Ottawa public meeting

>> Ginelle: Good afternoon, everyone. We are going to get started in a few minutes, so we'd appreciate if you could take your seats.

>> Ginelle: Okay. Thank you. Good afternoon, I'm pleased to welcome all of you here to this public meeting here in Ottawa, the 10th and last of the meetings the Ontario government has been holding across the province to hear from the public about key systemic racism issues and priorities.

I'm Janelle Skerritt the Executive Director of Warden Woods Community Centre in Southwest Scarborough and I'm the moderator for you this afternoon. The room has already been smudged, but I have a small gift for the Elder. It’s a small gift of tobacco. The Elder has advised that it’s not to be abused but used in a spiritual way in an offering of prayers to call on the ancestors.

Elder Thomas Louttit, from 1953 to 63, Mr. Louttit attended residential schools in Ontario and Quebec. In 1963, he was placed in the care of the Children’s Aid Society. As an adult, he moved to Toronto where he became a flat roofer, a career that would last 32 years. In 1994, he graduated from the three year Ontario Native Education Counselors Program. He’s a traditional Sweat Lodge Keeper and Keeper of the Sacred Pipe. For 25 years, he’s been facilitating traditional healing circles and provides Elder services for government and community agencies.

Mr. Louttit, regularly speaks to schools and community groups about his experiences within the residential school system and his personal, healing journey.

In 2014, the Aboriginal Veterans of Canada presented him with the Queen’s Jubilee Medal. In November of 2016, he received the prestigious Degree of Laws from Carlton University. He’s the father of Erica and Thomas Wilson, (deceased) a grandfather of 17, and great grandfather of two girls. He currently lives in Ottawa with his wife, Penny.


>> (Indigenous Language).

Elder Thomas : Beautiful greetings from our First Nation.

>> (Indigenous Language).

Yes, my name is Thomas my First Nation name was given to me many years ago by my grandfather. He’s the one that encouraged me to continue on the good road, the good way of life, that’s where I am today.

But, unfortunately I was taken away at 5 years old, with force, no questions asked, and he went through a lot, and I went through a changing society.

I'm here today. I want to thank the Creator every morning when I get up. When I get up each morning, I gave thanks to the high power, and I say thank you for waking me up again today, this morning.

It was early this morning I got up at 4:30, but then want to look in the mirror, I say oh, God, I got to fix myself a little bit.


We always thought my way of life is all good, and I thank my son, who called me this morning, to wish me all the best for today. My 17 grandchildren, say it all at once at one time. It takes that to connect to each one of them, they live across the Province of Ontario. We're all hunters and trappers in my family, what we take from the bush, the four legged ones and the winged birds and the waters, fish or swimmers, we all escape and share our food with the old people so they can eat also.

What we take from the bush, we always give thanks to the Creator With the tobacco that I have in my hand, I thank the Creator for each time that I take a four legged life to feed my family. I put the tobacco down and I say thank you for letting me feed my family.

It was the olden days, we did that before it was taken away. My grandfather wanted to teach me that way of life, to be respectful to the land, and to be respectful to the Elders and to the young ones of all ages. That’s why we're here that’s why I'm here today. I have lots of respect of all cultures that are here. Wherever you're from, I thank the Creator for bringing you here to come and listen to one another.

That’s what this is all about. We walk on this earth. We all walk on this earth. We need to work together. Stop that, say to the people that are backstabbing other people, that’s no good. That’s bad medicine. We all share what we need to share in front of that person. If he’s cuter than me, I tell him.(Laughing).

I just want to thank you for listening. Thank you.


>> Ginelle: And now I'd like to introduce Minister Fraser the Member for Ottawa South. Welcome.

>> Good afternoon. I want to first acknowledge that we're an Unceded Territory of the Algonquin People . And thank you for the smudging and sharing your story with us today. It’s very important.

It’s a pleasure for me to be here with you today, for this meeting, this very important meeting in our community. Let me get rid of the business I have to do right now, which is introducing some of the people in the room so you know some of the people who have joined us. I can't introduce, everybody, I'm sorry. I'd like to acknowledge I'm here with my colleagues from the Legislature Minister Yasir Naqvi and Marie-[France] And we're also joined today by a number of Councillors, so I know Deputy Mark Taylor is over here, and Councillor Jeff Leiper here. And Catherine Mckenney is here too. Right over there. Here we go. Thanks.


Also, we have, it’s a bit of a long list. We have Trustees Donna, and Chris Ellis with us here today. As well as the Chief, Charles Bordeleau from the Ottawa Police Service, and a number of officers, and so if I missed anybody, stand up now. Okay. All right. So, you can all stand up. You're all important. That’s why we're here.

And it’s my pleasure to introduce my colleague, Michael Coteau, I've been elected for 3 to 5 years and I've had a pleasure of working with him. He teases me a lot, but we won't go into that right now. He’s the Minister for Children and Youth Services and the Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism. I spent a better part of yesterday with him. I'm going to spend Monday with him too. So I have a weekend of Michael Coteau, which is great, so I don't want to I don't think there is any other any other things other than to say, before I let Michael come up, is that, you know, I had a chance to say this yesterday a couple of times.

You know, we all have bias, and we have to continually go through processes of self examination all the time, and you know, a lot of things happened in the discourse south of the boarder, and we should all be cautious of that because we're not immune. None of us are immune, and it’s really important that we're here today, and without further ado, my colleague Michael Coteau.


>> Minister Coteau: Thank you, John. Thank you very much for the introduction. It’s such an honour to be here today. I went to Carlton University and spent many years in Ottawa. Any time I'm back in the community, I feel at home. This is the second consultation I've done in probably about a year and a half in Ottawa. The last one was around the Culture Strategy for Ontario.And I'm always amazed of, you know, with the participation here in this city because it’s a packed house today, and you know, during the culture consultation, it was a packed house as well.

So I just want to say, thank you for being here. It’s been a very exciting journey for me over the last few months. We've met, I would say, probably between 3,000 to 4,000 people across the Province who have come out to talk about racism, and more specifically, systemic racism.

It’s a conversation that is, you know, it’s sometimes uncomfortable for people. I usually go around in the beginning and try to find out, you know, what motivated people to come here.And one place I've done it with there were about 50 people and I actually got to speak to everyone in the audience. It’s a little difficult when there are so many folks in one room. It’s interesting, the responses I hear. Some people say, it’s something I've been fighting for all my life, for 40 years, 50 years. And, you know, you talk to them a bit more and they're frustrated.

They're saying, you know, this is something we should have dealt with 30 years ago. It’s something that governments come and go, and they keep saying that we're going to do something and they haven't done figure. We've seen the reports, you know, and they talk about the reports, and the Stephen Lewis Report from 92 and if you put 2016, it would read the exact same way today. That’s the frustration people have.

Then there are other people that come out to this and say I'm new to this, I'm enthusiastic, how can I help? What can I do? And they have so many different idea, and some of the ideas you've never heard before, and some of the ideas are that, you know, were captured back in 92.

You know, so there are people who want to help, they want to look at it from, you know, a completely different perspective.

Then there are the folk who just say, I don't know what brought me here, but I know racism is wrong and I just want to figure out how I can help. You know, I had the opportunity to go and meet with some groups yesterday. I met with the Jewish community. Muslim community, and the conversations were unbelievable. The one thing that was so clear to me is there are a lot of people out there that want to see change and want to work together for change. The Rabbi from the Synagogue told me, after the vandalism hate symbols were placed on their facility, their place of worship that, you know, the community showed up, 1,000 people showed up to help. Saying, you know, how can we help from all different religions and faith, and you know, people just from across the region saying, what can we do to help?

And so, I think the one thing I've learned from these conversations is that people want to help. They want to make change, they want to continue the dialogue, they want to continue this conversation, and I believe that, yes, there is frustration but there is still a sense of optimism that we can actually make a difference. I believe we can make a difference. I've seen it work in organizations in the past.

Back when I was a School Board Trustee, I was talking to a Trustee Chris Ellis earlier today, I was telling him about my experiences around, you know, the collection of data at the Toronto District School board and myself and another trustee, moved to collect data. And a decade later the information that is applicable that is so powerful when it comes to decision making it empowers the business. It reveals what’s going on in the society. It’s taking a flashlight and shining it on areas that people don't want to talk about.

We talk about, you know, people say that data is going to stigmatize people and going to place people into more boxes and categories. But we know, this is something that Sam Erry, the head of it and myself, say , in data collection if there is no data there is no problem and there is no solution.

We need this data, we need to collect it. But we've also heard that you can't just collect data and have data stack up and pile on top of each other because you need to have a plan to react to the data and data is being used as kind of the next step, to kind of keep everyone happy for the time being.

So what we're doing is we're going to collect data, we're going to put in policies, we're going to bring forward a strategy that has many pieces connected to it. We've heard ideas making sure that the Directorate has legislation attached to it, make sure it’s resourced properly, make sure you do, this, this, this. We've heard so many ideas. I believe at the end of the day we'll be able to come forward with a plan that is reflective of the conversation that we've had across the Province. A plan effective of the 50 plus organizations we've met with to talk about systemic racism and racism here in the Province of Ontario.

So I'm going to end there, and just say thank you, again, for being here. And I do want to recognize Deputy Minister Matthews, the Deputy Minister for Children and Youth Services. I think this is important that she’s here. This is not her file, but she knows that she needs to be part of this conversation because our children and youth depend on, you know, the work of the Anti Racism Directorate. And we've got the Attorney General and other members with us here today. It’s all part of the conversation.

The ARD, the Anti racism Directorate is not a standalone organization that will work in isolation. It’s about bringing a race based lens to policy within government to build a better society as a whole.

So thank you very much, again, for being here. I want to take now this moment to welcome Sam Erry up to the podium. He is the Associate Deputy Minister for the Anti racism Directorate. He’s got the team in the back and they've been working hard for months across the Province. He’s going to walk us through what we've learned so far, what our current plan is, and again, it’s just our preliminary plan based on what we've heard and put together. He’s going to share it with you. This is not our strategy, it’s what we're thinking about doing. And the whole objective here today is to share what we've learned and what we're thinking about doing, the approach, and also get feedback from you., but also, listen to your experiences and ideas and what you think we should be doing.

So again, thank you very much. And it’s a it’s wonderful for me to be here today to spend the afternoon with you. Thank you for being here.


>> Sam: Good afternoon, everybody. I wanted to clear my bias against tall guys. (Laughing).

I was hoping I'd be up on the stage, but here I am. Anyway, can everybody see me?


I think I'm average, which is okay. Thank you. Thank you for being here. I think it’s a Saturday and I have groceries to buy and all that kind of stuff, but this is important work for all of us because it affects the lives of every individual in the Province, and that’s really what we're trying to do here is ensure that we have racial equity. Because the cost of racial inequity to any society is enormous.

If you have a healthy democracy and a democracy that is totally inclusive, then, you know, those citizens feel very inclusive and contribute in a significant way to the value proposition of that society.

So, you know, certainly the government and through our representatives here today, you know, we've got this really great opportunity to drive this.

So I'm going to give you a flavour of, kind of, where we're headed with this, and it’s directional and illustrative. So I don't want anybody to overly fixate on a slide. I had somebody at one of the sessions say, you shouldn't be drawing those boxes that say, Sam, racism is very integrated, and I get that. I get that. And I think they're still in their Poli Sci third year course or something, but at the end of that they'll figure it out.

But what I'm saying is this is just illustrative. Take it for what it is. I have deep, deep anti racism experts in the organization and they're credentialized. They know what they're talking about. We don't have the corner on genius and that’s partly also why we're here to listen.

So much of the work that we're going to be doing is going to be foundational work. We need to have an evidence based conversation. Right. So this is a topic that’s filled with emotion for good reason, but we need to be very objective and scientific and disciplined about how we do this work.

