Our government has set aside $200-million this year to end discrimination against First Nations children in our child welfare system -- and Budget 2016 committed to increasing that amount for the next five years. Next year we are investing almost $250-million to end discrimination. But putting more money into the existing system simply isn't enough.
It's getting pretty frustrating having to tell people, especially white people, what racism looks like. As a black woman, it's heartbreaking to see how such incidents are handled and how they are reported and discussed in the media. Most frightening, is the direction in which Canada is going regarding race relations.
In politics, it is useless to cast off on others the responsibility for failure, retreat or tragedy. On the contrary, it is necessary to always and without complacency ask ourselves, each one of us and together, what we could have done otherwise to avoid such a tragedy and what could be done to prevent it from happening again.
Please, don't paint us as a racist, intolerant community - it will simply add to the fire we are already battling. Canada is a multicultural and inclusive society, a fact a small part of my province hates. By pushing us all aside and characterizing us all as something we are not, you will increase that resentment.
An immigrant from India, I arrived in Canada in May 1968. Canada is my chosen home. It is not perfect. No country is. But it is more perfect than most. For me, Canada 150 is about making Canada, in the years ahead, an even more perfect confederation - a more just, egalitarian, prosperous and inclusive society.
Two year-end surveys of Canadians, respectively conducted by Forum Research Group and by Abacus, provide some potentially useful insights into the relationship between discrimination and prejudice. The surveys remind us that prejudice is uneven, and that some groups are viewed less favourably than others.
I was standing at an intersection. I glanced over at the post on the corner to be greeted by a flyer entitled "Hey White People." It was an invitation to join the "alt-right" white supremacist movement for those "sick of being blamed for all the world's problems caused by minority groups and immigrants." What had changed?
There have been many calls to better understand the white working class voter and placing blame on "political correctness" for what Van Jones dubbed on election night "a whitelash." In other words, that the real problem was that we weren't paying enough attention to straight, white people and shouldn't have been calling for diversity, equality and respect. But arguing that if you just didn't challenge straight white male supremacy then they wouldn't have elected a straight white male supremacist is no different than blaming a rape victim for what she wore, or a gay-bashing victim for kissing his boyfriend, or a Jew for wearing a Star of David necklace.
Discrimination still exists and the racist posters that surfaced across the University of Alberta campus this week were a reminder of that fact. The posters featured a picture of a Sikh man and disparaging captions targeting Sikh values. As a turban-wearing Sikh, the hatred and ignorance that motivates such material is very close to home for me and the broader Sikh community.
When stigma is attached to a community, there appear fewer persons ready to come to the defence of the targeted group. In part, members of other communities see such support as a partisan issue. Others fear that such defence will result in their being associated with the group that is deemed unpopular.