Stephen Lewis Report on Race Relations in Ontario

Author Stephen Lewis
Stephen Lewis Report on Race Relations in Ontario

Year 1992
Publisher Ontario Advisor on Race Relations
Publisher URL URL
Place of Publication Toronto.
Publication Type Unpublished Paper
Location CRRF+Online
Pages 37.
Subject Racism & Anti-Racism; Documenting Racism; General; Justice System; Provincial Overview; Ontario; Employment Equity; Education; School Board Policies; Vocation & Training; Community Perspectives; Policies & Programs; Minority Representation; Black Canadians
CRRF Identifier RA-DR-Ge-UP-1221
Last modified 2016-06-13
English Abstract

This document is a personal letter written by Stephen Lewis (the 1992 Ontario Advisor on Race Relations) outlining his preliminary recommendations concerning the state of race relations in the province of Ontario. These recommendations are the results of over seventy meetings, consultations and conversations with concerned individuals and groups from across the province. Participants included politicians (federal and municipal), senior civil servants, representatives of both the Children’s Aid Societies and of various School Boards, activists (from law schools and immigrant/ refugee groups), academics, and coalitions for police reforms. Most importantly, visible minorities were represented (especially from the Black community) as well as personnel from all levels of the police & justice/ human rights system. Four key observations are noted: 1) anti-Black racism is the most prevalent form of racism; 2) reporting mechanisms are thought to be frustrating, redundant and useless by the minorities; 3) fear is pervasive in the Black community; 4) there is a clear need for speedy action. The recommendations made touch upon a number of themes including: the criminal justice system itself (referring to the Police Task Force, the police complaints and investigative procedure; police training and the use of force), employment equity, education, the Ontario Anti-Racism Secretariat, the Cabinet Committee on Race Relations and community development.

And then there was a Black participant, who rose shyly from the audience to say that he was a teacher and that his most touching experience came on his first day on the job, when a group of Black youngsters approached him, solemnly shook his hand, and said, 'Thank Goodness. A Black teacher at last.' (p.21)