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How Racism Can be Prevented in Canada



Racism Can be Prevented in Canada

Racism Can be Prevented in Canada.

Canada is one of the most diverse countries in the world, and it is important to ensure that all people can live free from racism and discrimination. Racism is a major issue in Canada, with many individuals facing prejudice, intimidation and unfair treatment due to their race or ethnicity. To create a more inclusive society, it is essential to take proactive steps to prevent racism. In this article, we will explore what measures can be taken by individuals, organizations and governments to reduce racism in Canadian society.

It begins with us as individuals taking the time to educate ourselves about different cultures and perspectives on race and racism. This means being willing to recognize our biases, prejudices, stereotypes and privilege when it comes to understanding the experiences of others from different backgrounds than our own. We also need to make sure that we are actively supporting anti-racist initiatives in our communities, whether through donating or volunteering for organizations dedicated to creating positive change or engaging in difficult conversations about race with friends, family members and co-workers.

  • According to the 2019 General Social Survey (GSS) on Canadians’ Safety, nearly half (46%) of Black people aged 15 years and older reported experiencing at least one form of discrimination in the past 5 years, compared to 16% of the non-Indigenous, non-visible minority population.
  • Of all Black people, four in ten (41%) experienced discrimination based on their race or skin colour, about 15 times higher than the proportion among the non-Indigenous, non-visible minority population (3%).
  • Experiences of discrimination were much more common among Canadian-born Black people (65%E) than among Black immigrants (36%).
  • Data from the GSS show that a considerably higher proportion of Black people experienced discrimination in 2019 than in 2014 (46% versus 28%).
  • Discrimination was more common among the Indigenous population than among populations who are both non-Indigenous and non-visible minority (33% versus 16%). More specifically, 44% of First Nations people had experienced discrimination in the 5 years preceding the survey, as had 24% of Métis and 29% of Inuit.
  • Among those who were discriminated against, 21% of Indigenous people and 16%E of Black people said it was when dealing with police, compared with 4% of non-Indigenous, non-visible minority people who experienced discrimination.
  • Experiences of discrimination were more common among Indigenous people in 2019 (33%) than they were in 2014 (23%).



Here are some ways that Racism Can be Prevented in Canada in your community:

1. Learn to recognize and understand your own privilege.

One of the first steps to eliminating racial discrimination is learning to recognize and understand your own privilege. Racial privilege plays out across social, political, economic, and cultural environments. Checking your privilege and using your privilege to dismantle systemic racism are two ways to begin this complex process.

However, race is only one aspect of privilege. Religion, gender, sexuality, ability status, socio-economic status, language, and citizenship status can all affect your level of privilege. Using the privileges that you have to collectively empower others requires first being aware of those privileges and acknowledging their implications.

2. Examine your own biases and consider where they may have originated.

What messages did you receive as a kid about people who are different from you? What was the racial and/or ethnic make-up of your neighbourhood, school, or religious community? Why do you think that was the case? These experiences produce and reinforce bias, stereotypes, and prejudice, which can lead to discrimination. Examining our own biases can help us work to ensure equality for all.

3. Validate the experiences and feelings of people of colour.

Another way to address bias and recognize privilege is to support the experiences of other people and engage in tough conversations about race and injustice. We cannot be afraid to discuss oppression and discrimination for fear of “getting it wrong.” Take action by learning about the ways that racism continues to affect our society. For example, by watching documentaries, such as 13th, or reading books, such as Americanah or Hidden Figures.*

As advocates, we learn about domestic violence by listening to survivors of domestic violence. Similarly, the best way to understand racial injustice is by listening to people of colour.

4. Challenge the “colorblind” ideology.

It is a pervasive myth that we live in a “post-racial” society where people “don’t see color.” Perpetuating a “colorblind” ideology actually contributes to racism.

When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. described his hope for living in a colorblind world, he did not mean that we should ignore race. It is impossible to eliminate racism without first acknowledging race. Being “colorblind” ignores a significant part of a person’s identity and dismisses the real injustices that many people face as a result of race. We must see colour in order to work together for equity and equality.

5. Call out racist “jokes” or statements.

Let people know that racist comments are not okay. If you are not comfortable or do not feel safe being confrontational, try to break down their thought process and ask questions. For example, “That joke doesn’t make sense to me, could you explain it?” Or “You may be kidding, but this is what it means when you say that type of thing.” Do not be afraid to engage in conversations with loved ones, coworkers, and friends. Microaggressions, which can appear in the form of racist jokes or statements, perpetuate and normalize biases and prejudices. Remember that not saying anything – or laughing along – implies that you agree. Racism Can be Prevented in Canada

6. Find out how your company or school works to expand opportunities for people of colour.

Systemic racism means that there are barriers – including wealth disparities, criminal justice bias, and education and housing discrimination – that stack the deck against people of colour in the workplace or at school. For example, the African American Policy Forum (AAPF) reported that in 2014, a 12-year-old girl faced criminal charges, in addition to expulsion from school, for writing “hi” on a locker room wall. Their campaign, #BlackGirlsMatter, addresses the issues of overpoliced and unprotected Black girls within the education system. It is important for companies and schools to address these issues and promote a culture of equity.

7. Be thoughtful with your finances.

Take a stand with your wallet. Know the practices of companies that you invest in and the charities that you donate to. Make an effort to shop at small, local businesses and give your money back to the people living in the community. Your state or territory may have a directory of local, minority-owned businesses in your area.

8. Adopt an intersectional approach in all aspects of your life.

Remember that all forms of oppression are connected. You cannot fight against one form of injustice and not fight against others. Racism Can be Prevented in Canada!


Risk of a hard landing for Canadian economy is up, former Bank of Canada governor says – CTV News



Former Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz says Canada’s economy is at a greater risk of a “hard landing” — a rapid economic slowdown following a period of growth and approaching a recession.

Amid the central bank’s interest rate hikes intended to tame inflation, inflation cooled to 5.2 per cent in February. That’s down from 5.9 per cent in January, after 40-year record highs over the summer, reaching as high as 8.1 per cent in June.

Poloz told CTV’s Question Period host Vassy Kapelos — in a joint interview with former Liberal finance minister John Manley airing Sunday — the Bank of Canada and federal government’s efforts to rein in inflation are working, but the chances of a hard landing remain.


“The risk of a hard landing has definitely gone up, given that so much has already happened, and we’re still waiting for the rest of the effects of interest rate rises to work their way through,” he said, adding he is “heartened by the response of the supply side of the economy.”

“That’s really where a soft landing comes from,” he said. “It’s not fancy engineering on the part of the central bank. But as the supply side continues to grow — such as new entrants into the workforce, from immigration and from parents who are taking advantage of the new childcare policy — those kinds of things are giving us, coming up from below, strengthening the economy.

While Poloz said the supply growth is a good sign, at this point it would require “some luck” to achieve a soft landing and avoid a recession.

Federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland meanwhile is set to table the budget on Tuesday.

She’s long been signalling Canadians can expect fiscal restraint to avoid stoking inflation, but also some significant investments. Namely, the government has been teasing targeted measures to help relieve the impacts of inflation, plus the already-announced $196 billion in health care funding for the provinces and territories over the next 10 years, and clean economy spending to help compete with the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act, which offers billions of dollars in energy incentives south of the border.

Poloz however called last year’s federal budget a “missed opportunity” to “have a different mix” of spending, and in doing so “lower the trajectory of the Bank of Canada’s interest rates.”

He said there’s now less risk government spending will counteract the impacts of the Bank of Canada’s interest rate hikes.

“I think we’re mostly beyond that point as an issue,” he said, adding last year would have been a more opportune time to stimulate the economy.

“That might have been better for everybody,” Poloz continued. “But that missed opportunity is behind us and now the economy is clearly slowing down. We got all that news in the fourth quarter, sooner than most people expected.”

“All the interest sensitive parts, such as housing and business investment, had been down three quarters in a row already, so in that sense, it feels recessionary already,” he added. “So in that sort of space, I think that business about causing inflation is off the table.”

With files from CTV’s Question Period Senior Producer Stephanie Ha

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Questions raised about safety of Old Montreal building destroyed by fatal fire



MONTREAL — More than a week after a fatal fire tore through a building in Old Montreal, accounts from former tenants and victims of the blaze are raising questions about the safety of the heritage property.

Four bodies had been found as of Friday afternoon and three people were missing in the shell of the once-elegant greystone building.

Police and firefighters have said it’s too soon to say what caused the fire. But witnesses have raised questions about safety, including whether smoke detectors were working and whether there were proper emergency exits.

A rental tribunal decision shows that in 2012, the owner, Emile-Haim Benamor, blamed actions of a tenant for creating a risk of fire in the building. The comments are found in a Sept. 6, 2012, decision from Quebec’s Régie du logement, stemming from a dispute between Benamor and a tenant whose lease he was trying to end. According to the document, Benamor claimed the tenant was “manipulating electricity” and had “modified or added” electrical systems and overloaded the building’s circuits.


