good, graduated, educated youth. But unfortunately, when we talk to each other, about 70% of them have no jobs. So two things have happened, first, they are black youth. Secondly, what’s happening is Islamophobia. They're [indiscernible] people will tell us what they hear. So we want that to be what we need, a real job.

Moderator: One minute, please.

Audience Member #1: So in conclusion, our community is -- nowadays what is happening is closing our community centers also. We have community centers in [indiscernible] Sekena was helping to us prevent our boys from running around. Now it’s close. So the community wants the community to continue working. The community wants an opportunity and the Somali community is actually begging the Ontarian government, which this is a Canadian government problem and Ontario problem, to deal with the epidemic of Somali youth violence today. We come up with next week. Thank you.

Moderator: All right. Thank you very much. We'll go here to this mic.

Audience Member #2: Before I start my two minutes, I would like to have eye contact with the Minister -- sorry, the Attorney General. Now -- he understands. Thank you. The right to life is the most important. You cannot -- I'm sorry, the most important right. you cannot enjoy any other right without that right. the right to life. And this is the main problem that I'm going to focus on as a black person, as a black father. You know, and even for myself. Right? This right. and I'm sure this is, you know, a feeling that a lot of us, a lot of people have.

So I'm going to target this directly. So I'm saying it wouldn't cost you one cent and it wouldn't take you five minutes to make sure that you protect the right to black people and everybody else to life. The most important right that we have. I'm just going to make a couple suggestions.

Now one, the SIU. You give the SIU a random amount of time to reports, you give the cops random amount of time to report to the SIU. That’s wrong. We should have a specific time limit. Like for instance, two minutes to call the ambulance. And after you finish calling the ambulance, immediately they should be contacting the SIU. That would protect lives and it also would protect the crime scene and it would add to accountability. It doesn't cost one scent to do it and it doesn't take five minutes to do it. You can do it tomorrow. Right? I'm just telling you can let’s not just play these games. Let’s get things going. Okay.

The other thing that we have to look at is the composition of the SIU. Right? Right now, it’s a white boy’s club. We need to put in Indigenous people. We need to put in Brown people and we need to put in black people. We can also do that tomorrow. We don't have to waste time with those things.

Moderator: Wrap up.

Audience Member #2: Wow. Okay. Time goes quickly. Okay. Well, I guess -- okay. I guess I'll stop here.

Moderator: Thank you.


If there’s opportunity, we can come back, but let’s try and get as many people as we can.

Audience Member #3: (name removed) Like my predecessor, I want to start by thanking Black Lives Matter Toronto. It is the work that Black Lives Matter did. No, go ahead.


It is the work that they did occupying the police station and bringing attention to anti-black racism is the reason why we're here today. Is the reason why you are in Hamilton and it’s the reason why you were in Regent Park earlier.

I want to talk a little bit today about mass incarceration and the province’s role en masse incarceration of black and Brown people across Canada. Recently the Office of investigator reported in Parliament for the 2014 to 2015 year that African-Canadian population within the federal prison system increased by 69% and the Aboriginal and women population increased by 14%. Sorry, about 50%.

Now, included in that number are individuals, are families that are in Canada without status. They're held indefinitely as they're waiting to be deported back to their home opportunity. And the province’s role in that is that they're being held, many of them are being held in provincial jails.

Now, when you factor in that these people are primarily from countries with black and Brown population, we have a problem. And if the directorate is serious about tackling Systemic Racism in Canada, we have to start with its own home, which is the policy of the provincial government. It is the position of the Toronto and York region labor council that lack of status in Canada does not make somebody a danger to the public, and these people should not be sitting in federal or provincial jails.

The next thing I want to speak about briefly, one minute, thank you, is the budget of the Anti-Racism Directorate. At the meeting at Regent Park, it was very clear about what that budget was, and I would describe that budget as being modest. I've heard some rough calculations that basically said that by the time you're finished, the provincial meetings, the money will be done. And that’s not acceptable. If we're going to go through this again, which we did in the nineties with the SIU, which we did with the various other forms, we not only want a directorate that will last, but we want a directorate that is able to fulfill its mandate year after year, mandate after mandate. So I would urge you to rethink this budget, look at this budget and put a budge net place what the people of Ontario expect the directorate to do. Thank you.

Moderator: Thank you.


My sister here.

Audience Member #4: (name removed) . I would like to read a few things my sister sent me. She couldn't be here, even though she’s a precarious worker. I want to know about legislating racial justice and equality, the accessibility to make Ontario barrier-free by 2025. I don't think it’s sufficient to have to rely on political parties or the liberal parties, PCs, green party, whatever other party comes out and DP, to have racial justice. We either want Ontario to have racial justice or we don't. If it’s not mandated, then it means nothing. Two years? What happens in two years? We all know if you're going to do project management, you cannot have substantial change. You're not going to be enshrined change with that amount of time.

I actually wanted to first acknowledge, and I forgot, because I got nervous up here, I wanted to thank Steve for the Indigenous teachings that he gave us to begin with and acknowledge the truth and reconciliation and the importance of that for people of colour to understand how the treatment of first people and his how it continues to go on and to use the little bit of privilege we have to make sure we are advocating for the most marginalized, and I also want to acknowledge the anti-black sentiment that exists, and very real things on the education and awareness with one of your topics is these things should be mandatory in our education system. Manitoba, is some other universities have already had that as a mandatory University course. This needs to be in our school since we know that’s where change goes from elementary. Those are very concrete things that should in all school systems. Doesn't matter if it’s privately funded, publicly funded.

Now, my sister’s comments were about sexual violence and her experience in the system, and I just have to read it. Sorry, because I did not memorize this. And just to note that we were born here. We're first generation Canadians, and with ancestry, our heritage is Guyanese. With growing diversity, there’s greater silos of community programs targeting communities that I don't fall into. I'm not an immigrant and I'm not going to a faith based Catholic program. As a person of colour reporting violence in predominantly white communities, I was told I should have known better. No charges or reports are taken. When I lived in predominantly ethnic communities and reported violence charges were late, great, but never was a victim serves ever offered to me for the high risk violent crimes I survived, despite asking for support. Due to the increasing serves targeting ethnic groups, I did not meet their catchment eligibility for service, because I wasn't an immigrant and I could speak English. This meant in my time of need and healing where it was essential to have community organizational support, but understood the intersectional aspects of violence I was experiencing was continually missed. The service I was referred to were for eye tall I can't understand addressing the complexities of racialized violence, self-wait, whitening my personalities, and spheres as a person of colour could never be addressed. My healing is incomplete. My saving grace was hope buzz my English is so well, being the first language, I have an English name and an English name that police would think I was white and treat me fairly. It never happened. There is only one year for me to report Human Rights violations without the appropriate supports. I would have never known this option. I would have never known the services. When I attend programs that are faith based, I would seem troublesome, because I want to speak to racism and discrimination I faced, alienate and go healing.

This just goes to sexual violence serves, and we know that, you know, we also have lacking funding for that in the Province of Ontario, but even more so with people of colour in these communities and the training, and offering services that are available for this in languages you speak, but also that piece about intersection Al at this and cross funding that when we're creating these silos, you know, based on race, and then competing, having us compete for limited funding, that is Systemic Racism. And the system sets it outlining that for us to experience these things. And we are well educated, brought up in this country. I know that I experience racism all the time, so I feel that I've given some concrete examples, have many more like others here, and will continue to be inspired by people in this room and maybe again later. So thank you.

Moderator: Thank you. Thank you for bringing someone else’s voice into the conversation who is not here.

Yes, my sister.

Audience Member #5: (name removed) I'm a mother and I represent nonprofit agency, modern neighbourhood services. And I'm here to talk about a few things. Number one, we were the only group that stats had been collected over and over again, and I think the whole point is to get us frustrated that we won't be able to come to this table. Thank you very much for that opportunity to come to the table to express another set of our discontent.

First, I think that zero tolerance should be the ticket. Zero tolerance in the schools. Zero tolerance in the workplace. Zero tolerance in society as a whole. We cannot have anti-racism if we all tolerate it and say, oh, my goodness. Just suck it up and get on. That cannot happen. We should all stand up, take note, and say we will not accept this. This is unacceptable. We are Canadians. Wherever we came from, wherever, we're still Canadians and we should really acknowledge the fact that all of us need to be at that table. There is room for all of us at that table.

Secondly, we should also look at our agencies that the government has so nicely sent out and said, okay, let’s be attorneys. We can only be partners if you get funded, if you give adequate funding to the programs, an agency operating in a non, say, in a neighbourhood, for example, like Malton. Malton is a non--- the employment isn't that high. The economy isn't that great. And of course we have agencies that are struggling. So for example, we say to them, oh, you can have 50 or so programs. We'll have you operate, but guess what? We are only going to give you $50,000, which one program might cost $50,000.

Now, tell us, please help me understand the logic. How on earth are the people or the citizens of that area will be able to absorb whatever is being offered to them. Just help me understand this, Minister. Because I far can for the understand this at all.

