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How Canada advances our commitment to combat racism and discrimination? Celebrating March 21st.

Submitted by on March 21, 2013 – 5:30 amNo Comment | 1,928 views

It is the fact that visible minority groups and Aboriginal people do not enjoy the same benefits of leaving in our democratic society as other population groups. Unequal economic, social and political opportunities result in significant differences in income, employment, social status and access to basic services. Each year, on March 21st we celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The history of the day goes back into 1960s. On March 21st 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people who peacefully protested in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid pass laws. In six years, in 1966, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed March 21st International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and made a call to a global community to recognize the need to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination across the globe. In South Africa, March 21st is named Human Rights Day and it is a public holiday to remember those who were killed in a fight for democracy and equal human rights in South Africa during the Apartheid regime.

So, what is the progress that Canada made in eliminating racism and discrimination? We’ve come a long way since Japanese camps, residential schools and Chinese tax. However, according to Public Service Alliance of Canada, March 21st : “… is also a time to renew our commitment to continuing the struggle against racism, especially at a time of relentless conservative efforts to roll back our gains. In Canada, we have seen some of our gains slowly erode away under the Harper government. Notable examples include Canada refusing to participate in the United Nations International Forum Against Racism, Racial Discrimination and Xenophobia and the elimination of funding for advocacy and research groups such as the Court Challenges Program as well as organizations advocating for immigrant groups. At the same time, the government has increased resources for Conservative priorities which perpetuate racial profiling and criminalization of racialized and Aboriginal communities. The current government has no interest in fighting racism and discrimination.” More

Other interesting facts:

We have not longer have the support of our government to fund ongoing regional research in the areas of immigration and diversity. For example, after 16 years in developing and disseminating research in our province, Metropolis BC has lost its funding and is no longer providing opportunities to seasoned and young researchers to advance the research on settlement issues for ethnically diverse communities in BC and immigrant economic integration …


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