So, and the Directorate is in the early stages. We are ramping up, so this timing is excellent to have this conversation to help inform what we're doing.

Okay. These are the four boxes that I referenced earlier. So you know, racism in any society will, you know, show itself in any one of these ways. You know, the experience of most people is at the individual level or at the group level.

But, what we're going to focus on at the Directorate is really looking at the systemic and institutional racism. And the expression I've been using is that if you solve the problem upstream you solve it all the way down. And that is why we're going to focus at the very, very front end of the conversation, which you know, the materiality of that is really looking at policies and the systemic challenges in organizations.

Okay. This slide is really designed to say that, you know, to solve this problem, we need I know it’s an old cliché but we need everyone working together. The Anti Racism Directorate, and it’s a privilege to lead it with Minister Coteau and myself. We're situated in the Cabinet Office. If you're in Ottawa, that is sort of like the Privy Council Office. That’s a pretty high profile place to be because we can affect change right at the very front end.

So as decisions are coming to decision makers in various committees, we are there as part of the policy thinking and the planning process. So that’s an important thing.

And the Directorate is an important instrument of change Mahatma Ghandi said, be the change. So we're trying to stick to those principles and those values, but really, it’s going to be all of society to do it. We need communities to be involved, and you are, you're here. And I'll reference this point earlier about the importance of working with the community, we need parents to do their roles, you know, in socializing their children, as I do with mine.

And then we need the business community to be heavily engaged in this conversation because at the root of, you know, racial inequity is economic inequity, so it’s very important that our business leaders are also part of this conversation and not sort of respectfully on the sidelines watching the conversation.

And this is a widely accepted definition of systemic racism in the literature.

Okay. And as the Minister mentioned earlier, we're not starting from scratch. There is a plethora of research, you know, authored by all kinds of prominent people, Stephen Lewis was mentioned. Justice Sinclair in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We're not starting from scratch, we're mining all the good information and data. I think one of the questions that’s going to be up for you later, is in the sea of priorities, everything having to get done yesterday, where should we focus? You know, so is your point of view in the education sector where we should go after or the justice sector? What are the sectors in your point of view, that we should be focusing on?

It is pretty clear what we need to do, and the most recent one, it’s a very comprehensive piece of work, so on the Indigenous side, we'll be essentially using that as our roadmap in moving forward.

Okay. Just in a broad stroke, what are we trying to do here? We're trying to eliminate systemic racism in institutions within government and government institutions. Increase awareness and understanding of systemic racism. You know, one of the things I discovered personally is that a lot of people don't understand, and I'll say this respectfully, what is systemic racism.

Most people, if you ask them, you know, it’s usually down at the individual level or people will say it’s systematic. But systematic and systemic are not the same thing. And generally, unless you're working in a policy or public sector kind of context, this is an area that people need to understand. And I'll talk a little bit later about how we're going to enhance that understanding.

Promoting fair practices and policies that lead to racial equity, and collaboration with the community. This is such a critical thing, and I'm going to speak to that in a few minutes.

I should tell you that I took advanced high school French for four years. I got 90s. Okay. And unfortunately today, I can only have the conversation in past tense.


Because I've forgotten my entire future tense.


So if you want to talk to me about what happened yesterday, I can do that in French, but that’s about it. I do apologize. I'm kind of personally ashamed about the fact that I can't, after all that time, be conversing in French.

Okay. Again, in broad strokes, these are the four primary focus areas. Policy and research, okay, this is an important business line for us. We underlined evidence based. You know, as you think about just general policy development, an evidence based approach is where we need to go today in doing policy work.

So in doing that, you know, we need to make sure that, and the Minister referenced this quite extensively and rightfully about data collection.

Some people we've heard have said we have enough data we can move on. I would respectfully say to you that the data we have is identity based data. It is not race based data. Okay. The surveys you're filling out with statscan and so on, these are identity based data. That’s important. But race based data is what we're after. We're after desegregated race based data. This is not about your personal information. Obviously, whatever we collect will be filtered through in terms of privacy laws and all those kinds of things. But at a desegregated level is what we're after.

So collecting that data is important. As the Minister said, collecting data for the sake of collecting data is a useless exercise.

We have looked, and one of the things we're going to do is look at best practices in other jurisdictions. There are a couple of progressive jurisdictions in the United States that have produced a very, very powerful tool, called a Racial Equity Impact Assessment. You can Google that. There is an organization called Race Forward that trademarked this tool. What this tool is, it’s a powerful tool that allows you to influence the policy process.

It has a level of consciousness built into it in terms of removing unconscious bias. People are not purposely doing it when they develop policy, they're unconsciously doing it, and that is what, what we're trying to get at in this context. We're going to work with that tool and bring it into the Ontario context. This is where the data piece is critical. We're not collecting data just for the sake of collecting data, we're collecting the data to then push it into the assessment process. Call it a lens, but it’s very comprehensive. The analogy I use is like an environmental assessment. We don't build a bridge or highway without an impact assessment. The tool would have a similar order of magnitude. You employ it at the front end in program service delivery. We're going to develop an Anti-Racism Strategy for the Province.

That Strategy, because we recognize there are different populations in the Province, and that a cookie cutter approach is not going to work, we've heard that very clearly, and the needs are different. The histories of different populations are different. The experiences are different.

So we're going to have, as a subcomponent, an Anti-Black Strategy. Okay. An Anti-Black Strategy. We're going to have as a subcomponent, Islamophobia, we're going to have as a subcomponent, an Anti-Semitic Framework associated with that. An Anti-Indigenous Framework, and that will be informed by the Indigenous community. We're not developing that at all, we're going to work through the various tables, government to government, that are available in communities to have an Indigenous informed Anti-Racism Strategy.

And of course, the race based framework. What the Directorate is going to do is develop the framework and then we're going to road test or pilot it in a couple of sectors and see how it works. If it works well, then we'll bring it back to government and see how else we can use the framework.

What we want everyone to do is collect the data the same way. We want the consistency from sector to sector to have apples to apples and not oranges to oranges, so it’s very important we have the discipline around the data collection.

The data we collect locally, the Directorate is not collecting the data but the various sectors are collecting the data. Again, we're going to take an evidence based approach and do some market research and talk to Ontarians about, like through this forum as well, what does race mean to you, systemic racism mean to you, racism mean to you? People have given us really good ideas about how to launch a public awareness and education campaign. Many people have said you need to focus on the youth. Many people said you need a digitally focused campaign. So we're going to do that research and see what the advice shows as well as the feedback that you've given us and put together a campaign.

Community collaboration, so you know, I think we need to acknowledge, for those of us that work in public services and public sector that, you know, we've tied ourselves to this kind of bias model. The bias model is, you know, government and the bureaucracies engaging with stakeholders and that’s been the traditional model.

What we really need to do, when you look at principles of Open Government or open engagement, in very progressive jurisdictions, it’s about bringing other voices to the table. Many of you that are here have interests as taxpayers as commuters, as consumers of government services, you have a voice. You have something to say.

And so how do we bring those voices? So this is open engagement. You've got decision makers and the public. This is a democracy at work, frankly. So we need to think about these kinds of collaborative techniques and not having that traditionally respectfully models with other stakeholders so that other voices can come. We're going to be sensitive to that.

We need to work with the community. The Directorate is not going anywhere, and frankly neither is the community, if we're not working together. If you think about the outcome, the outcomes are about people. It’s about improving the lives of people, making them feel more inclusive, and ensuring we have racial equity in society.

So that relationship, has to be a very, very strong relationship, and so the Minister has made this commitment, and I am too, as well, on behalf of the team we'll be engaging.

Last but not least is sustainable government. All that really means is two things. One, the Minister referenced it already, about the longevity. We have the Directorate today, we're going to do some foundational work. That’s not going to happen overnight. Even though we have lots of information available to us, it’s going to take time for sectors to collect data and so on.

So we need a longer runway for the Directorate, and you know, we'll offer up our best advice to the government on that.

And the second piece to that is something I mentioned earlier, so we are ramping up as the Directorate, anti racism competencies are not prevalent in public services. Okay. We have diversity competency, policy competency, good program competencies, but hardcore anti racism competencies are not prevalent. We can't call ourselves a Directorate if we don't have anti racism competencies. We launched the recruitment process, and we're hoping that many of the experts in anti racism will come from the community, and I can tell you, we're completely oversubscribed, and we'll be in that envious situation of having really high quality talent coming in, which is wonderful because it’s the Directorate that is then going to provide the service out.

The last thing I want to say on that, is that, and the Minister referenced it as well, the Anti racism Directorate is there to leverage the mandates of other organizations, be so we'll be working with our ministry partners to leverage their mandates.

So when people are thinking about resources and funding, yes, we have some base funding to get the work done that we need to today, but remember, there are millions and millions of millions and dollars in the base budgets of many ministries, and we're going to leverage those to make sure we have an anti racism perspective in that work. Think about the bottom line in those dollars. This is a whole of government approach, this is not just the Anti Racism Directorate as an isolated entity. It’s the vehicle for which government is going to achieve the outcomes that it needs to.

Anyway, today is about you, not me. I'll be hanging around later if you want to catch me before I get on the plane. So I'll be happy to talk to you. Thank you for your patience.


>> Ginelle: So, as he said, today we are here to hear from you. And the afternoon has been divided into three parts. So we heard Minister Coteau’s remarks and also from Anti-Racism Directorate, and now we're turning to the community discussion portion.

I want to note that the meeting is being live streamed and recorded, and it may be made publicly available after today’s session. Joining the meeting means that you understand and consent to this.

French and American Sign Language translation is available for this meeting. Bathrooms are located to the left of the lobby or down the hall from the right of this room, so that way. Go outside and that way.

And we have light refreshments at the back of the hall. We have several items to get through, and so in the interest of us hearing from everyone, and it is a packed room, we're going to limit the comments as much as possible to two minutes. So I'm going to have to ask for your assistance with that. And I will give you a cue, and so please try to honour that. Please.


So you should have received some comment cards that include information about the mandate that you were just told about, and if you don't have a card, then the volunteers, the youth volunteers in the red T-shirts should be able to bring one to you.

If you don't get a chance to get everything you want to say out in the two minutes I will be providing you, then there is also an email so that you can make your comments on line at

For those who are watching online, you can also make your comments in that manner.

So if there are no more questions, then we'll move on, and the yes, there is one more thing. If you are seated and unable to stand and come up to a mic to ask your question or to make your comment, I should say, then speak to one of the volunteers in the red T-shirts and they can bring a microphone to you at your seat.

I also, I'm reminded that you need to speak clearly into the microphone, so please don't make comments from your seat because it is being recorded and the only way that it can be heard well enough is through the microphone.

Okay. So we're ready to begin. So the microphone, there is one here, there is one there, and it’s your turn. Go ahead.

>> Audience Member: Okay. Hello. Okay. I work for the (identifying information removed) and just finished a Master’s in Education last year. One of my research questions was particularly about the representation of minority teachers in the school board. It’s a pretty big gap. As an educator working for the Ontario school board, I continue to question why there is a gap between the representation of minority teachers to white teachers, especially since there is a large population of minority teachers.

And particularly, I'm concerned with how this gap affects the learning of minority students. Thank you.

>> Ginelle: Thank you for your question. Next mic.

>> Audience Member: Thank you very much. My name is (name and identifying information removed). I want to say thank you to Minister Coteau and the Directorate. I've been to four of these, and I can tell that this is the best one because you've taken a lot of suggestions and recommendations that have been made throughout the last few months and actually put them into the mandate.

I want to say that the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) is committed to an equity agenda that recognizes that in addition to all other lives, Black lives and Indigenous lives do matter equally. We support many of the statements and submissions that have already been put into, put into submission, those of the Colour of Poverty, the Ontario Federation Of lLabour, the Coalition of Black Trade Unions and a bunch of coalitions that have already committed things.