The next thing I want to talk about is our businesses. So we all talk about our business and his we say, oh, our businesses should be doing this. Who’s holding them accountable to do what? I don't care what anyone says that I'm a number. Aim so happy to be that number when I'm a business, because I know when that business appoints me as that number, I will rise to that occasion, because I know, as a black woman or as a black person in a minority group, they are not going to really appoint someone who doesn't have a grade. And look at our Young people. Our Young people are struggling. Our Young people need to be employed. So get this. So we have organizations around Toronto and our Young people go to many organizations, and guess what they ask them? Well, you're not belonging to this organization, because, A, you are not white. Or whatever nationality you may be. So most of our black kids, they're out there, very educated and unemployed. And unfortunately, they get very frustrated and we all know when Young people get very frustrated how hot and bothered they become and guess what, folks? In my generation, we waited, because if this is about the 15th time we're at this podium saying about [indiscernible] our Young people will not wait. So guess what we do? We build our prisons larger and larger and we incarcerate them, because we don't want to hear from them, because they are fearless. And they will come. And they will rise. And so we need an answer. And we need more than an answer. We need things that can be in place almost tomorrow.

Training programs, for example, your police officers. What date is that training program? Because believe you me, I am positive that when it comes to the training program, it does not say 2016. I am positive that that training program still says 1950 where you shoot a black man and ask questions later, because a dead man won't talk.


Moderator: Thank you very much. Yes, my sister.

Audience Member #6: Hi. (name removed)I'm a social worker and I'm going to leave it at that. I would like to touch on all of the points here in the comment card, and I'd also like to share a story.

In terms of policy research and evaluation, one thing I've noted in my experiences, there is a vast difference between those who are involved with those systems, the school systems, the welfare, the justice, prisons, and so forth, and those who actually run them. And there isn't enough dialogue. This is a great start, but those who are affected the most, the racialized, the people of colour, the Indigenous, they need to have a greater seat at the table. And they need to be the ones who decide how information is collected and by whom and how it’s used.

With regards to public education and awareness, I think it needs to start right from the get-go in the place where everyone has to go through, which is the education system. We need to see training that is a mandated for our educators, because I am a mother of two biracial children, but even they see some of the things that happen in the schools, how they are treated differently from children who are non-racialized. We need to have that education right from the get-go. It needs to be mandated. It needs to be consistent and it needs to be regular, right from JK to grade 12 and beyond.


In terms of collaboration with communities, I attended the first meeting in Toronto. It was very well-attended. It was overflowing. And it was in a place that was accessible. The people who most need to be here, the people who have the least access, this is not the place. This should not have been the place for this meeting.


You need to make sure that they have access to the meetings and to the discussions and the decisions that are being made about their lives. And as far as sustainable governance, I just want to say that we need to see that racialized groups, again, are fairly represented. We need to remove the barriers that prevent their voice from being heard. We need to see that the people making the decisions about people who are racialized look like them, and so we need to take initiatives. And that needs to happen and it should have been happening a long time ago, we've been having this discussion as many people know for many, many years. It needs to just happen now.

Moderator: Okay. You wrapping up?

Audience Member #6: My last thing is a story. I want to share about a young girl.

Moderator: Okay.

Audience Member #6: She was a young girl who lived with her mom, her siblings. She had a lot of potential. She could have been something great and last year she went to a friend’s home, and in that home was a gun. And one of those kids found that gun and she was shot and she died. Her name is Lesent Ross. Lesent Ross. I want you to know that name, because I worked with that family. And we talk about Black Lives Mattering and the people in this room know that, but not enough of those people, people like the communities where Lesent lived, I don't think they understand how much their life matters. And we have not done enough for our young people. We have not done enough, because they are turning to guns and drugs and violence, and every day we are losing our children. How many have been lost since Lesent Ross, which is just over a year ago? How many young black people have been shot or stabbed and Indigenous people murdered or missing? We need to figure out how to tell them that their lives matter.

Moderator: Thank you.


Yes, my sister?

Audience Member#7: Sorry. Hi, everyone. (name removed)I'm with the Asian-Canadian Labor Alliance. We are a collective of Asian activists from the labor movement and the community, and we are dedicated to fighting equality, and in particular, fighting against racism, particularly anti-Asian racism.

Before I get started, I want to echo the words of the woman who just came before me about the location. I want to express my concern as well, because I think that if this was held in a hub, urban hub and not all the way at the airport, because there’s just businesses here and people leaving Canada or just coming into Canada, that this room would be double or triple in size in terms of the people here, and so I want the folks who are in charge of organizing this meeting to really consider that, because you have the rest of the consultations, with the exception of I think Scarborough which is very determined in terms of the location to really consider where you're scheduling the meetings, because it’s really making it difficult for people to attend. It’s after work and so lots of people have to make special arrangements to come here, and -- okay. I'm just leave it at that.

Moderator: Got it.

Audience Member #8: So we're here, because we prepared a statement and went to say that we stand in solidarity with the organizations and individuals here today who are fighting against racism. In particular, we stand in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, who has been instrumental in exposing systemic anti-black racism in policing and they've been at the forefront of demanding justice, accountability, and transparency from our government and justice system. So with that, the Asian-Canadian labor council wants to reiterate the demands of the anti-black racism networks sent to the premier, and I believe the Assistant Deputy Minister also received a copy of that letter. And their recommendations are as follows: The Anti-Racism Directorate needs to develop a legislative mandate for the Anti-Racism Directorate. There’s an urgent need to mandate the collection of disaggregate data of race against all departments and agencies in the public and private sector. There is an urge he wants need to address the over-representation of black children and youth in the child welfare and prison systems. There’s a need for education on education, training, race, anti-black racism with the aim of dismantling systemic barriers and eliminating racial discrimination for staff internal to the anti-racism directorate, provincial ministries, and the general public. There’s an ongoing need to address the issue of carding and the much needed changes to the SIU and other police oversight bodies and there is a need to create a Minister’s roundtable to ensure that the voices and priorities of the affected communities are heard and included.

So one of the reasons why the Asian and Canadian labor alliance are standing in solitaire I did of the movement to address anti-black racism is because we see that our equality, our fight for equality is intrinsically tied to this movement.


In addition to this, I think that we need to link the consultations that are happening to other consultations that the government is conducting right now. For example, there is consultations that were mentioned around earlier by a speaker, and I can't remember which speaker, but there are other consultations taking face to face, and one of which there is a changing workplace review that’s happening about updating the employment standards act and labor relations act in Ontario, and so I think it’s incumbents on this body to look at recommendations made everywhere that are connected to the Systemic Racism that’s facing citizens today. And so with that, the Asian-Canadian labor alliance is proposing additional recommendations, one of which is to reestablish The Ontario employment equity act that was canceled by the conservative government in 1995.


Number two, raise the minimum wage and strengthen the Ontario Employment Standards Act in order to protect precarious workers. Number three, amend The Ontario Labor Relations Board -- amen the Ontario Labor Relations Act so that workers only vote once to join a union, and that’s by signing a union card and not having to go through a secret ballot vote. Number four, improve access to public affordable housing. Five, develop an affordable and high quality child care program. Number six, recognize and address the systemic barriers that racialized people and Indigenous people from accessing appropriate and high quality healthcare.

Moderator: Okay. Thank you very much.

Audience Member#8: I just have one more. And our last one is we need to addressed funding issue that was already brought up (name removed). So $5 million is really not enough, because this is a really big issue and you'll hear time and time again as people come up to the mics that there is a lot of work to do, and so we know that $5 million is not going to go very far. Thank you very much.

Moderator: Thank you.


Audience Member#9: Good Evening. (name removed)I am representing Unifor, employment equity coordinator, new lay pointed to the national union to do an equity survey of our locals, our governance of our union, but I like to stand here and say that I'm a worker and I'm a worker of colour. And I ended up, my career, I started, I grew up my whole life in Mississauga, Brampton, last fired first fired mentality. I was the last brought in, even though my father had worked at his employer for 30 years and the past practice was that, you know what? If you are related to someone, you're guaranteed employment. Well, as we all know in here, as workers of colour, Indigenous people, Brown people, black people, we are always the last to be brought in and the first to be laid off. Systemic racism is a business, brother. It is a business, because people are profiting off the fact that people of colour, Indigenous people are working in precarious jobs. A lot of new Canadians that come to Canada, they come here with many, many skills that if they were comparison to our Canadian education would supersede, because our education system, as graded by the globe, we are at the bottom. Why is it that new Canadian skills are the not recognized? Why is it that we still have to fight for migrant workers that Canada will say yes. Fifty years we've been accepting workers from Jamaica. Fifty years we've been accepting people from different islands and saying to them, I'm sorry. You're not good enough it here to say. You can work here nine to 12 months, contributed to our CPP, our EI, but no, you're not good enough to stay here, and we demand status.


Going to talk about policies and procedures by myself, I did work for the Ministry of corrections in Toronto with young offender male through Toronto youth assessment centre, and I can tell you right now, I'm doing an equity survey of our union. I did an equity survey then. There’s a lot of black young men in the system, the other systems have failed them.

When we talk about policing, I went to school to be a police officer, because I was damn well tired of being targeted by Peel police and pulled over and as a woman draped across a cruiser, and I said, actually going to be the change I want to see. I applied and I did everything, and I realized that yes, we do need to go. Brother, you said they're going to be looking at the way we do policing. We need to go back to community policing and we need to also recognize this. Policing is not a lifetime career anymore. As long as you have biases, stereotypes, you cannot effectively do that job. And that is why we're losing lives.


