Kitchener-Waterloo

Anti-racism community meeting set for October 24

Waterloo Region will be part of a nine-city series of community meetings led by the province of Ontario's anti-racism directive.

MPP Catherine Fife says request to hold meeting in region accepted

In a Facebook post by MEDIAH, also known as Evond Blake, the artist said he was encouraged to paint over the graffiti, but decided not to. This image has been altered from the original to camouflage the hateful language. (Mediah Iah/Facebook)

Waterloo Region will be part of a nine-location series of community meetings led by the province of Ontario's anti-racism directive.

NDP finance critic and MPP for Kitchener-Waterloo, Catherine Fife, said Friday in a release that her request that the region host a meeting was accepted by Michael Coteau, the Minister responsible for anti-racism.

The local meeting is scheduled for October 24th.

Ontario established the anti-racism directorate 10 years after it promised to do so.

In 2006 the Liberals passed legislation that would enable them to create such an office, but Premier Kathleen Wynne says the focus on issues of racism has sharpened over the past year.

She says the government has done a lot of work over the years on this file, but issues faced by Syrian refugees and the debate over police street checks – known as carding – has shown the discussion must be elevated.

The Region of Waterloo had initially been excluded in the list of communities.

"We all need to be committed to continuing open and honest dialogue to eliminate racism and hatred," Fife said.

"While Waterloo Region is one of the most innovative and collaborative communities in Ontario, incidents of racism continue to occur at a rate higher than other communities in Ontario and we can do better," she said.

with files from Canadian Press

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