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March 21st, 2023

NDP statement on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

The NDP critic for foreign affairs and international development, MP Heather McPherson (Edmonton Strathcona), made the following statement:

"Today, New Democrats mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. In our country, Indigenous, Black and racialized people, refugees and immigrants still face harassment, harm, and are denied services based on how they look or where they’re from. This type of discrimination must never be normalized or tolerated. Everyone has a responsibility to speak out against hate in all forms.

But we still have a long way to go. During the pandemic there was a stark rise in hate crimes against Asian Canadians. Indigenous people continue to be disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system, and unacceptable instances of anti-Black racism within the government’s own departments remain unaddressed. Racialized women, particularly Muslim women, continue to face systemic barriers and targeted hate.

The policies governments implement and enforce have meaningful consequences for Indigenous, Black and racialized people, refugees and migrants. It is not enough to denounce discrimination and hatred, concrete action is required to root out systemic racism from our institutions.

None of us can thrive until all of us can thrive; it is only by doing the work to reform departments and institutions that we ensure a safe and equal future for all.

The NDP will continue to fight against racism, xenophobia, religious discrimination and hate wherever we encounter it. We believe reconciliation with Indigenous peoples needs real action from this government and that eliminating systemic discrimination means creating inclusive workplaces, communities, policies and laws.”