I'm back in town. When I got lost, lost my job, I moved to Windsor, and because I'm back working for Unifor I'm back in Toronto. My daughter, when we moved to Windsor nine years ago, she experienced racism at its finest. She had a young woman call her the N word and all of a sudden when she shoved the little girl because the little girl was grabbing her, the police showed up at my door. They put my daughter into depression. She refused, she went through high school. She changed high schools to get away from that young girl and she moved back here to Brampton to try to pursue her education to be a civil engineer, because education is key. And upon her first weeks of being here, she had a Peel police officer pull her out of her car and think that she stole the car.

I left mere nine years ago thinking that things would change. If we look in this room and we look at the demographics of this community, it does not reflect in the Police Department. It does not reflect in our leadership, and to invoke real change, we have to create a space and voice at every decision-making table, because if we don't, we're going still remain on the menu.


Moderator: Thank you. So before we go to my sister over here, I just want to remind you that we have an ASL over here and sometimes if you speak a little too fast, it’s difficult for them to be able to translated your messages. So please keep that in mind. Okay? Okay.

Audience Member #10: (name removed)I just want to say thank you that we had this country to have this conversation. In regards to one of the other comments about accessibility, this was definitely not accessible. I don't have access to a car. I live in Brampton. It took me three buses to get here, guys. Three buses. I thought if it was somewhere where I could take one bus or jog or walk or take my bike, that would be a lot better. Besides that, I want to talk about education.

I think right now I'm at York University and I'm taking the HR program, and within my HR program, I learned a lot more about Indigenous people, what they had to go through, more than what I learned in high school and in middle school and elementary school. And on top of that, I took another course that was woman, work, and family that talked a little bit more about Indigenous people and what they went through. I took a course that was related to diversity and what we had to deal with, what people deal with in the workplace has an HR student, what you were going to have to deal with in the future, and also, we took a look at different ads and how there is racism and systematic racism and how certain ads portray certain things.

I feel like I shouldn't have to pay to learn this type of information and what’s going on. This should have been accessible to me since high school, since middle school, and since elementary school. I feel like it shouldn't be where I have to shell out thousands of dollars to learn something like this when it should have been done from day one, and since we are supposed to be the future, then we should be grooming the future from the beginning that we were not at this point where we're sitting here having this conversation right now.


I'm done. Thanks.

Moderator: Thank you. Thank you.

Audience Member #11: Good Evening. (name removed)Here for the Council for Sikh affairs. Us and many organizations in the past have worked on many issues related to the discrimination and racism affecting Sikh communities across Canada. One issue that persists is wearing the turban in articles of faith and all facets of life is still not possible for Sikhs in this province. Sikhs are still facing hardships and discrimination and racism when doing this. When wear their turban and wearing articles of faith. One mandate of the directorate that’s been formed is to promote practices and policies that lead to racial equity and also to decrease Systemic Racism in institutions regulated by the Ontario government. But we also need to accept and address the fact that in our opinion and in our experience as a Sikh community, there does exist Systemic Racism and discrimination within the government itself that needs to be addressed. And we and others over the past many years have addressed or attempted to address the issues affecting the Sikh community on a legislative level to bring Ontario at par with other jurisdictions across Canada and across the commonwealth, and we face much hardship in doing this. And in fact, a legislative approach in our submission is absolutely necessary, especially when it comes to these issues, because we're not seeking to do anything novel or different. We're simply saying if this can work in other jurisdictions in Canada, we should make that work here. If it can work in other jurisdictions in the commonwealth, it can work here. That’s simply all it is.

And this requires an interim ministerial cooperation and queries, party cooperation. And fortunately this hasn't worked for us. Over the past many years, when the liberal government is in minority, weigh tempted to coordinate meetings between all the parties, as was suggested by everybody, to address these issues on a legislative level. When the opposition parties agreed, it was the liberal party that backed out in the last minute, didn't want to sit on the table with another opposition parties. This was negatively impacting our campaign, and we feel was a form of Systemic Racism and discrimination that we experienced. And it was important that this be done on issues that are done in good faith and aren't politicized, because the victims of racism and discrimination are not just the one individual that is affected by it, but rather the entire community. Racism against one black person should be viewed as racism against all black people. Racism against one Sikh person should be viewed as racism against all Sikh people, which should be addressed on a legislative level.

My final submission and recommendation here, we must adopt policies and programs to create permanent and accessible institution to address racism and discrimination on issues as a legislative level which would involve all ministries and opposition parties and when it comes to the issues of Sikh issues, this is continually a work in progress for us and I ask you as the doctor at take the lead on these issues and I ask you to put or work towards putting Ontario at par with other jurisdictions across Canada and across the world. In we're not at par, then that is a symptom of systemic discrimination and racism in our province, thank you.


Moderator: Thank you, thank you. Thanks, my brother. Yes?

Audience Member#12: Well, Asalamalakum. Shalom, greeting in the name of Jesus Christ, and good night to you, all of you honored audience and privileged speakers. Panel members, rather. First, I would say that I differ with the couple of the comments made concerning location. Malton, where there is a high risk area, not even 10 minutes from here, and I heard, I believe I heard that there are social workers and community workers, so it shouldn't be much of an issue to bus people here if you have access to the youth of the community. (name removed)

Sustainability and governance against racism can only be effectively governed and financed if the community will collaborate with government or the government will collaborate with the communities from the grassroots level. And why I say this, the education system alone should not be the source of information and propelling the community forward. Parents also need to go this way. Parents also need to take the initiatives. Yes, they are from the African and Caribbean community, and I have seen a lot of injustice, even against our own by our own in Jamaica. Believe it or not, I came to this country when I was s by the time I was five, it was embedded in my psyche. The mistreatment against -- I see some folks wearing locks here, Rastas. But it’s not too far from the injustice that was implemented on the Rastafarian communities through the law enforcement. My uncle was a Rasta. He was dragged and ravished by mean people, cut his locks, and things like that. And so for us to come here in this country and experience, continue to experience racism against all people, it has to and should come to a halt. Not today, rather, but yesterday. I had the privilege, also, to be educated or acquire some academics from Cherie man college here in Brampton, and one of the curriculum or the curriculum had me to be trained in victim offenders, and they basically -- I had additional practical training to be a justice over first time young offenders, but this was halt due to the fact of the Systemic Racism that exists in the Court there in Brampton. I think our Attorney General should have some information for myself. I wrote to your office and the federal justice department as well concerning these persons who I believe is over what one person would call it. Well, grossly epitomized who these are these judges who reluctantly consider the injustice that is this is system and to continue to balloon it and not having the justice in them to basically over ride average injustice by a lower court.

Moderator: I'm going to ask you to wrap up now, please.

Audience Member#12: In wrapping up, I must say -- I'm totally too hard to hear. Again, we need to basically -- we have justice crews scrutinizing the police and oversight body and whatnot, while a system is camaraderies, needs to be looked at in a diligent way. And I definitely believe that the judicial system should be not governed under the current attorney. Each department should have its own sovereignty so that the Brotherhood will change injustice will truly come to the cities and the nations.

Moderator: Thank you. Thank you very much.


My sister here.

Audience Member#13: (name removed) of the Ontario federation of labor, representing workers of colour, coalition of black trade unions, Executive board member and Toronto local union for the Canadian local coworkers.

When I look at the question regarding Systemic Racism and the institutions that need to be looked at first, everybody said it. We have to go first with the education system. They go hand and hand. Plus a criminal justice system, then go into labor as a whole, because they are all intertwined. You go through the education system where kids [indiscernible] are failing, and when we look at the rate of who’s graduate and go who’s not graduating, especially young black youth.

Then it’s a pathway to the criminal justice system. We hear stories time and time again of the criminal justice system, whether it’s through police or through the courts.

Living in Mississauga and having three black boys who are now young men who were brought through this criminal justice system, especially young offenders act and what happens at youth court, if you go there on youth court day, who is there? Predominantly black and Brown youth. Or the one or two white youth that have black or Brown friends. And that system is completely broken, because time and time again, hear about, don't worry about the young offenders act, that those records are suppressed. When you go for jobs, guess what? It’s not even there anymore. When it comes to skill traits, you can't even get an apprentice ship nowadays without having a clean record and when we talk about the education system. There was a time when we had better technical schools, that helped pathway through the trades so that young people, especially minorities, people of colour can get good paying jobs. It’s not there. When I look, for instance, I continue to go to forums and I continue to see people that look like us that are there crying, their voices are heard. And just the idea the brother said before me. We need it at all levels. It’s not just preaching to those that have been through the system, that live in the system temperature and when we look at labor, we cannot continue if it continues to be systematically oppressed. Even under the summer, when we have the federal and provincial money throwing the level to so-called communities for three months, what happens after the three months? What happens when these young men and women can't get good paying jobs? Let’s go back to the year of the guns. That was a crisis. The crisis continues to bleed. talked about mass incarceration. The figures are there and it’s astonishing. We presented over last May at a convention on the American side and they were shocked how much our Canadian population prisons continue to rise. And it is a crisis and it’s not just about housing, because when you house them, what about the jobs? When we looked at all the jobs that even went through metro link, which you continue in regards to this, who do we see on those lines. We don't see people who look like us in they had good paying jobs. It’s all precarious work H we look at the Anti-Racism Directorate that continues to not have enforcements, we go for years with two years of the same things over and over, 20 years ago, Stephen Lewis brought out the same reports, had all these things in there, continues to happen. So why do we continue into public consultation? There is never going to be any enforcement. This is part of the frustration. Right? And everybody talks about accessibility, and sometimes you have to wonder if it’s being done on purpose, as we said. The first one, jam packed. We saw media between Regent Park was over flown and they said there was an issue with having Regent Park. I was in Hamilton last night, and let me tell you, trying to even get there was an issue. To get even into the University at Mohawk to even find where it was, everybody was almost 45 minute drive to find out exactly where you are. So sometimes it’s wondering, is this being done on purpose? And yeah, at the International Centre, you know? It’s very hard to come from Mississauga. It’s bad enough. Much less Brampton. Much less Malton, which is a stone’s throw. How do we get people actually engaged to take this directorate seriously? Continued consultation is not good enough. You also need enforcement, it’s time. We know the problems. It’s been there. It’s been broken. We should be looking at fixing it, but having proper enforcement.