So without being repetitive and conscious of time, we'd like to give the Minister copies of the Canadian Labour Congress, Anti-Racism Task Force Report, It’s an old report called Challenging Racism Going Beyond Recommendations , but it covers everything from employment to the criminal justice system to education to everything. So we want to make sure that you have a copy of that, Minister.

We also want to make sure that you have a copy of the conclusions and recommendations that were brought forward by the United Nations Working Group on Experts of People of African Descent. We know a lot of recommendations due fall under Provincial Mandate. We've past time for action, and please take the recommendations that have been made over decades and put them into action.

One of the questions on the form talks about what we want to encourage you to do. In addition to everything else, we want to encourage the Directorate to do follow up consultations as we move forward.

It’s about moving forward and not about prioritizing recommendations, but rather, how do we take all of these and create a legislative framework so all provincial agencies and municipal agencies and moving forward, federal agencies actually deal effectively with the issue of racism.

And this is definitely not the first anti racism organization we've had. We've had the Secretariat and we hope you take the good that came out of that Secretariat and move forward. In 10 years, what we'd like to see is other cities and countries looking to us as an example of how to address anti racism with a systemic legislative framework. Thank you.

>> Ginelle: Thank you. Over to this mic.

>> Audience Member: Hello. I also, actually, would like to acknowledge that this is great to have the Directorate in existence and the attendance at this meeting is great.

I want to follow up on what the lady before said about teachers and the lack of diversity there. I have two sons who have been in the Ontario School System for a while and my wife is a principal of an elementary school and she is one of the very few brown faces, so to go beyond the need for, we not only need more brown teachers, but we need them to be teaching a wider variety of stuff and teaching the stuff they are teaching from a wider perspective.

But I also suggest, and I'm hoping the Directorate can have a hand in this also, is that the whole model of education has to, especially given what’s happen south of the boarder go, beyond just the teacher imparting knowledge, to teachers encouraging the whole system, what my wife has told me, more courageous conversations among students, among staff, among everybody, because we need to be talking more.

>> Ginelle: Thank you. Over to this mic.

>> Audience Member: Thank you. My name is (name and identifying information removed). I'd like to challenge all the members of the people here today, one of them is a trustee and the liberal caucus has several trustees in it so they have an understanding of what school boards are facing.

And I'm grateful that already the education sector has been mentioned twice already, so obviously, people feel that school boards play a strong role in tackling the issues.

What I would say, and I have to be very clear, I am not speaking on behalf of the Ottawa School District, I'm here as an individual trustee, let’s make that very clear, so as I don't get into any trouble.


Which I've been known to do from time to time. But I do have the ear of Provincial members, I would like to say, as a trustee, you know, our Board is, I can say our Board is very committed to these issues, but I will say is that, and I'm happy to do anything to move that forward, but a lot of the things that we're talking about, like data collection and other positive policies that we can take and put in place, take resources. And to be blunt, by resources, I mean money.

So we need money to do these things. We need money to collect data because it takes human resources to do that and those people are paid. So, I'm looking to my right, which I usually look to my left or be left, but just to say that the school board is on board to move this issue forward, and we need the resourced to do it. Thank you.

>> Ginelle: Thank you. Over to this mic.

>> Audience Member: Good of afternoon everyone. My name is (name removed), I'm here just to share something with you, what I experience as systemic discrimination.

I was a former (identifying information removed). Three weeks into my job, the Goderich tornado happened. Just to show you what society thinks or believes. I attended the briefings, the Provincial briefing; it’s with a White colleague, one of my staffers, and a chief law enforcement officer, pulled a chair, and he pointed across me and to my White colleague saying , this place is for the Manager of Public Health. In my head I just chuckled, wow, why do I always have to be the help? Why do I always have to be the maid? Why can't I be the manager? And this went on for a little bit. And I stepped forward, and he just slides his chair over. And I was just amazed that I didn't even get that respect.

So I'm here just to say to you, two years ago, I wrote to Ms. Wynn about this same criteria problem with racism in the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. I was let go from my job just because I exposed the inappropriate funding and the spending that they were doing. And when you speak up, you're shafted.

I went on welfare, social assistance, and now guess where I am? I'm in OPS in the file room, and I was raised by a black mother, single, who told me, (name removed), do everything you can. Work hard. Don't cheat. And where am I today? In a file room.

And I'm telling you, this is very emotional for me because I wrote to Ms. Wynn highlight the problem. So I'm here, I applied for one of your positions, you said at Regent Park, you're hiring 33. Well, now you need 32 people because here I am. Thank you.


>> Ginelle:: Thank you. Go ahead.

>> Audience Member: That was awesome. So, hello, everybody. My name is (name removed), and I will be making a presentation on behalf of council for Sikh. Discrimination is a pattern of policy or practices that are part of the structure of an organization and which maintain, create, or perpetuate disadvantage for racial racialized persons.

Another definition of systemic racism is policies and practices in institutions which result in the exclusion of designated groups.

We believe that, we the Sikhs are the designated group, which is excluded by the government of Ontario. The turbans are not accepted in the Province. I'm now going to explain an example pertaining to reasonable accommodation and explain how Ontario has dropped the buck when it comes to wearing Turban. Wearing Turban has been a bona fide religious practice. Even though some private companies are tackling this problem from their own front, the government of Ontario has done absolutely nothing from this from a policy standpoint.

The Directorate is asking us about which system or institutions should the government address first? We believe that this is the time that the Government of Ontario, can and you as the Minister responsible, you guys as the Minister and people in positions where you can make some changes, and are responsibility for this issue, should recognize and address that this systemic racism against the Sikhs, needs to be addressed first, by and within, the government of Ontario itself.

We have extensively worked on and have tried to make various elected representatives of our party, including liberal party of Ontario and other parties aware of our concerns. But unfortunately, it has not resulted in any legislative or policy change.

>> Ginelle: Okay. Wrap up please.

>> Audience Member: Even though I would love to talk about this issue more. I was right there.


Audience Member: Perfectly timed. Even though I would love to talk about this issue for hours, given the time constraint and other communities here to address their concern, we have a brief, which we will be presenting to the Directorate today. We detailed the issue of Sikh truck drivers and others in our report.

At the end of the report, we rec the suitable amendments being incorporated into the Employment Standards Act of 2000 which accommodates the wearing of Sikh articling of faith and the turbans in workplaces in Ontario. Thank you all for your time.

>>Ginelle: Thank you. Come to this mic here, please. Go ahead.

>> Audience Member: Thank you. Thank you, Minister and thank you for putting this on and making it public and making it available. That’s what, I represent myself, I am (name removed) an Irish immigrant, I've been in Canada nearly 40 years. I'm a former marine engineer. I have extensive experience in engineering and work shop trades. I was injured on the job so collect a permanent disability pension for a head injury. My work, post head injury, is that as a heritage activist. That has brought me into a kind of collision that I never expected, because I'm excited, and I look at me.

I used to have a big red beard and blue eyes, but I speak with an accent and come from a culture and come from a particular Irish place. You may not think that that systemic racism is systemic in this country affect people like me, but it does. Because an American here, because we have in Canada, particularly in Ontario, we have a very, very distinct, White Anglo Saxon Protestant. So the characters are driven over and their like where reaction left their stamp on this country that is here today.

We're dominant here, we do not really welcome in people. And that’s reflected across this country, everywhere in the institution, but more so in Ontario. We have the relations but , guess what? None of that, none of that basic system in the country reflects the reality of a multicultural country.

So basically, we're looking at the very origins of this country. That may be beyond the scope here, but I think it should be addressed because recently, here in Ottawa, and personally now, I'm looking at the big picture here. I was involved, and I'm still involved in a smaller group, but it became a national issue because now a worker’s commemorative group, and we saw, because I have a background in a trade union group, and I'm an injured worker, so we saw, and people in the room know me, we saw the campaign to get together to erect monuments to honor the workers who build the canal. It’s on the picture, on the plaques, got up, won the campaign, and years later and the campaign reads on the plaque down there says, the workers mainly recent Irish immigrant, that at the time in 1826, brought in 10,000 to 12,000 Irish immigrants. 180 years later, we run into brick walls, and it took 11 years and 3 times it got it overturned , by the historical nature [sic], by the system, at almost every level because it said, those Irish workers didn't count for it. Thank you. But that is for, and this is a bigger picture, systemic everything, and reflected on that campaign, I thought I would share that with you because it’s important.

>> Ginelle: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you can we go to the next microphone. Thank you for your comments. Next. Go ahead, sir. I see. Sorry.

>> Audience Member: Thank you. I am a representative of the Canadian Pakistani community. I don't hold any position, but I have been working in this, or with this organization for about 40 years.

And before talking about systemic racism, the Pakistani community is very distressed and alarmed by the recent attack on one of our youngster in Hamilton. I think he was 15 or 16 years of age and was beaten by possibly two school students.

And since a lot of representatives from school boards are present here, I would like, I guess it’s my fault that I should have read about it, that what the Directorate is doing, collaborating with the schools, school board, their policy. Because there is the age where, I think, we can change a lot of minds.

What they have been doing in schools to teach them about anti racism, and unfortunately, for the last 10 years our federal government was believing in old stock and new stock Canadians. I have lived in Canada for 50 years and I don't know if I'm old stock or new stock, and fortunately we have the new government, but they don't have those policies. The multicultural policies are at least not apparent to every Canadian. So how is your Directorate collaborating with the federal government, I think is more onus on you because the federal government is lacking behind.

So my question is, back to the school policy, because my grandkids are in high school, I don't want to see one of my grandkids coming home and beaten up and his skull broken by another student in the class. It seems to me that this is the most important policy that your Directorate could address. Thank you.

>> Ginelle: Thank you. Could we go back to this microphone here, please.

>> Audience Member:: Hi. My name is (name deleted), being a refugee since the age of 14, and being in two different country, and I've seen so much of so many painful things. But here, I'm not coming here to talk about those pains.

I know I am more resilient, and I know I achieve my dreams and my goals. The reason I came here is because of the fear. I have a fear that our understanding of racism today is about being black, white, or Muslim or religious.

But racism goes beyond that. It will affect every one of us as civilized nations can go down, and a more developed country and family, all of us can be cut down. That’s why we really need to root out this thing because it’s going to affect everybody. I want you to understand it at every level. It’s not about personally being attacked and succeeding the goals. I know I will achieve my goal, I don't have any pain for that one.

So when we talk about systemic racism, systemic racism can only be ruled out by another system. We need to get it out into that system that can rule out. Being a student, I found it. And when you think about systemic racism, systemic racism, they don't physically see the racism. It’s systems, so that they fuel the racism. They don't do racism in front, but there is this fueling that helps them.

I found out, mostly in higher institutions, being a student, I found out that because in, I think in Canada, there is more involvement in the universities than anything else.

I attended one seminar, and then physically saying someone, 94% of those who have been accepted into the medical schools are white elite ones. I say, something is wrong. I don't want to say it like that, if you can publicly announce that one.

So there is a system. There is no one saying that the Black person cannot go to medical school, but there is a problem for medical for a Black guy to go to a medical school. There is a challenge that we face, I found out, but that is not so.

>> Ginelle: You have to wrap up your comments, please.

>> Audience Member: A system, that we really have to work it out. Thank you.

>> Ginelle: Thank you. Thank you so much. Over here, please.

>> Audience Member: My name is (name removed). I'm a retired public servant with the public federal government. I've been working hi I've been working in the employment file and directly anti racism for the last 20 some years, so I'm not giving you the answer to all of this, but I would like to answer the question number five. How would we like to see ourselves, or what is assessed in 10 years' time?

So based on my limited experience, I would like to say that in 10 years' time, I don't want to see you guys here again.


Audience Member: Not that I don't like you.


Audience Member: It’s obvious that we have done a lot, even within the federal public service. Remember, when I started as an executive there, they were trying to find 10 executives. For a minority to fill the table. They couldn't find 10 across the country in Ottawa.

