TORONTO, June 28, 2005 - The Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) welcomes the first race policy which was today unveiled by the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC)and which provides a fairly comprehensive prescription for addressing racism and racial discrimination. A key aspect of the new policy is that it clearly sets parameters by which workplaces and other organizations and institutions can assess systemic barriers and practices which discriminate on the basis of race and it provides guidelines for strategies to undertake to eliminate them.
''This is a milestone achievement in the struggle against racism, not only in Ontario, but in Canada, and the OHRC should be congratulated,'' commented Dr. Karen Mock, Executive Director of the CRRF. ''It means that employers should better understand the ramifications of their hiring, retention and promotion polices with respect to racial discrimination. It names racism in all its forms, identifies the concept of 'white privilege', and it clearly has implications for racial profiling, the need for race data collection and implications for racialized students in the education system. These are all areas at the top of the Foundation's agenda.
''We are pleased that the OHRC involved the Foundation and other community stakeholders in consultations leading up to today's announcement. Their inclusive approach demonstrates the value of like-minded organizations working together to tackle a sensitive but very important issue. It can and should serve as a model for all provincial human rights commissions and for the Canadian Human Rights Commission as well. We look forward to hearing of their progress on the implementation of this ground-breaking policy.''