>> Thank you so much. Thank you.


Moderator: So before my sister begins, it’s about 10 to 9:00. We have the capacity to stay until 10:00, but that’s really up to you. Right? So making sure that your comments are brief and so forth. My hope and I know tension is to get through everyone who is standing up. Okay? But just keep in mind that other people would like to speak as well, so if you want to use the full three hours, that’s up to you. I also just, before you speak again, want to introduce Minister Dipika Damerla, and she is the Minister responsible for Seniors. Thank you for joining us.


>> Okay, my sister.

Audience Member #14: Hi. (name removed) I'm here to address in particular question number two, how important is it that the government collect race-based data and how should that be used? As someone in health and chronic disease, particularly as a researcher, black researchers in particular, a huge problem. If we want to look at long-term chronic illnesses and what’s happening in the prison system, in regards to the poor medical care and the actual refusal and the system, as well as in jails. It’s really important that we have race-based data, and it’s not just about race, because we are a complicated set of individuals. We are sophisticated. That data should be collected within the framework of intersectionality theory by Crenshaw. You can look that one up. Why do I say that? It’s because specific race is one thing. Ethnicity another. If all four categories including language, as well as parents, place of birth, if known is necessary to be able to understand the data you're looking at. If I pull data and it’s cleaned and all I see is black, that is not something I can use for a health intervention. Plaque is not a population definition. It is a categorical definition. So if we're going to have race-based data, it might be black. Is it Afro-Caribbean or Indo-Caribbean? Are you first generation or second generation? These things matter, because when you stratify data, especially health data, you will see differential outcomes that will help you allocate moneys and all oh indicate intervention appropriately.

Right now, the kind of data we have is kind of 1972. Right? And that’s not really appropriate in a digital age when all of that data is easily collectible, cleanable, and accessible.

The other piece around race-based data in particular, I do research also on HIV in terms of infectious disease, and as of the presentation done on June 2016 by Ohesey or new collaborative group for data collection, only 40% of that data had ethnicity markers. That’s fundamentally problematic, because when it comes to HIV, race, and gender matter. So if 40% of the data is missing ethnicity markers, it means that 40% of your budget is doing nothing it’s supposed to do.

The next piece is around intersection ever gender identity and race-based data. Right now, lab requisitions, all data around race, there is no marker for transgendered identity. So when we know for a fact in all literatures in the commonwealth that transgendered people do not have equitable access and that they're invisible, it’s because we don't collect the data. So in terms of that, that discussion has to be had and how that marker is included must be there, because if one is Afro-Caribbean, transgendered, and queer, guess what? You are invisible in data and people will continue to tell you, we don't have anything for you here.

As well the other piece around that specific point, because data around race is very important. It’s also about who collects the data. So I would be very concerned if people were handling data who had no theoretical basis in the handling of data and the construction of race. The construction of race has been a very long journey. It’s not something you get your arms around just yesterday, because constructing categories of race for research is a very technical business. It’s not as simple as just saying, where are you from? That is not it.

The next piece is around allocating funds specifically for the black African diaspora here in Canada. In terms of the research teams, it’s been shown even with CIHR's brief review that when it comes to new researchers, black researchers, there is not sufficient funds allocated, nor is there specific funds allocated around black health. It’s Canada, we have no black national or provincial strategy and none on the horizon. I ask that this be taken seriously and centrally and funds allocated immediately. Thank you.

Moderator: Thank you.


Yes, my sister.

Audience Member #14: Hi. I(name removed)work with the Provincial government. We don't need an office for the Directorate. I am tired. I am fed up. I am frustrated with this dialogue. We keep doing it over and over and over. Where do we go from here?

We need to start hiring people that looks like me.


The easy answer is jobs. I have heard enough chat about diversity and anti-racism and diversity lens. We are going through and going around a revolving door that does not have an exit. We keep changing the vocabulary as we go along in the 19th, 18th, and 21st century. And we remain locked out.

Two, you spoke about policy research and evaluation. This seems like another rabbit hole. We're talking about composition. That’s within provincial government. We're talking about composition of managers and superintendents at the institution. They don't look like me. I need my binoculars to find the ones that look like me. Will there be a scorecard for this directorate? I need to know that. And incivility is prominent. Minister Coteau, Minister Naqvi, and minister -- not Naqvi as yet, actually I tried calling your offices on the numbers that were sent out in February, whatever date, 16th through 19th. Those numbers are not in existence and I'm getting the runaround. And I do need your numbers, because I need to talk to you personally. Minister Attorney General, have you ever seen the composition of the Ontario Police College? If you haven't, I encourage you to go up there. And finally, today I participated in a meeting, and at that meeting today, my manager said that there will be a lunch and learn starting in October, and she has selected we'll call the name Jane Doe to lead. I sent her back an e-mail and I asked her, how did she select that person. Right? Listen to the response. Randomly picked her to start us off. That’s systemic. Right? Randomly picked her to start us off to father topics. However, if people are interested in rotating, taking the lead in facilitating, I'm more than happy to approach that way. Would you like to take a lead on the session? I'm not second best. I wrote back to her and I said, what does randomly look like? When you randomly pick Jane Doe, who else was in the pool? I'm trying to understand the process all over again.

Ministers, I do need to speak with you. I've had enough of this dialogue. I am tired. I'm sure you could tell. Thank you.


Moderator: Thank you. So I know a lot of you have been waiting for a while thank you for your patience is. So let’s try and make the comments as succinct as possible okay?

Audience Member #15: Okay. . (name removed)I'm a lawyer with the Human Rights legal support centre. For those of you who don't know the legal writes human support centre, represents Ontarians who have Human Rights concerns. So that will lead into my first comment. I think that the concerns that we see in our case load are something that you need to pay particular attention to. I think you need to look at the number and the volume of race-based cases that we have to deal with on an annual basis. It’s troubling. It’s disheartening and it’s hard work. All of our staff work extremely hard to achieve things that they shouldn't have to fight for.

If you look at the race-based cases that we deal with, Ail get a glimpse at to what are the most pressing issues of citizens in our province. So for example, we deal with cases involving the police: Racial profiling, incarceration, you know, issues that have a particular burden on the black and Indigenous community. We deal with a lot of cases in the education system. Again, unfortunately, with the particular burden on the black community. And I think we also need to look at housing. We need to look at, you know, why is it that in 2016, individuals still have to file Human Rights complaints because somebody won't rents them an apartment. We need to look at why --


We are still being racially segregated and why underserved communities are primarily racialized? What can the Secretariat do to provide wraparound supports for those communities? Oftentimes, you know, individuals do have to hit I gate and that’s a very expensive and imperfect process. So we would ask, you know, Minister Coteau and Naqvi to empower the community, collect the data, look at the case law and other areas of research and commit. I'm just going to close here. Commit to working on the outcomes that have been recommended in cases that have been recommended in the roots of youth violence and seeing them through. You talked earlier about creating a framework, but we implore you to use your power as members of government to ensure that that’s mandated in legislation. Not just recommended, but mandated. Thank you.


Moderator: Thank you. Brother here?

Audience Member #16: Madam facilitator, honorary ministers, ladies and gentlemen. (name removed) I work for the municipal government in a management position. So what should we focus on and what needs to be done? I think the answer is very simple. The answer is jobs. So stop looking after your own and start hiring and promoting our people. That’s all I have to say. Thank you.

Moderator: Thank you. And you waited a long time to say that. Thank you.


My sister here.

Audience Member #17: Good Evening, everyone. I think it’s one of my recommendations might answer some of the questions, but the last question about success, what success looks like 10 years from now, for me it would be the elimination of these conversations. It gets tiring. We've been having these conversations for years, so if we get to a point where we don't need to have these conversations, that would be successful. In tapping Systemic Racism, the institutions, that should be prioritized would be education, child welfare, and followed by police, because the education and child welfare systems are pipelines into the criminal justice system. And I think that the Anti-Racism Directorate should prioritize the following, so making sure there’s adequate funding to support the implementation and evaluation of the recommended policies, practices, and strategies, collection and analysis. Oh, sorry. I forgot. (name removed)I'm a community member, I'm a social worker, and I have experience in the chimed welfare sector and my work has also touched on the add education system and criminal justice system, so I'm speaking from that perspective. So back to what I was saying.

