August 10th, 2020

Ford government must act on OHRC Report and finally address deadly Anti-Black racism in policing

OHRC analysis of Toronto police data find Black people more likely to be arrested, charged, shot and killed by police

QUEEN’S PARK —Laura Mae Lindo, Chair of the Official Opposition Ontario NDP Black Caucus and Anti-Racism Critic released the following statement in response to a new report by the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC), which found that Black people in Toronto are more likely to be arrested, charged, shot and killed by Toronto police:

“This new report from the OHRC reiterates what the Black community, justice advocates, and dozens of other reports, investigations, commissions, task forces and consultations have been saying for decades. It is clear to everyone who is paying attention that anti-Black racism in policing, and in all of our institutions, is corrosive and deadly.

That’s why over a month ago New Democrats laid out concrete commitments to end police violence, overhaul mental health crisis response, and invest in Black, Indigenous and racialized communities. It’s also why over two months ago, we joined health experts and Black community leaders in calling on Doug Ford to recognize anti-Black racism as a public health crisis.

But Doug Ford has refused to accept the facts and address anti-Black racism in Ontario. A few weeks ago he questioned the existence of systemic racism. His government’s COVID-19 pandemic response continues to utterly fail Black, Indigenous and racialized people in Ontario, who are all significantly more likely to be infected with coronavirus. And he infamously slashed funding for anti-racism initiatives to just $1,000 across the entire province.

How many more reports does Doug Ford need before he takes real action against systemic anti-Black racism? How many more lives need to be de-railed? How many more deaths?

Ontarians deserve a government that takes systemic racism seriously, invests in our communities and service, and actually acts to ensure that Black families are safe, and live in a province where they are treated with respect and dignity.”