Anyway, my key point here is that we don't want to talk to the converted. Obviously, we're all passionate about the file here, but I hope in 10 years' time we have done enough to bridge the gap, if we look across the border in the south, there is a polarization there. We don't want the population to polarize.

So I hope that the Directorates, the Anti Racism Directorates of Ontario will do something about bridging that gap and talk to those who are not converted. And understand why they are, you know, they have their anti racism culture or whatever.

So it’s only by bridging the gap that we would make progress, not just talking to the converted. Thank you.

>> Ginelle:: Thank you. Go to this microphone, please.

>> Audience Member: I'm (identifying information removed) , the worker to approach communities in the area.

It’s been 15 years that I've been here, and without lying, I have never identified to one community or the other. I was a human being, and it’s the type of look of people that made it for me. I work at the radio and people approached me and asked me to get involved in Black History Month. Is there a White History Month? Why should we always be in a box?

But, as someone said at home, someone with great wisdom so very quickly, if you have situation, you understand that you are different, and this brought me to complain to the Human Rights Tribunal in Canada, and I won, because, of course, there was discrimination. So that brought me to get interested in this question and to organize meetings. And people are afraid of difference. What you don't know is scary.

So we are not racists, it’s just a lack of understanding. And so when we put the means in activities to make people meet each other, of course, we realize that we're all human beings. So the concept of race is a created concept. It was created at one point to make other humans feel less human because we wanted them to be slaves.

So, in order to add a little something, there is a lot of actions that we can take. There is an action week against racism. We can also think about this. And also, on the 21st of March each year, we have the National Day Against Racial Racism. So we think about these kind of things. And wrote an article, and this was called a society where Black and Indigenous people are minority. We have to see that there is a majority of us in our jails. Thank you.


>> Audience Member: I believe I'm taller than that. Of anyways, I'm not going to play with that. My name is (name removed).

>> So there is an interpretation. There is, I looked slowly at the presentation a few minutes ago on the sectors mentioned.

>> Ginelle: Okay. Go ahead then.

>> Audience Member: Okay. I will continue.(Speaking off mic).

>> Audience Member: So I'll go quickly, the Directorate mentioned four sectors that are important, but I did not see the justice system taken into consideration during that presentation, so I would like to know what happened? Is this just something you forgot? Because the person racialized and others are overrepresented in Canadian jails.

>> Audience Member: As my fellow trustee, I'm speaking on behalf of myself and not the school board. But I am proud of what our school board has done in this area, but that’s sort of like praising with faint praise, or damning with faint praise.

We have a Community on Equity with our Board, and some of the members are here today. We have been calling for our school board to become a little more granular when it comes to identifying race, collecting data by race, ethnicity, and income.

I am envious of Minister Coteau being able to get that collaboration at his school board in the past, because that hasn't happened at our school board. One of the concerns that we hear when it’s brought up from our district staff, is they're concerned with the risk when they start addressing and breaking down by race. It’s a very complicated issue.

So, my recommendation, and they say they're waiting for the Province. Guidance from the Province on how school boards would do this would be very helpful, as well as, taking a hammer to the Ministry of Education and saying, get on with it.

>> Audience Member: Yes. Yes. Yes.

>> Audience Member: Many of my fellow trustees are wishing to do this. That our district staff feel they are putting the board at risk and make that argument. We don't all agree with that, and we're ready to move forward.

Resources, of course, are necessary and would be nice. But I certainly don't want to allow the lack of resources to hinder us moving this issue forward.

>> Ginelle: Thank you.

>> Audience Member: And if I may, just quickly, there is one I would encourage many of you here are leaders and connectors in your community, when you're talking to parents and they're telling you they're not happy with the schooling that their children are getting, go to the teacher. Speak to them. If that doesn't work, go to the principal Or if that doesn't work, go to the Superintendent and get in touch with your Trustee. Please, move this issue forward. We need your voices at the board level and at the school level advocating for your children’s education.

>> Ginelle: : Thank you.


>> Ginelle: : Go ahead.

>> Audience Member: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, MPVs, trustees, and all the others. There is a double standard in Canada. I am organized in BC and I am organized in Manitoba and still – the Sikh Motorcycle Club of Ontario , here forefathers, brothers, and warriors in action with the turban and facing bomb shells and others, but now these days we are refused to wear the turban on the motorcycle.

Now let’s say the government has a system, say hey you're allowed to live in Canada. Let’s say they're saying, you are allowed to walk 100 steps, but allowed only 80 steps with a turban and 20 steps without one.

Our brothers are in the forces in the Army and police forces, they are wearing turban and facing the criminals with it and facing the criminals without it, but when the matter of motorcycles come, they say, no, no, you are not allowed to wear a turban on the motorcycle in Ontario. Let’s say the first, if he wants to drive a motorcycle in Ontario, he will be charged .

>> Ginelle: I'm going to have to ask you to wrap up your comments.

>> Audience Member Yes, ma'am. We are struggling for this organization of turbans. This is a struggle of the Sikhs from 87 to 2016. I would like to hand over these documents to the Honourable Minister, Mr. Michael Coteau, and I'm requesting him, if he can pass this, you know, this issue to the government, and it should be addressed by the system. Otherwise, you know, we will not give up our struggle until we will get full recognition of the law. Thank you so much.

>> Ginelle: Thank you. Thank you so much. To this mic, please.

>> Audience Member : Good evening. I think I would like to say that, comment with the Trustee if we hammer the Minister, then we have to hammer the union, the Teachers Union, too. There is both ways. That’s only one way.

So I think I would like to, I'm a member of an association. Our past nine years, we try to look around and at least advocate to our Somali men and children, in the system justice system.

Our finding, when we met with the Corrections Canada, at least there is a connection. We're finding at least 56% of those that enter are in Ontario. 56% has no high school diploma. So you can find the same number that was 2013, same number, you can find they have addiction.

So if you take that number into consideration, there is a connection between the lack of education and the mental illness and also the children with criminality.

So we're saying here , it’s not really making sense, when you have 80% of that school board are minority kids, and you can see only one individual or two individuals is different, come from their community in the school. That’s what we look for. We would like Canada to be better for society and equal and fair for all.

I think it is a future, we're humans, our students are humans here, but you have to find, when the teachers teach a young man and see that T shirt they're wearing and say, who buy for you, I think it’s discrimination. And discrimination is not only the people or what you look like, but it means institutions have in place, has to be working for all. If you see students of all, see even those holding the sign, you cannot find any young man or racial community in the staff holding that sign. You can see it’s one race and only one race. And almost invariably in any governmental system. We have a systemic racism and institution, when it’s alive, then we're looking at good education and good for our children.

>> Ginelle: Thank you so much. Thank you. Go ahead, sir.

>> Audience Member : Okay (name and identifying information removed) I've been on the Advisory Committee on Equity. We're talking here about systemic racism and institutionalized racism.

These institutions are made up of human beings. The systems are not neutral. The systems don't exist without human beings. It is racist within the institution that constitute institutionalized racism. It is racists within a system that makes that that makes for systemic racism. I'll just illustrate with a very simple example.

In (identifying information removed) I was in Western Europe in a German speaking country, you know, wanting to write a thesis on German Literature. And the topic I chose was the depiction of Black skinned people in German literature of a certain period.

In the entire Department of German Theology, which is German linguistic, not a single professor, we could not find a single supervisor, you know to, supervise my work. I was on a scholarship. So I said to them, well, if I can't do this job, you better prepare another source with your scholarship. And I left.

So essentially what I want to say here, racists in most cases, don't even realize what they're doing. They are not conscious of what their actions mean. Racism is a fact of life. In every part of the world, where you have light skinned and dark skinned people you will find racism.

>> Ginelle: Wrap up your comments please.

>> Audience Member: I think the problem the point is that racism these differences should not then become obstacles to working together. And finally, to answer question five, you know, what I would suggest here is that, you know, educationists in this room should tell the Ministry of Education to overhaul the highly egocentric curriculum in the schools.

>> Ginelle: Thank you. Thank you very much.


>> Ginelle: Go ahead.

>> Audience Member: I'm going to speak as a community leader. A little about my own experience, I function and speak as a expert on a variety of issues, human rights, gender, at the local, national and international levels. And just this week, I was telling a friend of mine that I get more respect, and I struggle less, when I'm outside Canadian borders and speaking as an expert. And that speaks volumes, as a leader, to deal with the fact that no matter where I go, I am first aware of the color of my skin, my religious background, before I can get and gain the credibility for having the voice.

So there is a few things. I have a formal background in human rights, law, policy, and criminal law, I'm going to do, give a few tangibles that I would like included in this. One, I'll start with a story, yesterday I had lunch with a friend who is struggling to find herself in terms of employment.

She works the with the federal service and she told me, when I go for interview, I take off my scarf and that’s when I get the job. That’s an everyday job, something that your community is dealing with, meaning your neighbor, meaning all of us.

What that indicates is that there is a cultural issue within the community. When we're talking about tangibles and what we want to do with the policy, one thing I highly recommend is the cultural awareness, not necessarily cultural, but the societal awareness of yes, this is wrong.

Last week, I gave a speech as a gender, violence against women expert, and one of the questions that came my way was, you know, the Trump situation and the hate crimes that took place in Ottawa last week. And I'm going to read just really briefly what my sentiment was after that situation. And it’s just to demonstrate the fact that it’s for just about the school system. Actually, I had a teacher come up to me after and say, I don't think it’s fair that you blame it on the teachers and then you put the pressure on us.

>> Ginelle: You're already at 2 minutes.

>> Audience Member : I'll read this. I just want to say the result of that and what that means is that it’s at this level too. It’s at our colleague level, peer levels and part of society. So one recognizing that we need, need to also look at other scenarios, that are 100% under reported because we live with it and that needs to come out of the data. And it’s a societal issue that needs to be addressed as a society and not simply a youth education issue. Thank you.

>> Ginelle: Go ahead.

>> Audience Member: My name (name and identify information removed). I know this is a federal organization, but the problems start from home. What we're dealing with is that there is a crisis. Nobody is saying that, but we've heard it from many people the population of Black offenders has gone up at the rate that is scaring the parents, scaring the community, and scaring the youth we're trying to raise. 71% increase in the last 10 years. That is far above what it should have been, it’s not directly proportional to the population of offenders living outside of the prison, which is also giving a message.

What I would like to say is that the problem in prison didn't start there. It started in the community. The system and the racial problems are seeping into the community which is what needs to change. Attitudes needs to change because the young people are coming out, trying to do their best in preparing to be effective members of society, and we're stopping them here. So we need to have the government to put down plans to educate, to put up centres for education to prepare for the young people to come belong and be effective in the community.

The other thing is that the laws have to change in regard to racism. We have a mask, and, you know, like you say, the reason for social, racial, all of these problems is the hypocrisy. That’s what causes these things. We have to start talking about it, she has to take off the veil to get a job, and the men from Irish background speak of the problem he’s going through as well. A lot of people are mentioning these things. We are one race. If we don't understand that, look at Lord of the Rings.


The race of the Orcs, the race of the Elfs, the race of the Dwarfs and the human race fighting for what they believed in. So we're trying to also prevent these problems in the institutions. You know, we're trying to put a youth forum, so we want to educate the people from a young age to understand what these are, but funding is hard to get these days because they don't recognize that there is a crisis. They recognize it with the Aboriginal community and put forth principle, but we need to recognize that there is a serious crisis going on right here as well.

>> Ginelle: Thank you.


>> Ginelle: Go ahead.

>> Audience Member: My name is (name and identifying information removed. It’s a place in university, in academia working with municipal city makers to create a more inclusive city and promote gender equality.

I want to bring, interest having said that, I haven't heard yet, and I didn't hear it from the front of the room either, that we need an intersectional approach. We want to make sure gender is included.