The collection and analysis and reporting of race-based data has decision-making and aid in the need for more equitable systems, services, and programs. In response to Assistant Deputy Minister Erry’s discussion of disaggregated data, I think it should be mandated. I think that the education system policing and child welfare should be mandated.To collect this data. Because without the data, a not able to analyze anything, and so really, they should be mandated to do that. It’s a long time coming.

With respect to the SIU, the SIU should be restructured for include civilians. You can't have former police officers investigating police officers.


It isn't -- it’s not -- that’s not going to work. I'm also suggesting that there is effort increasing the presence of qualified black Ontarians to public sector boards, committees, and organizations, and also, the fair and equal allocation of provincial procurement contracts across all government ministries. It should also be important that any work, any discussions that are steering these recommendations and policies should involve the voices in the presence of black people and Indigenous people, people who are visible and non-visible dimensions of diversity should be at the table. Without the voices of the people, you can't have adequate decisions.

And I also want to speak about recommendations for child welfare. And all of the systems, transparency and accountability is required. None of this, no policy is going to mean anything unless you have a way of measuring accountability. In child welfare, my experience, transparency was a problem. Parents and anyone that’s involved in the system should be able to access their files to see what is being written, and I can see, as someone who had the power to make a decision about removing children from their home, people have to be accountable for those decisions. You have human beings with biases that are making those decisions. Also, the child and the Family Services act, Section 11, does indicate that the Minister can't compel child welfare agencies to coordinate an advisory group, and I think that given the over-representation of black families in the child welfare system that an advisory group should be established so that when decisions are being made, and especially by the removal of black children, that this advisory board must be contacted before any decisions like that are made. There’s a provision for that to happen with First Nations people. It should also be applied to the black community as well.


And just my final pointed, excuse me, is that when it comes to child welfare, people should be advised of their rights to decline the services of child welfare unless there is a court involvement. People can decline involving the child welfare system. People should be informed of their rights. And I just have a quick question for you to consider. How are we going to hold you accountable for all of these decisions and conversations that we're having?


That would be my question for you to discuss maybe at a later date. Thank you.

Moderator: Thanks, Michele.


Okay. My brother here.

Audience Member #18: Good Evening, everyone. (name removed) I know a lot of friends and colleagues, we're post our time, Minister, and you know that. We're crying in front of you, because we're getting older with nothing being done. I've been living and working in Malton since 1973. I've worked with Peel Regional Police. I worked for the region of Peel. I work with the Toronto district school board and I've done the employment equity census you were speaking about when you first owned that up. Prior to that, I worked for children’s aid in Peel. In fact, believe it or not, Minister, I hate doing my job. I spend more time doing equity and defending it than doing the equity work. You're killing us in these jobs, because the government refuses to mandate and makes us sit in these organizations to beg them to collect data, to beg trustees to get us data collection.


It can happen for more, because no organization voluntarily wants to do the real work for systemic change. We've heard comments on affordable housing. The first thing around systemic, tackling Systemic Racism is get that tax in quickly in Ontario before there’s not affordable housing and rent in Toronto. These are systemic real issues that the government can do and not say that we will wait and we'll evaluate. If the real estate board is the one speaking to you, that’s Systemic Racism, because that’s power and there’s no people of colour speaking to you about what’s happening. If we have to end up buying houses four communities up to get a job at the corporations in Toronto, you know we're not going to be working there. This is what Systemic Racism looks like.

Systemic Racism is when you've got to a complaint against the police or the school board. It’s you, David, versus Goliath, because they're lawyered up.


When you've got to complain against the chief of police, they don't lose sleep because they've got the lawyers. Not us. If you want to tackle Systemic Racism, we have to be able to come to the table equals.


We can't have complaints were Systemic Racism and hiring and let them be lawyered up with the biggest law firms again, not representing the diversity. If the NFL can implement affirmative action, why can't the government, when it has ADM positions or any position, make it mandatory that at least, at least one person, when they have to get consulting firms and stuff to bring them a list, it’s a racialized person?


Minimum standards to start addressing Systemic Racism, because we can't wait for organizations to say, give me policies, because they're going to take two years to develop a policy. They're going to take two years to develop a Committee to improve the policy. We're exhausted and we're tired, because we've been repeating these things and it’s not up to organizations and institutions, because even the latest report in the Toronto Star in the last two weeks, talking about our corporate boards, because when we're talking about jobs, it’s not people that are sitting at those corporate tables and the shareholders have said that they don't want women, if they can't take women yet, when do you think they're going to come to us?


These issues have to be mandated, data collection, the speaker just before me said very clearly and I worked for every single one of those institutions: Education, policing, and child welfare. We don't need to hear. We need action done on these pieces. Tackling Systemic Racism, what systems or institutions in Ontario should the government address first and now? If this is a public meeting, when we say the police is part of the public, how many people from Peel Regional Police are here?


How many people from the Region of Peel are here? Where are the leaders in the Region of Peel that are making decisions on anti-racism part of the public meeting? Because they are the public.


They're representing the public. Do we have to go to each institution to tell them what our issues are? Or are they going to come to a public meeting when we're here? How many places do you want me to attend? How many nights do you want me to give up for my family so that people can get it? That’s tackling Systemic Racism. I want the Minister to write a letter to every single major institution in the region of Peel asking why the representatives were here as a public meeting, because they're part of us.


It’s obvious how important the collecting of race-based data is. I think we've made it clear it needs to be mandated across all systems, and when we're talking with jobs, we can't leave it just to the government. You have to bring back the employment equity legislation, mandate and to organizations, and mandate of how they have to engage in that hiring process. When we were always talking about affirmative action, they won't let us talk about targets and goals and quotas. Yet the latest hour to call the game when it came to the corporations, they said, it needs to be now a quota system. So I hope the government will follow suit when it comes to our issues and asking corporations mandatorily to start meeting targets and quotas, because they can keep changing languages. They can take anti-racism and make it equity. They can take equity and I make it diversity. They can make diversity and make it inclusion.


I've held every single one of those portfolios. And it’s enough.

Moderator: I'm going to ask you to wrap up now.

Audience Member #18: I'm just about to wrap up. There’s three more quick pieces there.


I know. We got there. I told you to keep going when you were up there before me. So I hope that there’s some accountability attached to what the 10 years look like, because I have those posters from the 1980s on employment equity. That’s past the ten-year mark. And statistically speaking, it’s been irrelevant. In fact, we've been going backwards. If we have a demographic data that we know about the populations and the region of Peel and the City of Toronto, we have actually gone backwards when it comes to these issues. We've got no more time to go backwards.

Moderator: Thank you.

Audience Member #18: And my last comment, I know the Ross family well. I was a boxer with Troy Ross. My condolences, and will always support. Thank you very much.

Moderator: Thank you.


Yes, my brother?

Audience Member #19: Before I begin, can we give that gentleman a round ever applause again?


(name removed) Answering a couple of questions, the first thing that comes to mind is what are the most influential systems and institutions in government that has the most impact on our people? It is the education system. It is the criminal justice system. It is the policing system. And it is the child welfare system. And there is multiple literature, stats, research that back up that data to say that there is an issue within these organizations. There is an issue within these institutions that have repeatedly not been addressed. And we're having some meeting here today and we're having another discussion, but a lot of people here want to wonder, what is going to come out of this discussion? What is going is to come out of these conversations? And what everybody would like to see is mandated legislation, mandated policies, mandated procedures that addressed these issues in these systems that affect our children, our adults, our seniors, all across Ontario?

So the first thing we want to do to hold these systems accountable is to see the government put in legislation that is going to hold these organizations accountable. Now, what is accountability? Everybody has a different interpretation as to what is accountability. Accountability could mean simply equal and fair treatment. Equal and fair treatment to hiring, equal and fair treatment to promotions, equal and fair treatment when it comes to being told what you did was not right and being stripped of, you know, what high senior position you have. And that is something that really needs to be addressed within these institutions and policies that needs to be implemented.

Last week I attended the youth impact summit and I heard you speak, and something really resonated with me with what you said. You said shared values are very important when it comes to engagement and for communities to move positively together, and everybody here in this venue right now has a shared value that we want to see equal and fair treatment to all races, especially the races that have been routinely identified as being mistreated over the course of history in this country. So my hope and goal is that you can go back to the office, speak with your ministers, go back to the premier, and that you really work on putting into action not just, you know, write reports and what have you, but actually put policies, procedures, and legislation, mandate them and have it be spread all across the province. Thank you.


Moderator: Thank you. Yes, my brother.

Audience Member #20: Hi, everyone. This is the first time I've attended anything of this magnitude ever. (name removed)I'm a former professional soccer player. I coach soccer currently in the community. And I've listened to a lot of very intelligent, passionate people speaking in this room here. And the thing that bothers me most is that they're just speaking to each other. They're not speaking to the people that need to make those changes happen. And a problem for me with that is that we can do this. Once, twice, 10 years, 20 years, it’s not going to change anything. You know it and I know it. We can have data for the next 20 years. It’s not going to change what’s going to happen when I drop my daughter off at school and every single teacher in that school is a white lady except for one man, who is an extra resource teacher. And he’s from the U.K. All right?

