QUEEN’S PARK – The Official Opposition NDP’s critic for Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, Sol Mamakwa, and critic for Anti-Racism, Laura Mae Lindo, issued a joint statement following the Ford government’s announcement of $800,000 a year for two years to support anti-racism initiatives:
“Last year, Doug Ford took away virtually all anti-racism funding by budgeting an absolutely insulting $1,000 for all anti-racism work in the province. Now he thinks he can fool people by putting back just $800,000 a year. Ontarians aren’t buying it. They know this is just Mr. Ford doubling down on his ongoing agenda of deep cuts to critical reconciliation and anti-racism work.
One of Mr. Ford’s first actions as premier was to cut mandatory Indigenous education in Ontario classrooms. Months of public pressure forced him to restore Indigenous education to the curriculum, but only as electives. And just yesterday, the Ford government shamefully voted down funding requests for both the Indigenous Culture Fund and Indigenous community curriculum writing sessions, demonstrating that the systemic racism and colonialism that generations of Indigenous children in Ontario have faced is alive and well.
Asking Black, Indigenous, Jewish, Muslim and all other racialized communities in Ontario combined to make do with less than one tenth of one percent of this Ministry’s budget is offensive.
Indigenous, Black and racialized communities don’t need more community consultations – they have told successive Liberal and Conservative governments what they need to fight racism and colonialism through dozens of reports, commissions, task forces and consultations going back decades.
Ontarians deserve so much better than this. As New Democrats, we will keeping pushing this government to take reconciliation and anti-racism seriously, and actually do the work.”