I've seen the issue of religion being raised as in Islamophobia, it’s a intersection of race and religion, because I'm sure there are non racialized Muslims. So I think we need to make sure that that is there because experiences of racialized women and other people who have multiple identities is quite different, and we don't see that.

My second point is just around agreeing with the data collection. It’s very, very important because I work in employment equity, and I get a lot of myths about employment equity, but when I have the data and statistics to support it, I can counter that and justify it.

We already know there is an underrepresentation, underemployment of racialized people. Precarious work, the credentials aren't recognized. I'm not saying anything anybody doesn't know that we already know in studies, but I think what we do need, is a very robust, with a good accountability mechanism around employment. Whether it’s employment equity, and if you think about modeling like the federal Employment Equity Act, there are flaws in it, but it has worked, and it hasn't.

But it does need some kind of oversight. Just assuming that people will do the good thing out of their heart doesn't always work. Right. And I can tell you that from many years of experience in that area. If you look at the federal level, and I've heard some people speaking to it, there have been some gains made. Right. When we look at employment equity, it’s not just about numbers. It’s also about the culture of the workplace. Is there harassment? Is there discrimination? Are people getting promoted? Those are very and in this case, I am going to use the word, systematic approaches, on dealing with systemic issues. Thank you.

>> Ginelle: Thank you so much.


>> Ginelle: Over to this mic, please, go ahead.

>> Audience Member :Thank you. I (identifying information removed), so I'm not going to repeat my colleague’s words on the importance of employment equity and bringing back employment equity legislation within the Province of Ontario.

I also want to thank the Elder who opened the space for us. I think it’s important to realize that people are not illegal. People are made illegal, and so gratitude to the Elder for opening up the space and moving beyond border and the state. That was not my words on behalf of QP. I think it’s important to the provincial government and Directorate to emphasize good jobs and service, and not push back, in addition to providing training for public servants.

It’s also critical that the Directorate propose measures to ensure that part time and temporary employees receive the same wage, benefits, and working conditions as full time permanent employees. We've heard the federal Minister of Finance say we need to get used to precarious work, this is not something we should stand by and take.

It’s also critical we recognize migrant workers, they're workers that we don't see and they continue to build the Province and country, and denied access to employment insurance even though they've paid into it, they're also not included in employment and labor legislation in the Province of Ontario in some way, so it’s critical they address the experience of migrant workers as a priority and advocate for immediate residency upon arrival and ensure just cause protection and reprisal collection, that they have collecting bargaining rights and the implementation of proactive enforcement measures.

So I'm going to leave it there because I know other folks have comments made and there are many of us here from labor, but just to stress we support the admissions made by the Federation of Labour, the Coalition of Indigenous Communities and the Coalition of Black Treaties.


>> Ginelle: Over here, please. Go ahead. Sorry.

>> Audience Member :Thank you so much for holding this forum. My name is (name and identifying information removed) also affirming with some other organization and south Asian Muslim, mom of three boys. My concern is that there is an issue of urgency that must be acknowledged.

As mentioned by (name removed) today representing the Pakistani community, last Saturday night a 15 year old Hamilton boy, (name removed) attacked by two White men with a bat on his way home from a friend’s home. He was just released from the hospital having head surgery for a cracked skull. His injuries are so extensive they may affect him the rest of his life. A vigil in Hamilton will be held tomorrow.

Two weeks ago my friend woke up to a swastika on her door. It included a series of instances. The main mosque and two other places were targeted. The vandal was caught. The forum has been relevant since its inception. Recent incidents like this and a rash of examples taking place throughout the U.S. show people with hateful views have become emboldened by the current political climate, and it means your mandate is now urgent.My boys, (identifying information removed), attend school and university not far from here, and I worry about them quite a bit. I'd like to see an immediate initiative to counteract this climate of intolerance, which should include making an even greater priority, the investigation of hate groups by police.

And as well, our education system must make the curriculum one that is conscious of issues of privilege and oppression throughout to counteract any intolerance being taught at home or online and perpetrated in our societies.

Perhaps, as well, afterwards if someone may wish to advise me, is there anyone here with information on what more can be done to the police in Hamilton locate (name removed) attacker, what is the Province doing if anything? This should as well, be a priority. Thank you very much.

>> Ginelle: Thank you.

>> Audience Member : Good afternoon. It’s no secret minorities are underrepresented on the inside of the criminal justice system. I would like to raise what many colleagues have raised today. Like in grade schools or high schools there is an obvious lack of minorities in crown’s offices, law schools the legal profession. Simply, I would like to include Muslims in the process as they're disproportionately targeted by it. The Attorney General has recently announced more judges and crown prosecutors will be announced in response to the Jordan decision. I think the decisions of [exwit , sic] should be at the core of the process. I think this could be one of the first positive steps to take toward this process. Thank you.

>> Ginelle: Thank you so much.


>> Audience Member: My name is (name and identifying information removed). We've heard from the public board, our colleagues here in the room. We also have representatives from Ottawa Catholic Board ,as well as our Parent Association is represented as well.

I wanted to just be a little bit optimistic in the idea that the students that we face each day have great student voice, and there is a great emphasis in the Catholic Education System and the Provincial Education System to recognize student’s voices, and to take the curriculum the changes in the curriculum are coming quickly. There is a huge emphasis on Aboriginal awareness.

We teach empathy. We have, not only on the equity lead for our board, but I work with the public board and the regional board, and we do a lot of work on policy, procedure, and implementation. It’s having an effect on our students in many, many different ways. I think when we speak of diversity as well, as the diversity in our classrooms is changing rapidly, I see many more of our student teachers now, kids that are taking their education, there is greater diversity there, which will give us more teachers applying who have greater diversity that will influence our system.

Unfortunately, there aren't very many teaching jobs period right now. It’s very difficult to get a permanent job in any Board of Education right now, but our supply teachers that are in the ranks and filling in for us when we're on sick leave, there is a resounding increase in the diversity of people coming into our school system.

So when I look at 10 years from now, I think that the global competencies that we're focusing on around the world, to have people work together and our ministry work together, in school, mental health and wellness, equity and inclusivity, I think once we mix it all up and look at the students and serve them, we're going to raise and see people that are far more responsible than the current justice system.

>> Ginelle: Thank you. Thank you very much. Okay. I'm looking at the speakers already standing, and I think that in order to get through and end on time, we're going to have to call the end of the speakers list at this point in time.

I'm going to ask everyone who is standing to please honour, try your best to honour the two minutes. And I will be as polite as possible in asking you to wind up your comments. Thank you.Okay.

>> Audience Member : Thank you. I'll try to read as quickly as possible and not make any side comments.

So as noted earlier, economic inequality is at the core of many racial inequalities and I feel it’s an area that deserves concerted effort by your Directorate. So a lot of hiring in all sectors, I would say, is done by folks who have no or limited training or knowledge on implementing existing policies and promoting equity in the workplace.

So a quick story. So my very first professional job, I was very excited to sit in my little cubical and I'm typing away, I hear two colleagues running a hiring process and are talking about the screening criteria.

In this case, they're talking about the preference given to Canadian citizens. One was like, to the other, hey, how are we going to know it’s a citizen. The other goes, true story, by their name.

I look up to see if they're noticing my name tag and then having a pause about what that means. I actually haven't told anybody this story, so you're all welcome.


So it should not take a visible nameplate from my colleagues and people I consider friends to think critically about how their actions and words impact folks like me. So a tool should be provided for those who are running hiring practices in all sectors at the outset of all HR processes, they should not have to seek them out because I think that creates barriers like the one I observed.

So these are the gatekeepers of all of our systems, and I think they need the tools to help them make these decisions, but I think at the heart, a lot of people have said, it’s not intentional or hateful, it’s ignorance, but it does have an impact on people like me when we're looking for work.

So, one last point. Less emotional. When it comes to data collection, I think that OCAP principles developed by the First Nation Information Governance Centers are a really realistic, holistic way of responsibility collecting, using and sharing data with the community about whom they're collected. And for (name removed) in the audience today, we're still waiting for justice for Abdule, Abde.


>> Ginelle: Next speaker, step right up. Thank you.

>> Audience Member : Hi. I'd like to begin by saying the category of racialized people, though useful for building solidarity across communities ignores and glosses over the fact that is lack and Indigenous people who face the worst form of violence, racism, and discrimination.

Any anti racist work that does not recognize this unique dimension is simply perpetrating racism by silencing the Black and Indigenous experience.


Furthermore, I do not want to ignore the very real issues of racism faced by other communities of colour. However, I want to recognize how Anti Blackness and colonialism against Indigenous nations are unique forms of racism and oppression.

Racism is experienced in many forms by many people. I'm not here to undermine that. However, I want to amplify the fact that racism is experienced in hierarchy in Ontario. Blackness and Indigenousty are at the bottom of this hierarchy, and face the greatest amount of oppression.

Therefore, my recommendations would be dismantling and reforming institutions and policies that disadvantage Black and Indigenous communities, so looking at health, education, police, the criminal justice system, and the welfare system, child welfare.

Furthermore, using intersectionalty when analyzing policies. So the Women’s Directorate. Ontario Works and the Ontario Support Program, understanding how the services are being delivered the services and products to Aboriginal and Black communities.

>> Ginelle: Please wrap up your comments.

>> Audience Member :Last comment. O yeah. Ministry of Public Affairs looking at how abundant green spaces and how quality of life, high quality of life looks for Black and Aboriginal children and communities.

Furthermore, we do not need more policies that focus on tolerance and diversity. We need anti oppression policy, so that also means training the Ministry of Labor, requiring anti oppression training for all supervisors.

>> Ginelle: Thank you.

>> Audience Member: And

>> Ginelle: Make the rest of your comments online, if you don't mind. I'm going to move to the next mic. Thank you. Go ahead.


>> Ginelle: Can you step right up to the next microphone. Oh, I see. Thank you.

>> Audience Member: I'd like to echo a lot of what was already said about intersectionalty. As you can see, I am a woman, I have Caribbean descent in me, and I'm also, as you can see, a person with a disability.

When I heard they were holding this event, I thought back, because now I am 25 years into my career, and a lucky woman because 25 years into my career, I can say to myself, I have a career. There are lots of women with disabilities who come through education, the same way I did, and still struggle with finding their career.

I have a career. A lot of my career has been around racism and disability rights, and the challenge is, referring to the last speaker, when we try and rank where oppression sits, at the bottom or at the top or in the middle, it really doesn't matter. What we have to think about is how to solve it.

One of the ways I think we can solve it, to the labour folks in the room, a lot of our collective agreements in this Province look at the collective agreement and then they look at employment equity.

People can't get in to jobs. The doors aren't open to them if you're looking at your collective agreement, which looks at your existing population of employees. And then you wonder why your numbers don't match up to your population. That is one of the reasons why.

The other is, people have to realize people have to be open to education at any stage. Because I was born in this country, and I still get, on a daily basis, where do you come from?


I will end on telling you how I answer that question.

>> Ginelle: I'm going to have to ask you to wrap up your comments.

>> Audience Member : As I said, I will end on how I answer the question. My answer, very seriously, I borrow from my sister, Ottawa hospital.


>> Ginelle: Thank you. Go ahead.

>> Audience Member: Hi. My name. (name and identifying information removed) I'm a loving husband. I want to start off by saying there is a lot of great information that I've gathered from here today, and I'm not going to go over that. I didn't even think there would be this many people. Anyhow, to answer questions one and two. I didn't know there would be questions either. I think it’s been answered you guys are doing what you think you should be doing.

I came here to understand the Directorate. I really don't know what it is. We're in an age of information, and technology. If you guys are updating the slide every time you guys go to a place like this, that’s great.

I'll go to question five. Personally, in my own opinion, the only thing that can be done is that legislation has to include criminality. Racism is something that we always forget about. We always think that, you know, someone who is bigoted imagine someone working in the public service, or someone is a city worker, or someone is working for me for my private business, and feels they're being I'm being bigoted or I'm talking down to them, but specifically in a way that talks about their race.

Like everyone that’s been coming to the microphone and talking about it, education is the key. But the truth is, if we don't hit I'm choosing my words really carefully, but if we don't hit people’s pockets, if we don't include criminality for racist bigotry acts, nothing is going to happen. In 10 years, we're going to be standing here again. I won't be here. My son will probably be here.

And if we really want this to work, a French author who released a book regarding moral harassment. These moral harassment laws were put into place; it took two years to do what you're doing. You have a framework, you have, as Sam explained, you have, I think what he explained, experts in the field that you speak to. This book was written, 500,000 copies sold in six months. After that there was this is the age of technology, you can go and find this person. Motion denied thank you so much.


>> Ginelle: Over here, please.

>> Audience Member : I'm (name removed) , trans generational person of color. When it comes to who gets stable and dignified work. 70% of trans people in Ontario have some post-secondary education but only a third of us have full time work. With half of us making an income of $15,000 a year or less. Those of us who are trans and of colour, face systemic barriers to employment, face this on a number of levels.

One is called biased hiring. Violates people of colour, especially Black people and newcomers. Merit based hiring, you need the right language skills, right schooling, win the right awards, get the right letters of reference from people in positions of power, and have just the right work experience. These opportunities though, are unequally distributed, and the disadvantagement compounds throughout the life course. After 15 years of unequal opportunity, whose CV looks best? Who do you think best fits a disproportionate white workplace culture.

As this compounds, so does the minority stress, impacting mental health among people of colour, employed within largely White institutions.

I personally think employers tend to pass the buck. They will say we love to hire more people of colour, but we aren't seeing the CVs that match the agency’s need, and we would love to train people, but we don't have the funding.

I think there needs to be a move away from the [milt, milk] of merit based hiring and have this replaced with equity goals within workplaces that are supported by training dollars for language skills and any other credentials that are important for this specific job and that recognizes and supports the mental health needs of marginalized communities.

Employers need support from the province on their systemic biases, I hope they get it. Thank you very much.


>> Ginelle: Go ahead.

>> Audience Member: I'll make this brief. I just wanted to address question number three. And just from a practical standpoint, I think a really good thing would be to have a real, big, ad campaign, so TV commercials. I know Toronto is doing a campaign talking about two different faces, and saying at first glance, who would you hire? Stuff like that. Like, I really would like to see that on television. That’s for a lot of people, that’s the biggest way you're going to educates them.

Just as an example, I went to school at Western, when I went there, London Ontario, it was, and you meet people from all different walks of life. I remember talking with people, and they're like, you know, you're actually like the first Black person I've been friends with.

Yeah. Even at 21. And so for a lot of places, even in Ontario, there are people who will never meet anyone of colour except for what they see on television. And if we're going to let television and news define what other people are and how they behave and what their principles are and what they do and love, then we're going to be in really big trouble. We need to really educate folks. I want to see a really big campaign, Internet and everything, to really define what systemic racism is and what we can do to stop it.

Also, a second note, for the first question. When tackling systemic racism for the ARD and Ontario Public Service in general, I think we have to start at home. So OPS, and I'm going to plead ignorance on whatever the metrics are with employees and their rank, but I would really be curious to see what the numbers are. Because if the OPS doesn't reflect the diversity just in the ministries and agency, you're going to have a really hard time going into the business community, and saying hey, you guys need to make sure that your executive board looks like your community.

And we also really need to emphasize, like how someone said earlier, this isn't a Black issue or Aboriginal Indigenous issue, not a Chinese issue, not a Jewish issue. This affects our entire country. I think this is what Bill Gates, as a last note, was speaking About; they said, what can we do to make our country world number 1, world leader, and he said, you will never be number 1 if 50% of your community is underutilized.

And in the very same way, as Canadians and Ontarians, we will never be on top if we're going to let a significant population be on the wayside.

So, you know, everyone is talking about Trump and what’s going on in the States. For me, this is a great opportunity as Canadians to set ourselves on top and go to the next level.

>> Ginelle: Thank you.


>> Moderator: Over here, please. Go ahead.

>> Audience Member : First of all, I'm a very proud Ontarian. I have to say this because having been many places, we're still better than everyone else.



My name is (name removed) and I've been observing racism and anti racism for the past 30 years. And, in my observation, I find often in institutions, individuals and systemic, they always invite the victim, not the perpetrator.

(Applause).And I would like to know, exactly, if somebody builds a house, he must know, or she must know how to dismantle this place.


I mean, the least they could do. Now, knowing the fact that this may not happen, I have found the solution. I think this is the best solution I could find for the last 30 years, I've been looking for, and that is hitting the pocket of the system.

And that is, I would like to see one third of my income for income tax because I am visible minority, and I do experience all kinds of issues. To be fair, that’s what I should pay. If I'm for the getting fairly everything else, I should be paying one third, just for fixing the roads.



I think, unless we do that, nothing is going to change. Thank you very much.

>> Ginelle: Thank you.


>> Ginelle: Go ahead, sir.

>> Audience Member: Hello. My name is (name removed) can't follow that.

>> Ginelle: Everyone really likes that idea, I think. (Laughing).

>> Audience Member: The only reason I stood up is, I was privileged enough to have been appointed to an advisory committee of the previous Secretariat by the government, I have a little bit of some experience, based on that appointment, to the Secretariat which proceeds this one.

The only way I'm saying this is because I have no indication at all, that after these consultations, that there will be a process, a structure, that allows for community groups to help shape what the sector is going to be doing.

And if there is no structure in place, and I'm looking at the Minister, if they can do it, you can do it too. I want to say that.

Since I have a minute or minute and a half left. Let me mouth off for a little bit.


Too bad Sam is not here, he talking about scientific evidence, and very smooth. But I'm telling you, racism is not about scientific evidence. It’s about people’s experiences. When a Somali man got killed in Ottawa. It was not about scientific evidence. It was about how the community how the police engage with the Black community.

When you talk about employment equity, and the government of employment equity, it’s for, about the scientific evidence. You know when somebody comes to your house, they've got credentials, Congo, Nigeria, Kenya, and can't get a job. You don't need scientific evidence, there is something wrong with the system.

All I'm saying is there is nothing to do with scientific evidence. It’s a reality of what is happening to us, in our communities of Black people, and that has to be dealt with.

Recently here in Ottawa, the Muslim Community, or the Jewish Community, the Christians had hate crime attached. I didn't hear from any Ministry, or entire government saying one thing.

At the least at the current human rights level, the current human rights, speak out, I want to know, when did the Ontario government say that should not happen? Who said that? That would not happen. Let me speak. Let me finish. You respond later on.

>> Ginelle: Your two minutes are up.

>> Audience Member : No. No. No. Okay. Okay. Let me stop by saying that, elected police should show leadership. And you want to hear that and it has to be placed on people’s experiences and not based on some scientific evidence.

>> Ginelle: Thank you.

>> Audience Member : And we want to make sure that the current Minister appoints an advisory committee to make sure that he gets this kind of process , and thank you for giving me an extra half a second.

>> Ginelle: Thank you.


>> Ginelle: Go ahead, sir.

>> I'm an educator at one of the local universities here. First, I would like to thank the government for establishing the Directorate, better late than never.

I was involved with the Secretariat, the (identifying information removed), we have the roundtable, going around the country. So I'm happy to see this Directorate is started and off the ground. I was a little worried when I saw it was under the [Ministry of Youth, sic]. At that time it was under Citizenship. But being an educator, I'm convinced day by day, it is the appropriate Ministry to be under.

>> Ginelle: She said it’s under the Cabinet Office.

>> Audience Member: Right. Okay. Thank you. So with the questions I've been looking at, I'll run very quickly and fill the online in detail.

>> Ginelle: Thank you.

>> Audience Member: The first question is, with the research, I hope that the Directorate will conduct all the reports to see what has been done, what has been achieved, and where we are now so we can plan for the future.

Secondly, that is important. Again, I was involved on the Commission on Systemic Racism in the Justice System , and data was the key issue raised every time. And yet, we keep talking about collecting data.

So I hope, again, that we will collect meaningful data that is accessible and meaningfully interpreted.


As far as public education, I would hope again, I know budgets are tough. If we can help schools, buttons pamphlets, whatever material, at least once a year during March 21, International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination . That would get the youth started. Like I did. I was a youth, we did that when we were kids.

And again, you can see the United Nations has announced the UN for People of African descent. It’s a 10 year project. You hardly hear about it in Ottawa.

Yeah. I'll fill in the other part. But lastly, please, can the Directorate help intercommunity solidarity, building bridges, because each community needs to interact with others and with the mainstream too. Thank you.

>> Ginelle: Thank you.


>> Ginelle: Go ahead.

>> Audience Member: Hi, everyone. My name is (name removed) I'm a visibly Muslim woman, Black I click those two boxes all the time. I never knew I was a visible minority until I came to Canada.


Just saying this visible minority in Canada, I had to ask what does visible minority mean. I had to understand it. He was telling some of my colleague, as like Somalians, we came from a homogeneous society, but that’s my connection. I want to talk about two points.

One is child welfare, and in particular the Children’s Aid Society, when they're dealing with families of other ethnicities than the Ministry and Canadian, whether they are Muslim or other ethnic group.

In my opinion, the way I see this work, is they're stealing our future. When they're going in and

apprehending kids from their home, and placing them in homes that have no connection with them.

I'll give you an example. A little kid came here when he was 6 years old. His parents divorced, the father died, the mother left. He became he became in the care of CS, and being bounced from one Jamaican household because he was Somali, he was Black, and that didn't work. He goes to another Asian family, any other Black family at the time because there wasn't that many Somalis at the time. Long story short, he got in trouble, mental health issues came into play. At the age of 28, he was deported back to Somalia. This kid spoke English and Patwa. He knew nothing about Somali or Somalis.

>> Ginelle: That is two minutes.

>> Audience Member: Let me finish. CS with, when they apprehend kids, they don't go and check the kid, is he a resident, refugee, but they're very good at connecting to get the child tax, that is in a very speedy way.

So I think child welfare comes under the Province and I think it also comes under anti racism that you have to look into that. Thank you.

>> Ginelle: Thank you very much.


>> Audience Member: My name is (name removed). I'm a lawyer who works in the clinic system., and I just had a brief moment, comment in regards to question number three.

I have worked really hard to understand and appreciate my own White privilege, and I have worked within organizations within the Ontario government as well as within organizations and legal services that have been funded in part, wholly or partially by the Ontario government.

I've noted that there is an aspect of systemic racism, that involves the White workplace culture that I have experienced, and I've worked in you know, and I've had employers who have stated, in very clear terms, really racist sentiments and engaged in policies, and I think, many of our friends here have talked about it in the hiring practices. But even in the way we give and provide services. In the legal services sector, I've worked and sat around tables wondering, why is it that we are only having individuals from certain backgrounds accessing our services?

And in part, it’s because our services are inherently engaging in that systemic racism. So one of my asks two comments that I thought would be very helpful that I've thought of myself, is having an anti racism or anti oppression competency built into the service, even to the person who is working part time at a job where they may not be engaging directly with clients or customer service, but that everyone has that. Because I believe that may help to address the fact that there are many people who don't understand what racism, systemic racism, and how it engages in every day, but up to the policy level.

And then secondly, there was a discussion about a racism assessment, sort of anti racism tools. I think that as service providers, both within the government and as well as organizations funded wholly and partially, having those tools available, so the organizations can do assessments to better see how services are being provided to clients, especially clients who are racialized and Indigenous. And funding to those organizations and communities would be incredibly important as well.

Thank you.

>> Ginelle: Thank you. Can we have the next mic here, please.

>> Audience Member: Thank you. My name is (name deleted). Minister talked about Stephen Lewis in 1992, and if we put 2016 on that report, it would read the same. Twenty-five years ago, I was standing where you're standing, conducting exactly this session.

