QUEEN’S PARK — NDP Anti-Racism Critic Laura Mae Lindo released the following statement in response to the Ontario Human Rights Commission's interim report on racial bias in policing:
“The Ontario Human Rights Commission’s interim report is a reminder that systemic Anti-Black racism still exists in our province, and that more needs to be done to combat it. Despite making up only 8.8 per cent of Toronto’s population, the OHRC has found that Black people are nearly 20 times more likely to be shot and killed by police. The disturbing findings in this report echo the concerns that Black communities have long been raising.
This report should be a wakeup call to Doug Ford. Instead of taking steps to address the systemic racism that continues to plague Ontarians, the Ford government is dragging our province backwards. Mr. Ford has made crippling cuts to the Anti-Racism Directorate at a time when it is so clearly needed, and has shown a disturbing willingness to axe vital independent watch dogs capable of holding his government to account. He has publicly voiced his support for the deeply problematic TAVIS task force. And his government continues to wrongly claim that the corrosive practice of police carding is no longer happening in Ontario, while community members and experts know that it is.
The Official Opposition wants to extend our appreciation to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, as well as community organizations and advocates. It’s thanks to their work that we know there is a lot yet to be done to build the Ontario we deserve – one where everyone is safe and valued. We have to tackle issues like systemic Anti-Black racism head on, together.
People deserve so much better than a government that undermines public trust and refuses to do the important work of eradicating Anti-Black racism and systemic racism in all its forms.”