If indeed the CRRF was established to stem the tide of any further claims for redress and reparations for historical wrongs, then the premise on which the CRRF was established undermines that objective. This point bears out in the first statement of the preamble of the Act, which underscores Canada's obligations to CERD:
"Whereas Canada as a party to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, has resolved to adopt all necessary measures for speedily eliminating racial discrimination in all its forms and manifestations;"
(It is important to keep in mind that Article 6 of CERD speaks to the right of victims to seek reparations and for states to comply):
The mandate of the CRRF further challenges that objective, through its role to, inter alia, support and promote the development of effective policies and programs for the elimination of racism and racial discrimination." (Act Establishing the CRRF). In its broadest possible interpretation, this mandate gives the Foundation the responsibility and autonomy to identify and pursue policies and programs, even if unpopular with the government, that will provide effective means of eliminating racism and other forms of discrimination. On this premise, the CRRF's role on the subject of redress and reparations is directive.
Since its establishment, the Foundation has taken a range of positions and interventions on the subject of redress and reparations for affected communities in Canada. For example,
CRRF Board of Directors Meeting #14, June 23, 2001
CRRF Edmonton Symposium, October, 2002: Post Durban
Among the CRRF priority actions adopted by the participants was the recommendation that the CRRF endorse:
CRRF Awards of Excellence Gala and Symposium, March 2003:
2002 - Committee for the New Denver Survivors
The committee contacted the Canadian Race Relations Foundation to seek its support in urging the Government of British Columbia to act on the findings of the Ombudsman of British Columbia in the matter of the forced confinement and assimilation of the Sons of Freedom Doukhobor Children. The Foundation has since
May 9, 2003: News Release:
Board of Directors' Meeting, Number 20, June 14-15, 2003, Toronto
Following the Chairperson and Executive Director's participation in the Chinese Canadian National Council Initiative on Redress, the Board agreed that:
Media Interview , The Share Newspaper, March 2004
The Executive Director, made a statement reiterating the Foundation's willingness to facilitate dialogue between communities and government on the subject of redress and reparations. This was given in response to the UN Rapporteur's Report on his Mission to Canada, in which he highlighted the plight of the Africville community and the Chinese community's quest for redress.
Regional Seminars, -- Winnipeg, October 2003, March 2004
In conjunction with a CRRF Board Meeting, a community forum was held in Winnipeg in October 2003, entitled "The Last Spike" co- sponsored by the CCNC and the CRRF, to highlight the contribution of the Chinese Canadian Community and the call for compensation for the Head Tax and Exclusion Act. Speakers included the CRRF Chair and Vice-Chair. An ad hoc committee was formed further to this forum that was similar to the group that gathered after the AofE symposium the year before. They hosted a seminar in Winnipeg on March 27, 2004, which was co-sponsored by the Foundation. Speakers included representatives of the Japanese, Chinese, Ukrainian, Jewish, and Italian communities.
Particularly because of how and why the CRRF was founded, the adoption of a policy on redress and reparations has substantial significance for the Foundation, both within the domestic and international contexts. A clearly articulated position by the CRRF is important, particularly for discriminated communities who comprise the principal stakeholder group constituency for the organization. Some of the implications are enumerated as follows: