Education Minister David Eggen assigned to find ways to tackle racism
David Eggen asked to give premier recommendations this fall
Premier Rachel Notley has given her education minister a summer assignment: find ways for the Alberta government to fight racism and promote diversity.
In a letter to David Eggen outlining her expectations, Notley said the shooting deaths of six Muslim men at a mosque in Quebec City in January prompted her to find ways for the government to fight racism.
She said Alberta is making progress, "but there is work to be done."
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"In recent years, we have witnessed growing concern about racism," Notley writes. "I share that concern and I know you do, too."
Eggen will find people from different communities to advise the government, finish a review of policies in other Canadian jurisdictions and ask groups fighting racism about what works and what doesn't.
The premier also wants Eggen to find ways to promote more diversity and inclusion within the public service and Alberta's agencies boards and commissions.
Eggen said tackling racism is an issue government should undertake.
"Our basic responsibility of government is for a safe environment by which people can live and raise their families," he said. "It's an extension of my safe and caring efforts in schools. That extends to the larger society."
Eggen has been asked to give Notley a report with recommendations this fall.
He will start his meetings in Calgary on Thursday. He intends to talk to people in urban and rural areas.