I want to start with a nice story. I read about it from Toronto. It was in the subway. A woman is writing about it. It was in a subway, and a man who she says was Iranian, came into the train, threw the skateboard down, grabbed his head and said oh, my God.

And a man across from him, who spoke in a thick Russian accent said, what’s a matter? He says, I'm going to a job interview and I'm late. And the Russian, I call him Russian, the Russian man said, calm down, just apologize when you get in and say you're late.

And then he says, I have a headache. And then there is a Chinese ancestry woman, and she says, I've got an Advil. Then the woman says, she went into the son’s lunch kit, took out his juice box and says drink it down with this.

And all of these people from different ethnicities were circling this man to help him to prep for his job interview, and I think that is Canada, and that’s why she shared the story.

So there are beautiful stories out there, but then there are the other stories. I'm very pleased that Minister Naqvi is in the room and Chief Bordeleau is in the room because actually this morning, I was writing letters to them both.


And before I start, if you'll give just a second. I'd like all the Black all the White men in the room to stand.


And I would like to give a big shout out to them because this whole, from my perspective, this whole thing of racism started with White men, and these are the men in 2016, are countering that 500 year movement. So thank you so very much.


>> Ginelle: That’s two minutes.

>> Audience Member: Yep. So why was I writing to the Minister and the Police Chief? Just sharing a personal experience. Last Tuesday morning, I was rushing out my door to get to the airport and a City of Ottawa official was standing there in full uniform.

He says I said what can I do for you? He says I'm here, looking for a half Black half White woman.


And I said, and? He says, well, I'm here to give her a ticket. And the ticket was $500. And for what? Well, because a neighbor around the corner reported that a half Black half White woman had put her garbage into her garbage bin and that’s an infraction. Now, I'd have to go all the way around the corner to do this, so I said what?

And so I said, my neighbor did this? And he said, yes. And I took him by the arm, and I said come with me.

And he says, you can't confront your neighbor. I said, yes I can. I can. Because this is complete this is irrational and I'm in a hurry.

So resisting, I took him around the corner, rang the doorbell, et cetera, et cetera. So the story unfolds, then he says okay, I'm just going to give you a warning because you could get a $10,000 ticket.

Now, I live in a nice house in a very nice location. And over the last, since early summer, when I started doing renovations, I find that I have attracted a whole lot of people, a whole lot of attention.

And so suddenly, I felt like a Black man in a Mercedes stopped by the city official.

>> Ginelle: I'm sorry I'm going to have to ask you to

>> Audience Member : So I just wanted to say that. Let me tell you the end of the story, I saw the neighbour, explained, UV radiation, why people are pale skin and some are dark skin, and I also explained to her that I'm Jamaican, and I went all the way back to ChristopherColumbus, and I explained to her why I am half Black and half White, but I have, from 1494, to 1838, I have no White foremothers and no Black forefather, and I said think of that story.

Why are Black men being pursued when they were the victims? Thank you.

>> Ginelle: Thank you so much.


I realize the stories are important[ and intoxicate, sic], but I really implore you, please stick to the two minutes and be kind to me. Thank you. Okay. Go ahead (Laughing).

>> Audience Member : I am (name removed) and I looked at question one and thought, when I read that, in tackling systemic racism, what systems or institutions in Ontario should the government address first and how? I thought, well, it should address all of them first.


Why wouldn't it? Then I thought about it, oh, we want results quickly. And I think they would go faster if we focused on the workplace first. Because other improvements like client relations and health or business or the administration of the legal system or education will speed up if we focus on the workplace generally.

And I think two things that came up can form a synergy. One is aiming for a demographically representative workplace quickly. And another is getting the participation of, for example, racialized and Indigenous communities in the decision making that will make that happen, so in the hiring and promotion itself, real participation, much improved from what it is now.

And I think certainly, intersectionality plays into this very much, a similar approach is used for other disadvantaged group, and also is gender or sexual orientation, or anything, this, this rising tide will lift all boats, I think. Thank you.

>> Ginelle: Thank you. Over here, please.

>> Audience Member: Hi, everyone , represented from the African community (name and identifying information removed)

The reason I'm saying that is because, in order to address systemic racism, tackle it and end it, first of all, it’s very good to recognize that the Minister in question is of African descent. That’s a great thing, but also that there is a lot of White people here present.

But there is something missing that has not been addressed, which is simply White supremacy. It’s important to put words in order to tackle an issue. The reason I'm saying this is very important. Because in South Africa, in order to end apartheid, they needed to end, but the address is leading to the fact that there is still so much racism and violence making it that Blacks are still, in their own country, in their own continent, in 2016, overly oppressed.

This comes back to Canada, where in this parliament, you have a parliament when Obama was visiting, saying four more years. Yeah. This is the same President, I was in the U.S. for his election in 2008, was still being referred to as a n…. and that’s him, his wife, and his children, by a majority White population who elected Donald Trump.

We need to be aware and really conscious and speak up about these things because, in addressing, for example point number or trend number four, for example, we live in a culture and a society that loves to praise Dr. Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream Speech. However, there are other speeches that he made. One of them was on the color of racism and how everything Black is denigrated, and you have this in culture where even our young children are being fed on this and as such, develop a mentality, explained earlier to the coordinator, the police project, about how this projects, and you know the test on the baby doll, I don't know if anyone knows about it, how Black children still have a preference for what is White, because no matter the legislations that you make, it will mean nothing if the people, the culture is still a culture of White supremacy where naturally, you have Black people who are still being looked at inferior and most White people aren't willing to address the change. That’s really what I wanted to say. Thank you very much.


>> Ginelle: Thank you. Go ahead.

>> Audience Member: Hello. My name is (name and identifying information removed) , after living here for almost two decades, sometimes I wonder if I still belong here.

Because with the change of government, especially with our last government, we see these laws that, you know, puts us into different categories of citizens. And I think the third question is, how can the government help people understand systemic racism?

I think the government should start with the government officials. And I think that when the government starts using racist language, whether that’s implicitly or explicitly racist, and sometimes when they're passing laws that, you know, has no regard for how it’s going to affect certain communities, you are giving people the license to be racist. And that’s all I would like to say. Thank you.

>> Ginelle: Thank you.


Motion denied go ahead.

>> Audience Member: My name is (name removed), I was born and raised in Ontario, and, you know, I grew up in Toronto and recently life has brought me to Ottawa. I'm a practicing lawyer, so I work as in house counsel, and I'm here to speak to issue number 1 in looking at the systems that we should be tackling.

I think, certainly, the criminal justice system is something that we should be looking at. Secondly, certainly education is something very important, looking at the curriculum and what we're teaching to our individual students and children.

I know, certainly, my experience, I wasn't exposed to a lot of culturally diverse, you know, curriculum in my experience, and I think if I had been, certainly, I would have formed a stronger identity in who I am. I think certainly, there should be diversity within the administration, as was mentioned previously, so looking at principals and teachers and who we're hiring.

And thirdly, looking at employment, I know you have professional education programs that are making an effort to hire more or admit more minorities. Certainly, there can be more done, but that’s one step. But certainly, someone can have all the education in the world but it doesn't make a difference if you don't have anyone who is there to hire you.

So certainly, working in the public system and also the private system, looking at hiring practices, certainly articled with the Attorney General’s office, but certainly, when you're looking at who is hired back as counsel, that should be something that is certainly looked into, and we should be making greater strides or effort, I guess, to hire more minorities within those positions.

And I think, certainly, once you're in that professional, you know, workplace, you have to look at retention. So certainly, there is a lot of people that are leaving the profession, and you have to look at why.

And I think a lot of racism within the workplace, that would be something that we would need to look at and address. Thank you very much.

>> Ginelle: Thank you.


>> Ginelle: Go ahead.

>> Audience Member: My point will be sort of related to number four. The first people I actually want to address is the audience. So related to number four, I just want to make a point. A lot of the advice that we are giving to the Province, it’s think it’s something we'd take back with ourselves. I think we have a problem in terms of how we do consultation within our own communities. We belong to racial communities or religious minority communities. How effectively do we do consultation within ourselves. How much do we respect our own diversity?

Here is the problem, who is going to advise the government if we haven't figured out our own diversity to give advice. One of the biggest problems I continue to face, somebody who grew up in welfare, lives in Ottawa community housing, is classism within the communities I belong to. What’s meant is you're losing out on a bunch of important insights that would help to inform the government, but because we're not creating the space for people who are [socio-economic] or communities to have that voice, it’s not happening. It happened to me, but now it’s happening to some of the best and brightest young people. Seriously, everyone check themselves. Number two, get to know people you don't know. Seriously, I have diagnosed social anxiety disorder, I'm going to walk out of here with 20 new things, I'm going to be making out with the Sikh Motorcycle Club, but seriously, straight up.



Stop clapping. I know a lot of you are going to walk out with the people you knew and you're not going to bother to get to know anyone that you didn't know or connect with someone who didn't say something. Please don't walk out of here without knowing new people. That is how we'll make the change. We have to model the change to the government. To the provincial government, when you do engagement, outreach, whatever, when you share information about events like this, make sure you're sharing it to people who actually share it to the community, who actually aren't self appointed whatever, whatever, because I can make a club right now for Black people born in the hospital, that doesn't mean I did a presentation for people born in the hospital. So please, use our own inclusive lens to make sure you're inclusive in how you do outreach. Don't use dominant leader, I didn't elect anybody to be queen of the Black people, so please make sure you're being inclusive in how you do outreach to communities. Don't do outreach to us because we're somehow a minority than you would do to any other person in the Province. Thank you.

>> (Ginelle): Thank you. Exactly two minutes. Over to this mic, please.

>> Audience Member: I, for one, refuse to believe that the legislature in Ontario is deaf, dumb, and blind. The government knows exactly what is meant by the term systemic racism. They accept it, but they have conspired within themselves and with us in the community by ignoring the concepts that underlie that phrase.

Now, why should the government need help understanding me and what is systemic racism? They should understand it. It is their job and responsibility. I know what I'm suffering.


Why should the government continue to engage? We've done our job. We have come here. We have engaged with you, now get on with it.


(cheering and applause).

Audience Member: I don't know the most senior politician or person here, that doesn't matter. The thing is, you know what the score is. You, the second speaker this afternoon said, we have a staff who is very well qualified, who is very totally understanding this concept. I accept that.

But having accepted that and having understood that, where do you go? Find out what the solutions are. Don't try to give us a reason why you should not enact the laws which are required. Find the reason why it should be enacted.

If you don't want to go very far, look what the rest of the world is doing. Don't even do that. See what the rest of Canada is doing. If they can have a law in Manitoba, if they can have one in British Columbia, why can't people in Ontario have the same law without going through all of this.

>> Ginelle: Thank you.

>> Audience Member: We have been hankering against the government and with them since the times way back in the early 70s.

>> Ginelle: Okay. Thank you.

>> Audience Member: The last question, what is the future of

>> Ginelle: I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Sir.

>> Audience Member: One more. You tell us what you have done in 10 years. We have always said the same thing, and ironically, you have given the same answers. Don't do that.

>> Ginelle: Thank you.

>> Audience Member: You have taken us on a ride for all these years. Now, you know your job is to legislate, to device policies and to implement them. Just do your job.

>> Ginelle: Thank you so much. Thank you.


>> Ginelle: Go ahead.

>> Ginelle: My name is (name removed), I represent an organization called Equity Ottawa. Some of the partners are here today if you're interested in more information. For the last four years or so, the last three with Ontario foundation support and the support of our partner, we've been coming together to try to change our organization to be more equitable and inclusive, particularly of immigrants and racialized people. And as you can imagine, we very quickly came to the realization that that has a lot to do with racism, so racism is one of the fundamental topics that we deal with.