So I think we just need to be a little bit more honest about what’s going on in our country. We see what’s happening in America and those things will affect us here. Every night I look at the news, I see men that look like me being shot down in the street. I see children coming up, 10, 11, 12 years old that don't love themselves. I was one of those children. I was a part of the penal system here in Canada when I was a young man. And has an older man, I'm trying to teach those kids that they have opportunities to make their lives better, but you know and I know all the different things that they're going to face when they have to find their way.

I look at the Cabinet in my country, Canada. I don't see anyone that looks like me. Black man or black woman. And that, to me, is the biggest problem of all. On a federal level, they can't even find somebody that looks like me to be a part of change.


And if that problem is at the federal level, how do you think that’s affecting the children that are coming up now? I coached young men that are 17, 18, 16 years old. They don't even love themselves. They know nothing about themselves. They know nothing about life. They go through school. They don't learn anything about money, finances, the economy. They have no knowledge of anything. And they're angry, because their voices aren't heard. I mean, we're having this discussion in a place where none of them are going to find their way here. None of them. There’s not one person in this room that’s maybe 16 or 17 years old that can come up to this microphone and speak from the heart. And that is my problem with this whole idea that we're dealing with right now. The problem is much, much bigger than we're pretending it is right now. It’s an individual thing. It’s about self-love. And the only way we're going to teach that is by having teachers that look like the children that are in those schools teaching them about their history, teaching about culture, and where they come from. And unless we're going to put the kind of money and put people in place in this room here, by the way, right? Instead of, like, dancing around everything, all the people that I see in here are intelligent, passionate people. They need to be on your board there taking care of all of these things and making the changes.

At the top levels of government, at the top level of all of these institutions are white faces. I'm sorry. And if you guys want to change, you have to remove a lot of those faces and their bias against people that look like me and people that look like everyone in this room. Thank you very much for your time.


Audience Member #21: I'm (name removed)from the United Advisory Council at of the Peel region. I want to acknowledge that I'm standing on the land of the Mississaugas of the New Credit and I also acknowledge the discrimination that they have been suggested to and the torture and the unfair treatment over generations. I don't have to be a person of First Nation to acknowledge that.

Secondly, I just want to share two stories. And the gentleman who was just right before me mentioned about the youngsters. So I just have two stories about two youngsters. I'm actually rightly timed to be speaking for them immediately after him, because stories are powerful Ministers, and I understand you people are hearing it from the heart, because you people are also people of colour. I wish they were more people like Michele Black sitting on the seats next to you who need to understand that more than you people.

My son, I'm of South Asian descent. Me and my son were walking in Square One and he saw a car being pulled to the side by police and he saw some youth coming down. And my son told me, mommy, just notice the difference of treatment of these police officers between that white guy and the two black guys. And we were standing about 200 metres apart. And honestly, I could see the difference. The white die was let go and the two blacks were taken to the side and their cards -- I mean, they took the wallets and they had a lot of conversation. I don't know what happened between them, but I could see and I told my son, you're such a wonderful person to notice that. He said, this is so common, mommy, and you don't have to be a black person to notice that.

And the second story is a friend of mine who is herself a huge voice against diversity, was one day, she’s a good friend of mine. She was crying. And I asked her, what happened? I said, you know what? My 14-year-old daughter was swimming with her friends and then she came out of the swimming pool and she’s a Muslim, by the way. She wore a gown kind of a thing after the swimming, because probably culturally they do not like to expose themselves much. So she just wore that long dress. And her friends started laughing, oh, you look like a terrorist from the Middle East. And the girl cannot go to school for the next three days, because they were the same girls from her class.

So these two stories tell what the children in this community feel, and I have learned this from my son that I don't have to be one of them who is either a black or somebody who wears a hijab to be sensitive to that type of target, and I it stand up for them. I'm a Muslim myself, but I know how much those Muslims who wear hijab are going through. And my son, the he said the ones that happen with the black youth, the same with girls who have names like Mohammed now.

Moderator: Before our next speaker goes, I will only be taking comments from those who are currently in the line. We do need to wrap up and there will be some comments from the Minister at the end. So I see you going to the line, but no one after you. Okay. My sister over here, please go.

Audience Member #22: Thank you. (name removed) I'm a psychiatrist from a nonprofit. I agree with everything. I think things need to be mandated. We need to be held accountable. In this room we're all preaching to the choir. We're preaching to the converted, you know? We know all of this stuff. So two things that I wanted to talk about. I know, you know, data collection is something that you need to create all of these things, even though everyone knows and the data is out there. Maybe looking at, like, qualitative versus quantitative data. Hearing people’s stories, which is exactly what’s happening here, and valuing that instead of numbers, because we're not numbers. We're people with lives and, you know, souls that matter and that should be appreciated and valued. And I think it’s important to understand, you know, if you for creating this directorate. This is amazing and I'm sure the frustration that we feel, I'm sure you feel as well on some level. And I think it’s important to recognize that that requires extra work, extra time, and that means valuing those people that do it. Valuing those teachers that instead of, you know, not putting 35 children with one teacher. She’s the not going to get that time with that person. And also, like, you know, I work for a nonprofit, so target numbers, target numbers, target numbers were it’s like, where do I get time to actually sit with human and goes give them the help that they need? And a part of my job is, like, consulting with all of these other systems that are so intertwined and always, like, intersect together. And it’s so -- like right now, the system that we're working from is retributive. So can we change that? Can we change that to bring everyone to the table? That includes the survivor, the victim, and the perpetrator. Talking to everyone. Like I don't want to put, like, my uncle that sexually abused me in jail behind bars. That’s not going to help everyone. That’s not going to help my community. That’s not going to help my family. How do we heal the system rather than just the individuals? Yeah. It’s frustrating, but I think we need to value people. We need to give these people that, you know, nurture our young generations the time and, you know, giver them what they deserve rather than putting more pressure on them, putting all of these things that are up zero down. People here are usually not part of the decision-making. I agree with everyone that we need to be at that table and valuing us and making that room for us. That is all.

Moderator: Thank you. Thank you very much.


My brother.

Audience Member #23: Yeah. I'm trying to take about three minutes. Be disciplined. . (name removed)I want to take a few moments to acknowledge the Africans who resisted and the Barracoons, those who resisted on the ships, those bodies now in the Atlantic. I want to acknowledge them, because these questions doesn't. White supremacy is the root. Than be the first, number one.


I cannot be contained in white supremacy, and part of white supremacy, you lay out questions for me. I don't fit in-boxes. So the first should do is what is white supremacy? I suggest everybody in this room go look it up. Find Isis papers by Dr. Francis Cress-Welsing, and then the Directorate can then look at what is the 10, 12, or 15 areas that we need to have a holistic look at? Because once you understand, and I don't each like to understand, Michael, I like to overstand issues. And so once we begin to look at some of these things called systemic, we need to blow it up and I don't mean a bomb. I'm glad Peel is not here.

But it must be blown up to be recreated. Because one thing white supremacy did is cause injustice on planet earth. From white supremacy came a war. Over a billion people have died, whether it’s in Japan, whether it’s in Ghana, and so if we're having discussion about anti-racism, it’s too sweet conversation. We have to go back in time to see when white supremacy takes foot.

When did these people think they're better than everybody else? When did white privilege exist? And when did black fear exist? And somebody talked about shooting in the United States. And I apologize for the snake. In Canada, we have Hugh Dawson, Leslie Donelson, Buddy Evans, Junior Manard. We had Larson. And so we know cops here shoot us, too. The last young man was in Brampton, a place where I pay my bills and my taxes. That’s the only reason why I'm here today, because they took taxes before I got my money.


I don't even get my money first. They took taxes. That’s why I'm here today, because the truth is these conversations have been had. These conversations we've had before, we understand the people here, in order to destroy white supremacy, you have to look within yourself and begin to build. I am an African, so I don't wait for governments or school boards or fool boards to tell me how to teach. We need to teach these in our houses. We need to have our own schools. We need to have our own banks. We need to have our own security apparatus. You cannot depend on your enemy and white supremacy to free you.

Three minutes exactly.


Moderator: Thank you. Yes, my brother.

Audience Member #24: Yes, good night. So I want to focus on another aspect. Now, what would I like to see the future looking like? Not in 10 years. 10 years is too long. No. We have the United Nations declared 2014 to 2025 to be the decade for people of African descent and there’s a mandate that’s all civic agencies should be involved. The Government of Ontario is not excluded from that. I wanted to know, what is the government doing? I haven't seen anything. But what I'm saying doing, we're tired of declarations and platitudes. We want resources.

This is what’s underlying all the problems in our community: Lack of resources. You have a mandate. With we are part of this. You know, you have influence, you have control over resources, and also, you have influence on the federal government, just as you go. You go -- okay. You go to Chrysler and approximate those people and say, stay here. We're going to give you half a billion dollars to create some jobs and two years of, they leave the province. Right? Now, we have a thing called Caribana, and every year we bring in at least half a billion dollars. $500 million. Right? And guess what you do? You rob it away from our community. So I'm saying give us back our Caribana, number one, but also give us the infrastructure so that we can use that to generate employment. We have musicians and stuff like that. That he’s an industry that you are on the funding. Actually, you're pimping on that industry, because these people spend all their nights, all their money, and they go out there, and what they're doing, representing people something for people to come in to attract people into this province. Right? So I am saying do right by this community. Fund Caribana. Give back Caribana to the community. Give them the resources. Give us the resources. Right?

