Sudbury

Sault Ste. Marie asks feds for $33,000 to help combat racism in the city

A northern Ontario city is seeking federal funding to combat racism as it transitions into a more multicultural community.
As new Canadians, refugees and international students increasingly choose to make Sault Ste. Marie their home, the city is asking the federal government for some funding to help head-off racism. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

A northern Ontario city is seeking federal funding to combat racism as it transitions into a more multicultural community.

Sault Ste. Marie is asking for $33,000 from the Anti-Racism Action Program.

Adrian DeVuono, director of the Local Immigration Partnership, said as the Sault attracts more international students, refugees and immigrants, it needs to prevent racial divides from growing.

"[We are] looking at actionable ways we can help with this transition to really promote not just diversity and multiculturalism, but interculturalism: the everyday interactions between people of diverse backgrounds."

DeVuono said this request isn't a tacit admission that there are racists in Sault Ste. Marie. Rather, he said, this is about opening up a dialogue. 

"To talk more about immigration, to get those questions out and not to shut down people who have questions, but to invite them to ask questions and have better conversations about it."

DeVuono said some 250 refugees have settled in the Sault in the last three years, plus hundreds of international students.

He says the $33,000 in anti-racism funding would be used to produce educational videos and paint a welcoming mural in Sault Ste. Marie. 

Files from Erik White

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