The Canadian Race Relations Foundation (“Foundation”) was created by the Government of Canada (“Government”) as a Crown Corporation in 1996, as part of the Japanese Canadian Redress Agreement, to reaffirm the principles of justice and equality for all in Canada. As a signatory to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Canada has resolved to adopt all necessary measures for speedily eliminating racial discrimination in all its forms and manifestations. Furthermore, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms provides that every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal benefit of the law without discrimination. In addition, the Canadian Multiculturalism Act provides that it is the policy of the Government of Canada to promote the full and equitable participation of individuals and communities of all origins in the continuing evolution and shaping of all aspects of Canadian society, and to assist them in the elimination of any barriers to such participation.
Moreover, the Government, in concluding the Japanese Canadian Redress Agreement, has condemned the excesses of the past. The Canadian Race Relations Foundation Act (“Act”) was given Royal Assent on February 1, 1991 and proclaimed by the Government on October 28, 1996. The Foundation opened its doors in November 1997.
At the time of proclamation, the Foundation seeded with an endowment of $24 million from the Government of Canada. Half of the endowment ($12 million) was provided on behalf of Japanese Canadians in commemoration of injustices suffered by Japanese Canadians during and after World War II. The Foundation operates on income derived from investments of the endowment.
Consistent with the Canadian Race Relations Foundation Act, the Foundation:
The Foundation operates at arm’s length from the Government, and its employees are not part of the Federal Public Service. The Foundation has registered charitable status. The Foundation’s office is located in the City of Toronto, as specified in the Act, but its activities are national in scope.
The mandate of the Foundation is to facilitate throughout Canada the development, sharing and application of knowledge and expertise in order to contribute to the elimination of racism and all forms of racial discrimination in Canadian society by:
a) Undertaking research, and collecting data and developing a national information repository to further the understanding of the nature of racism and racial discrimination, and to assist business, labour, voluntary, community and other organizations as well as public institutions, governments, researchers and the general public in eliminating racism and racial discrimination;
b) Acting as a clearing-house, providing information about race relations resources and establishing links with public, private and educational institutions and libraries;
c) Facilitating consultation, and the exchange of information, relating to race relations policies, programs and research;
d) Promoting effective race relations training and assisting in the development of professional standards;
e) Increasing public awareness of the importance of eliminating racism and racial discrimination;
f) Collaborating with business, labour, voluntary, community and other organizations, as well as public institutions and all levels of government, in instituting and supporting programs and activities; and
g) Supporting and promoting the development of effective policies and programs for the elimination of racism and racial discrimination*.
*Excerpts from section 4 of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation Act, 1991.
Read our complete 2020-2023 Strategic Direction Report here.