There are a lot of other things. You're talking about jobs? Let’s talk about entrepreneurship. Let’s talk about giving our youth opportunities to create employment for themselves, because that’s what it is future is about. The future is about creating your own ways of surviving. And we ever lots of kids with a lot of ideas, but there are no access to the resources. You can't go to the bank. Why don't you have guarantees? Loan guarantees for kids in affected communities? My brother was talking about the Somali communities. Why don't we have loan guarantees for this community and other communities? Target those communities. With loan guarantees, along, not just randomly, but long with support. Along with training. Right? Why don't you have that? Right? Just as you fund, just as you give away money to the auto industry, why don't you invest in our youth, too? That’s part of the problem.

Moderator: Thank you.

Audience Member #24: Just hold on. My two minutes --

Moderator: That’s been four minutes so far.

Audience Member #24: Okay. Can I just have just one minute just to wrap up?

Moderator: Okay. Thank you.

Audience Member #24: Now, when we do all this, we are employing our community. One of the mandates, it says development. Unless we have a system that would develop the black community, we're joking here. We have to be developed. Remember you have to. You have to extend resources to the community. And last thing, the thing called experience. You have to rub this off when you're talking about hiring and stuff like that. You have to rob it off, because those people are denied access to employment, so therefore, we are denied the experience. Right? You know what? Every day I walk around and I know many, many black people who have so much experience, but they can't apply for any position on any board, because it’s not counted. It’s not counted that or as that kind ever experience. It probably came from Jamaica.

Moderator: Thank you.

Audience Member #24: Rub off this. When you have a position posted. Pick up this thing called experienced, because this is a systemic block to our community. It’s a barrier.

Moderator: Thank you.

Audience Member #24: And if you're talking about anti-racism, you need to remove those barriers, and that is an implicit barrier you need to remove right now.

Moderator: Thank you.

Audience Member#24: And I'm talking specifically, because I saw --

Moderator: I need you to wrap up now, please. No, right now.

Audience Member#24: I saw a position advertised by the Minister asking for experience and that is a contradiction of the whole process.

Moderator: Got it. Thank you very much. So we have 20 minutes left. Please, keen that in mind, because this is it and we also need some wrap-up statements.

Audience Member #25: I just want to thank the ministers for this consultation and also for their patience is in listening to what we have to say. (name removed)I am a former public servant with The Ontario Public Service. I left The Ontario Public Service two years ago because of what I felt was racial discrimination. When I went in, I had sort of thought I would have, you know, a 30-year career with The Ontario Public Service.

I know I'm not alone in my experiences. I've spoken to many colleagues of mine that are in the OPS who have experienced similar experiences to me, some of whom are still there and some of them have moved on into other institutions or careers.

I did want to throw some concrete ideas in terms of what The Ontario Public Service can do with regards to anti-racism, because I do think that is the first institution that we need to address, because we are the ones that developed the policies and programs. And I know, based on my experience, it would be great to have an internal investigations office that looks into experiences of racial discrimination or even a resource centre or somewhere where someone who feels they're in that experience can go to. I know that would have been very helpful for me when I was with the OPS.

The other thing is I know that you do diversity and inclusion training for managers. I'm not sure if that’s extended to employees or staff, to the policy and program analysts, but I really do think that is key, because it is the policy and program analysts that are developing our briefing notes, our policies, are doing the stakeholder consultations, and that training would be very important.

The other thing I would mention is the employee surveys. I know when I was there, I was doing employee surveys, but none of them spoke to my experience as a racial minority. None of them asked questions around my experience as a racial minority in The Ontario Public Service. So when it comes to data collection, we need to be doing that within The Ontario Public Service as well. And have that feed into the Anti-Racism Directorate.

The other thing I would mention as well is I know as a policy program analyst, we could have a stakeholder list. We really do need to diversify that stakeholder list. I think it’s the sort of thing for people that come to the table. If we can empower our policy program analyst to diversify that stakeholder list, I think we'd have a lot of different voices at the table, because I think that empowerment needs to come from our ADMs, our directors, and our managers to empower the staff to be able to diversify that statement.

Moderator: Could you wrap up now, please?

Audience Member #25: Yeah, okay. So the last thing I'll end off with is I know when the diversity and inclusion process was launching. Tony Dean did a town hall meeting. Since that town hall meeting there has not been another one in The Ontario Public service and I think it would be great to keep those town hall meetings going.

Moderator: Thank you very much. My brother over here.

Audience Member #26: Good Evening, victims of racism. Thanks for coming. Mr. Minister, the question one is in tracking systematic racism. What system should the government address first? You guys should know that. We don't need to tell you. The racism been going on for hundreds of years. If we look at our neighbour country, look at what Martin Luther King did for 100 years and then Obama came in power, but still the racism exists there every day, every single day. Like after 9/11, I went there as a trucker and they stopped me and asked me, do you know where Osama bin Laden is? I said, how come I know? How do I know? And they were asking me like they killed over 5,000 people, innocent people. I said, I agree. And would your community be making fun, entertaining, when we're going to go to Afghanistan? I said, you are going to kill innocent people, too. But who is going to talk about it? Like my brother said, if you're asking the person who is committing the crime to do something about racism, they aren't going to be doing anything.

26 years ago, somebody asked me, UPS, United Parcel Service, I'd gone there for a driver job. They asked me, you have to trim your beard. And the black guy showed me, he was the manager who was hiring. He said, this is our policy. We need the clean-shaven drivers. Right? So now it’s okay, after so many years, I've seen 28 years and the Sikh guys can be defense Minister. Congratulations to someone who did that.


I have seen the police in Peel use F words. My truck was broke down. They used F word to move this truck or I'm going to tow it away. When accident happens, I've seen, I've witnessed it. My friend, he was in an accident. We were there and the policeman charged my friend and his son, who was a lawyer, and he didn't care, because you're standing there. We need to charge you in test policy.

Moderator: Wrap up, please.

Audience Member #26: Just one minute. Just half a minute. Liberal government including the Premier, they promised the whole government, they promised the Sikh community and the light, literally the dirt and nobody is accountable about that. Are we just talking about this racism thing? Are we just need to do the study? I think it’s the problem here in our minds. It’s the biggest disease and we don't need any education. We need revolution. We need the leaders, true leaders who can lead us and do it. It’s not in the closed doors we need to do this. We need to go out in the community. If you go to program Ford, you will see what the police is doing. I think you should fire the police, the whole police, and hire the new -- train them properly. They should know how to do the service. I went to the police station for my son who did the crime. I didn't do any crime. My daughters were with me and the gentleman who was from my community, he was asking me the way he was talking to me, I told him, I know who you are. Don't talk to me like that. But they don't care. That’s the training we got with the police. So we need to fix. Just do the first step. Baby steps.

Moderator: Thank you.

Audience Member: Thank you very much.

Moderator: Thank you.


Audience Member #27: Hi. I just wanted to say, as much as we are public and able to talk here, I know there are people within this room that don't feel it’s a safe place, mainly because it’s being taped and just there are concerns. As much as we're hearing some opinions, we're not hearing anything.

One thing I wanted to share, though, I actually want to complement you in a way, Minister Coteau. I worked on the Para PanAm Games and that was probably one of the best experiences I had work and go feeling like I was part of a table. So that there was a strong Aboriginal component. People’s voices were heard and that was one experience that was connected to the province that I really felt a great part of.

But there was another experience where I worked, and actually, the lady two people before me mentioned working within the government structure where I had an opportunity to be at the table with one of our colleagues and my boss at the time had mentioned to me that she felt dreads were dirty. And this was within a workplace, and this is the conversation. I didn't have dreads. I still don't have dreads. But this was the conversation. And when I confronted her, of course, government being hierarchical, you always have to be careful with that, I didn't feel -- I actually got reprimanded for confronting her about a question that was hurtful to people in the community.

And you mentioned the Afrocentric school. I worked on that school, along brother (name removed) who spoke earlier. I was confronted again by one of my former colleagues within the government political side of things who said to me, well, you know that causes a lot of problems. Right? So for a job that I'd had in the past that, again, was involved within the community, I'm being reprimanded for it. I'm even being bullied for it. And I think she has a great point to make about having been there at one pointed, and sure, that was a while ago. Things might have changed. But I'm just hoping that as you're hearing from all of us what can be done with agencies in other areas, I hope that you're also thinking about what can be done within your colleagues, within the OPS, because nothing really changed unless it’s changing from the top and dissected down.


So that would be my comment to you, but again, compliments for even putting in together and giving us an opportunity to speak on this.

Moderator: Thank you.

Audience Member #27: One quick last thing I'll say is that on one of my elders in the back had mentioned that someone earlier had talked about not being able to get a place to rent. I kind of missed the comment. It was a while ago. She said as a black woman 51 years ago this was a problem for her. So if we're talking about this then to now, are we going to be talking about this 51 years from now?

Moderator: Thanks for representing her voice.

And thank you very much.


Okay. So we're going to power through, because we only have 10 minutes. That includes a Minister.

Audience Member #28: Hello. Can you hear me? Okay. Good Evening, everyone. (name removed) I'm a PhD student at York University.

Moderator: Sorry. You cannot speak again.

My brother that spoke twice.

You will not be able to speak again tonight. Thank you.