I just wanted there is lots of things we could share with you, and we will, but I wanted to focus on a couple of things.

The first is that, it’s absolutely essential to collect the data for accountability, as well as for making positive changes. And by data, I do include both the numbers, the evidence in terms of numbers and the lived experience, and that’s the qualitative data that is often missing, but it’s absolutely essential to be included in the picture.

The other thing I wanted to say is that, one of the things that we've learned as a partnership of organizations, we're multi sector. We come from education, health, municipal service, justice, and so on. So but one of the things that we've learned coming together is that we've been able to create what we call a safe space for identifying challenges, admitting mistakes, identifying solutions, and even testing out some promising approaches.

So really, what we need to be doing is we talk about training and things like that as being important, but we really need to get to the fundamental change, the fundamental organizational and systemic change. And we found that by creating this safe space, that has allowed us to really move forward. We have a long way to go, but it’s a start and I really hope we can share some practices with the Directorate.

>> Ginelle: Thank you so much. Thank you.


>> Audience Member: Thank you. All right. Before I begin, I just wanted to say, I want to say, first, thank you for hosting this. This is an amazing initiative. The fact that we already have an organization being able to be here and being able to give a better voice is a great step.

And I also wanted to say, I love the fact that all you guys are out here. The fact that you guys have all come, made your effort to give your opinion, views, to share, this is amazing. I want to say all you guys are amazing. So thank you for that.


All right. So I guess, what I was going to say is to answer a few of the questions. I guess, I'll start with one. I'm going to talk about how we should tackle systemic racism, is to change how we view systemic racism, and that’s going to start with the education and school systems.

We have to start there. Now, I'm going to give a few examples. I've dealt with racism. I've had experiences when someone came up to me, called me a terrorist, started saying a lot of stupid things. Some assume I'm Muslim because of how I look. Someone told me I'm going to cut your beard off so you look like an average person. What I learned from the situation is these people are actually really scared. In reality, they don't know who I am and they're getting what they learned from what they're taught in the media, for one, and what they've been taught from people like, such as, their father, mother, friends.

And I'll give a good example. When I was younger, I was going (?) once, I saw a kid fall over. Somebody says you want to help him over? The kid comes over to me, don't come close to me, my father told me Indians ruined Christmas. I was like how do Indians ruin Christmas? What?

But the thing is, he’s being taught this. So if you're going to change the perspective, if you're going to change how we view systems or rules, how we view systems of law, we have to change the perspective first of racism, and that’s going to start with education.

And we got to start with our school systems because our school system, to be honest, our public school system is way too watered down. It’s way too nice and way too kind.

For example, I didn't learn

>> Ginelle: That’s two minutes.

>> Audience Member: Is it?

>> Ginelle: Yeah.

>> Audience Member: What? It’s only been like 20 seconds. Okay. Last thing. All right.


>> Audience Member: Anyway, I was saying that we've been taught we didn't even know about residential school systems until I got to university. We should have been taught that earlier. I didn't learn about Grassy Narrows until I got to university. I should have been taught that earlier. I'm taught that Sir John is an amazing person, at the same time, the same person, the reason we have residential schools is to take the Indian out of the Aboriginals.

If we're being too kind, how are we going to have the truth? How are we going to have reconciliation? We have to be able to teach the negative things in our history so we can step forward, be forgiving, learn from each other, learn how every group, because every group faces racism, even White people too.

>> Ginelle: Thank you so much.

>> Audience Member: Thank you. Awesome. Thank you.

>> Ginelle: So we have come to the end of hearing from you, and it’s my formidable task to summarize.

Since I've held you all to two minutes (Laughing) it’s your turn now to hold me. I'm going to put my timer on, and I'm going to give it a go and see if I can do it.

So we heard about Anti-Black racism, colonialization, the intersectionality of gender, religion, race, ability, classism, LGBTQ plus communities, a lot of you emphasized the importance of education, student voice, fairness, administration, teachers, the curriculum, the content of the system, and the policies.

We heard about injustices with Children’s Aid and also within the criminal justice system. We heard about awareness about Indigenous and Aboriginal issues, White supremacy, White privilege.

We heard about the need for legislation. We heard about action a lot, about legislating, creating policy, and implementing, about reviewing the reports of the past, about the fact that the government needs to understand its role first before asking others.

Which heard the need to follow up with consultations beyond this, and to also find ways to have the community have consultation and harmony in the way that they approach things before addressing the issue outside.

We heard about a need for collaboration with the federal government. My goodness, it’s so fast.

We heard about the importance of data collection, but that it be meaningful and that it include the lived experiences.

We heard concerns about worker, precarious work, and also about the rights of workers in terms of hiring and employment practices and policies, and the need to be really concrete in how we monitor those.

If someone builds a house, they must know how to dismantle. That’s it for my comments. (Laughing). 1.54.


>> Ginelle: So Minister Coteau, it’s all yours.


>> Minister Coteau: Let’s give a big hand to our incredible facilitator today. She did a great job.


>> Minister Coteau: Is it six or seven that you attended? Six? So thank you so much. Six out of ten. So we've been on airplanes and through different temperature patterns, storm patterns, but thank you so much for doing what you've done and for keeping us, you know, keeping us having a great conversation and really pulling out the important stuff that we need to hear.

I want to thank the students that are here in the red shirts. Are there still a few in here?


Minister Coteau: Yeah. Let’s give them a big round of applause. I'm being told, I'm being told they're from the Minwaashin Lodge, and Somalia Centre for Family Services, so again, give them a big round of applause to our young people.

This is the last meeting. And, you know, it’s been we spent a lot of time, probably about 35 hours having these types of conversations, and we've had smaller conversations.

So you know, I've been very privileged to get to hear what Ontarians are thinking about racism and race. And you know, it’s been an incredible experience for me.

In Thunder Bay last weekend, it was interesting, one of the counselors stood up and said, we had to pass a resolution that racism exists at our city council. I thought, you know, I thought to myself, you know, that’s, at the same time, pretty significant, but also a bit ridiculous. Right. In two ways. It’s a very serious matter. But to actually have to pass it in order to, you know, go ahead and build, you know, a strategy based on the fact that someone has finally acknowledged that it exists.

We've been to 10 cities. We've only had, I think two or three Chiefs of Police show up. So I want to say thank you to the Chief for being here today.


We've only had we've only had a couple of politicians outside of the provincial people. We've only had a couple of politicians show up. A couple of Mayors. I believe it’s the Mayor of Kitchener and the Mayor of London. I know we had the Deputy Mayor here today. But he was here. He was here. So let’s give him a big round of applause as well.

And of course, the Ottawa caucus being here today. You know, I don't want to sound like I'm just making them look good. This is the actual truth. This caucus is a very powerful caucus in Queen’s park. They're always looking for ways to improve. I know Bob was with us today to have some conversations in the community, as were all of the members who are here today.

And believe me when I say, that if we're going to make change, and a lot of that is going to come through our legislature, you're well positioned in regard to the representation you have. So I just want to say, thank you to your representatives for the work that they've been doing.


It was interesting. There was a story being told. A young lady was talking about, you know, how it was about people not meeting Black people, or saying, you know, you're the first Black person I've been friends with.

It’s so interesting. I was thinking about that comment. I remember being at Carlton University and I stopped in [Havlo op tareo], taking Highway 7. A gentlemen came up, excuse me, sir, I'm completely baffled, like you understand racism exists but you're not thinking about it. He says, can I introduce you to my two children? His children were at the car, he pointed maybe about 20 feet away. I said you want to introduce to your two children? He says, they've never met a Black person before today. I thought, okay, what do I do in this situation?


So I said, okay. I don't know. I'll go meet your kids. You know, I wasn't sure if it was sincere. I grew up in Toronto, there is lots of diversity. I said hello, like I was the ambassador of Black people in Canada. I said nice to meet you, I said bye. He said, you know, the only time they see Black people is on television and made reference to the Cosby Show at the time. Again, I didn't know if it was a setup or like what was happening, but I thought to myself, you know, there was a person, you know, obviously was being genuine, actually trying to make a difference in his children’s lives. You know, just to kind of say that, you know, that there are people who are different. And here, let me introduce you to someone.

And I think about my father growing up in Grenada on a small island, and 7,000 people there, and my father was, you know, he was a young man. And he told me that, until he left like he said, the first time he saw a White person that he can remember is in a book. He said, they were in school and people were looking at the picture and were shocked.

He said there were people on the island, they were in the corner section of the island, and when they saw them, it was very, you know, it was very challenging.

My mother is from England, my mother is White. And my mother would tell me, she’s from Barnsley, 100,000 people and there is no one Black or racialized in that community. She would tell me the first time she saw a Black person, I guess, left a good impression because she ended up marrying one.


But, you know, my grandfather on my mother’s side and father didn't meet each other until I was maybe about 10 years old.

So you know, this is the world we live in. And I've seen it upfront, you know, personal. On Saturdays we would have, you know, fried fish and coocoo and Sunday roast beef and mashed potatoes and pudding.

But the point I'm saying is that, as we go forward, I think there are some huge opportunities for us to come together and to really build a better Ontario.

I agree that, you know, it’s going to take a multi-ministerial approach. Minister Naqvi is the legal system, the justice system in Ontario. We need to find ways to hold people more accountable to their actions when they hurt communities.

You know, we have Minister Orazietti , who has been to a consultation or two, looking after the justice system, and we need to find ways to make sure that young people are involved, even though we've had a decline of 81% of incarceration to young people in the Province of Ontario in the last decade, 41% drop in violent or just crime violence in youth youth violence in Ontario.

You know, we're still seeing in Canada, a 71% increase in incarceration of Black males in the last decade so something is happening.

Minister Hunter is from Jamaica, young, Minister of education. She’s prepared to make changes. I know it’s easy for us to say, Michael, use legislation, I tell you they're doing their job. They're doing their job.

We don't do this because they want to be able to walk around and get attention, we do it because we believe in it in our core. This is work I've been doing for 13 years. The Toronto District School Board, opening up position, that came from a proposal from myself and a couple of other trustees. The race based data, this is something we do. This is something that Minister Naqvi does. Civic action was done before.

This is not like you have people who are oblivious to what’s going on. These are people who are in government, you know, the Premier of Ontario, fighting for the rights of equity, fighting for the rights of young people, 15, 20, 30 years ago, and even to a point where she’s protesting outside of the legislature, you know, 20 years ago and finding herself inside as the head of the legislature as the Premier.

So, you know, these are people that are working towards making a difference in our community, and I just need you to have faith in us, and I need you to be able to work with us because I believe this is the best opportunity we've ever had in Ontario to make a difference, and you've got the right team, you know, in place.

Allow us to come forward with a strategy, and we'll continue to consult, and we'll continue to figure out the ways in which we can build a better Ontario.

I want to thank our Elder who sat patiently in the back. Thank you for blessing us at the beginning of the meeting.


And every single meeting we've had, we've had the ability to go into a community and ask the traditional, you know, the territory, someone to represent the Indigenous people from that community to come out and speak. And every single one has been an incredible experience, and you know, I'm just going to finish by saying this.

The Elder, I believe it was in Sudbury said, as humans we take things in. We're constantly absorbing things. And we can take in things like, you know, when someone is around you and they're constantly criticizing something and constantly saying this is no good and not working. And then the person is feeding like racist, you know, comments to a child. The child is taking that in. They're absorbing it.

If you feed hate, and this was the Elder’s point, we get fed things, and our soul eats things. It takes things in. And if we feed our soul with hate, we will just become hateful people.

But if we work together and feed our soul with love and respect and compassion, empathy, we can build a better person inside, but also a better community, and that’s how you build a healthy community.

Racism is a hard thing to talk about. It’s a difficult thing to talk about. It makes people uncomfortable, but we need to be uncomfortable as Ontarians so we can get to the next stage. Thank you very much for joining us here today, and I hope everyone has a great weekend. Thank you.