“The landlord insists that in the current state of things, the building is not profitable, he is unable to have access to the apartment … that there is a risk of fire and he says he is being monitored by insurance companies, especially since it’s a historic building,” the tribunal’s decision says.

The landlord also called a witness from the insurance company Lloyd’s, who testified that the unit presented safety concerns. In an affidavit included in the tribunal decision, Michel Frigon said the unit was not originally intended to be an apartment but rather a storage area. Frigon noted that access to the unit was required to perform maintenance of the building’s heating and electrical systems.

“The shower adjoining the electrical entrance to the dwelling presents a real danger of electrocution,” he added, saying a new insurer would likely have to be found if the problems weren’t fixed.

But in her written decision, administrative judge Jocelyne Gascon concluded there was little convincing evidence to suggest the tenant, Piotr Torbicki, was to blame for any electrical issues.

“The various electrical systems, although they appear to the court to be non-compliant, obsolete, the evidence offered did not establish that it was a recent addition,” Gascon wrote. She did not offer an opinion on Benamor’s comments about the risk of fire.

The building, known as the William-Watson-Ogilvie building, was built in 1890 and originally housed the offices of a flour company. It was gradually converted to residential use between the late 1960s and the 1980s, with the office of an architecture firm remaining on the ground floor. Municipal property records show Benamor, a lawyer, bought the building in 2009.

Since the fire, both the father of a missing woman and a former tenant have said at least one of the units had no windows or fire escape, while survivors of the fire have suggested the fire alarms never went off.

Louis-Philippe Lacroix said his 18-year-old daughter Charlie, who is presumed missing in the fire, called 911 twice within several minutes to say she was unable to get out of the unit she and a friend were staying in, which had no window and no fire escape.

A survivor of the fire, Alina Kuzmina, said that while the semi-basement unit she’d rented with her husband had fire alarms, she doesn’t remember hearing them go off. Kuzmina was able to escape the building by breaking a window and crawling out.

The owner this week responded to the claims through his lawyer, saying the alarm system was replaced in 2019 and regularly tested. Regarding the emergency exits, lawyer Alexandre Bergevin said the building’s layout is complex.

“It has always been deemed compliant in the past,” he said in a text message.

A former tenant spoke on condition that he not be identified, saying he fears reprisals from Benamor, who owns multiple buildings in the city. The former tenant said that in recent years long-term tenants have gradually left and been replaced by units rented on the short-term rental platform Airbnb. He also said some units had been subdivided, and at least one did not have windows.

Benamor’s lawyer, Alexandre Bergevin, said in an interview Friday that the short-term rentals in the building were the work of tenants and not his client. He said one person was renting seven units in the building and “illegally” listing them on Airbnb. He said that Benamor had told the person to stop the short-term rentals, and they had reached an agreement for him to leave the building by July 1.

“It’s a real scourge, it’s uncontrollable,” Bergevin said of the Airbnb rentals. “He had doubts on several tenants in several buildings, but it’s quite difficult to get the proof of all that.”

The lawyer acknowledged that one apartment in the building “didn’t have a window in the traditional sense of the term,” but it did have a skylight.

Asked whether the smoke detectors were working, he replied: “That’s an excellent question. We don’t know yet.” But he said there were detectors in all apartments, the central detector had been working the day before the fire and it would be surprising if all of them failed.

Bergevin said he was not aware of any specific electrical problems, including those raised in the 2012 rental tribunal decision, but noted that the building dates to the 19th century.

“It’s certain that it’s not the electricity we know today,” he said, adding that at certain points when issues arose, qualified electricians worked in the building.

Benamor, he said, has felt under attack since news broke that people had died in the fire.

“The public trial, while we have no idea of the causes of the fire, is causing him a lot of psychological distress,” he said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 25, 2023.


Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press

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St. John’s, N.L., airport closed after late night fire on 2nd floor forces evacuation



ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — A fire on the second floor of the international airport in St. John’s, N.L., resulted in the facility being closed late Friday night.

The airport authority said today the main terminal building was evacuated due to a “significant event” on Friday at 11:30 p.m.

No other details were immediately available.

The authority said in a release today it is working with police and the fire department to ensure all protocols are being followed before reopening the building.


The news release says the terminal building was expected to remain closed to the public until 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Passengers are being advised not to visit the airport until there is a public advisory the terminal has reopened.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 25, 2023.


The Canadian Press

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