Go ahead, my sister.

Audience Member #28: PhD student at York University. I want to drive the point home about white supremacy, because that’s really what we're talking about. And we're not talking about the KKK. We're talking about entire system, an entire political system, economic system, social system that privileges whiteness. Right? That’s what we're talking about.

I think it’s really important when we're talking to the public to drive that home. Right? It’s not necessarily about anti-racism. It’s about white supremacy. It’s about the violence that whiteness does. Right? It makes a lot of white people uncomfortable to have that conversation, but that’s the conversation we need to have. Right? Because black people are playing. Right? People of colour are dying at the hands of white supreme and I we know this in our bodies and through our own experienced. So that’s it. Thank you.

Moderator: Thank you, my sister.


Audience Member #29: So I just want to ask you guys to look around the room, and I see some young people there in red. I want to acknowledge them. You're in this room Youth ambassadors. Thank you guys for that’s extremely important and I'll tell-why. Some maybe 22 years ago, 24 years ago my son is in kindergarten. We volunteer in the school because we have children of colour and we want to make sure we're represented: So one particular day we're in the school outside at an event, and at the time I worked with young offenders. And his teacher knew that. She comes over to my husband and I and she says she saw three kindergarten black boys playing, and she says, (name removed) do you see those three boys there? They'll be coming to where you are next. Did you all hear me? And so I say this, because the number one piece there, what do we need to do to tackle this issue, you've got to get in the education system.

I am not saying -- we've got great teachers, but we do have to make sure that we are represented, because when these young people, when these young people, when these young people see people that look like them, just like my brother over there said, you need to feel good about yourself. We need to tack this will and do this together. We can say this, because all of us are here tonight and you are here tonight. I want to thank you for that.

My last piece is that this has got to be about 11 months ago. Peel police, the Peel police board had a vacancy on the Peel police board. We realized some groups in our area realized that they hadn't had a black person on the Peel police board since I think 1996 and actually the person that was black that the board thought was black happened to be from Africa, but she was South Asian. So you see?

So anyway, we mobilized the community and had black people apply, and there was a black woman that got on the board and here she is representing. This is what we need to do. We need to make sure that people of color are represented in every single area. And that’s what we can do. Immediately.

Great, thank you so much.

Moderator: Thank you.


And my sister, you have the last word from the floor this evening.

Audience Member #30: Hi there. (name removed) I want to say thank you to all the speakers, but especially the folks who pointed to intersectionality, because it is not entirely clear to me that this process understands that you can face Indigenous race I remember and anti-black racism. I face anti-black racism and Islamophobia. And so many people have powerfully spoken to Islamophobia -- I'm sorry, anti-black racism and I'm going to focus on Islamophobia, which is something we regularly hear about from my mother, a beautiful elderly Muslim woman who wears a Hijab and regularly that his people tell her to go back to her country, to which she says I'm Canadian. Go back to your country and give this land back to Indigenous people.


It feels to me that the government might be under the impression that Islamophobia left when Harper left the building or that we're entirely distracted by the racist one man circus down south, and Islamophobia is thriving. Recent data has shown us half of Ontario residents believe that Islam perpetuates violence, that the doctrine, the faith centrally promotes violence. So I want to know what the government is doing, not just to address the individual encounters as some cities have taken on, six major cities in Canada have taken on eradicating anti-islamic violence and have vowed to do that, but what is the government doing to disavow all of this behavior? What is the government doing to support Muslim communities? To make space for Muslim leaders? So I just want to leave the note that I think Islamophobia is alive and well and sometimes when it’s thriving, it’s even more insidious than when it’s at the forefront by a crazy man like Harper. Thank you.


Moderator: So thank you to all the speakers. Thank you to all of you who hung in there for the evening. Before I pass the mic over to the Minister, I just want to emphasize some common points that I heard this evening. I think one of them that was repeated was access, access, access in terms of location, and so that is something to consider for the planning of the next meeting in terms of how will the people who want to be there get there? You know, adequate funding was one. Folks talked about Black Lives Matter. Folks talked about the importance of accountability. Folks pointed out the gap between those who are in the system and those who are running the system. Folks talked about the importance of mandate and legislation. That was said multiple times, and so it’s important to put an exclamation mark behind that particular pointed. Several folks talked about establishing the employment equity act. Other folks talked about the importance of having a stratified intersectional race-based data. Right? So that was also emphasized and underscored several times. One person talked about us, and I haven't talked about this before. Can we have a scorecard? Like the way the hospitals lure. They have a scorecard in terms of wait times, et cetera. Can we have some sort of system or tool where we can track how we're doing and probably even make that public, I might add? Folks talked about the importance of not having police, investigate police. The importance of having and making sure that boards are making decisions, of the systems that rule their lives are also representative of us. One comment around the importance of having an advisory group with the extremely important system of the child welfare system in terms of black kids and the impact there and their families. And also it is importance ever having systematic approach in terms of complaints and respondents. So ensuring that that is in place as well.

Many other things were said. That’s what I will say as I call the Minister up. And thank you to the youth ambassadors for all your work tonight and thank you to all of you for being here.


Minister Coteau: Thank you Paulette Senior. Thank you for your hard work tonight.


And I know there was a big thanks to our youth ambassadors. I want to thank them for helping us this evening, and I believe I want to thank each and every one of you for being here.

This is the third conversation we have had and in every single community, you learn something new. But the same underlying factors, you know, are the same. We're talking about anti-black racism, Systemic Racism, Islamophobia, and many other types of racism that exist here in Ontario. You know, the last speaker, there you are, you spoke about Islamophobia. This is something that obviously the directorate is looking at very closely. We know it’s the fastest growing hate that’s taking place in Canada. And yesterday I had the opportunity in Hamilton to visit the mosque. The Ibrahim Majame mosque in Hamilton where a 34-year-old man went and tried to burn it down. I met with the leadership there and we had a conversation just around, you know, where we need to go and what work we need to do. And you know, I was sitting there listening to these leaders in their community talk about the direction we need to go, and I was thinking about, you know, the fact that they have hundreds, if thought thousands of people coming through the mosque, you know, on a daily or weekly, and young children and young families. And here you have this one person who has gone to such extreme hate that, you know, he wants to burn down the mosque, regardless of, you know, the life that’s in that building. So you know, these are realities, and these are things that are happening here in Ontario and in Canada. And I think someone said earlier, you know, zero tolerance for that type of stuff. We need to shut that type of stuff down.

And you know, we have the tools. We have the -- I believe the direction to make some major changes in Ontario. And I know a lot of people again, and I said this at the beginning, are discouraged by the way in which society is turned and governments and businesses and institutions, but I honestly believe that we can make a difference. I honestly believe that we can take a change here in Ontario. We've always been a jurisdiction that has been able to do things a little bit differently from the rest of the world. That’s why we have people wanting to come here, because there is some hope here and there are opportunities here, you know? And I always say I come from an immigrant family. I arrived here when I was five. You know, my parents, you know, have grade eight education. I grew up in a poor neighbourhood in Toronto, but I was provided with some opportunities and a lot of luck and, you know, I have the opportunity to do this type of work that has been very reward fog me for the last 13 years. So I just want to say thank you and have some hope.

And we need, to as a community, and I put myself, you know, in the community to say we need to do more work as a community as well, because I know that government cannot do this type of work alone. Someone asked me, are you planning to eliminate racism? And there’s no way I'm going to be able to eliminate racism. We're not going to be able to eliminate racism. But what we can do is we can hold institutions accountable. We can shine a light and show transparency and we can shame people that make those wrong decisions and enforce a system that doesn't tolerate any form of racism, because we're taxpayers. We're citizens. We're people who live in this jurisdiction. We're people who make this province great. And we need to be respected.

I just want to end by saying one thing, and I remember saying this to the school board and I'm going to go back to 2004 about the data piece, because I heard some comments around the data is not important. It’s just, you know, we know it’s wrong. We'll deal with it. I tell you, the data is so key. Someone said something to me, actually the superintendent of education, Jack Nero was here this evening. He was standing at the back and he passed me a card and, you know, it reminded me of our conversation back in 2004 when we only won by one vote to collect that data at the Toronto district school board that revealed a lot. But he says no data, no problem, no action. And I'm telling you, if you don't have the data, the problem does not exist in the eyes of the institutions that are actually doing the work on our behalf.


So you know, I like the idea of a scorecard. I did a lot of research recently on transparency within government, and I forget which country it is, but the president put his entire platform on a scorecard and the president keeps checking those pieces off. You know, I think that’s a great idea. I believe that we are going to be able to make a big difference. Again, I'm responsible for the youth prisons here in Ontario, for children’s aid societies, for mental health. I work closely with Minister Naqvi who is the Attorney General with Mitzi Hunter in Education. I believe there’s so much opportunity for us to continue to do great work, and now is the time. I just want to say thank you. Have faith. Continue in this conversation. (name removed) Everything is being webcast, is because there are hundreds, if not thousands of people across the province who are coming into these conversations, because they couldn't be here today. Thank you for your patience is and thank you for your time.


Last point, there was a comment made that the politicians weren't here tonight. Dipika Damerla is from the community here. She represents this community in Mississauga, and we had Harinder Malhi here, an MPP from the community tonight. So thank you for being here, Depeka.


[Event Concludes]