NBMC’s Response to Announcement of Commissioner on Systemic Racism

by New Brunswick Multicultural Council
March 24, 2021

Fredericton, NB On Wednesday, March 24th, 2021 the Government of New Brunswick (GNB) announced their intention to appoint a Commissioner to address systemic racism in New Brunswick.  The commissioner will engage all stakeholders to develop an understanding of the nature and impact of systemic racism in the province and develop a final report by March 31, 2022, with recommendations on how to address systemic barriers faced by racialized people.

The New Brunswick Multicultural Council (NBMC) has previously called for investments in research and the development and implementation of an anti-racism strategy in consultation with Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) within our communities.

We applaud the Government’s efforts to tackle the issue of racism in New Brunswick and look forward to the outcome of this commission. We see the appointment of this commissioner as a positive step forward in addressing racism within our province,” said Moncef Lakouas, president of NBMC. “We acknowledge that there is still much work to be done in engaging with racialized communities in a respectful way that brings about meaningful change; we see the appointment of this commissioner as an opportunity to do so.

NBMC recognizes that each racialized group has their unique history of racism and present-day barriers. In light of the increase in violence against people of Asian descent, this commission is called upon to consult and engage with all racialized groups, and to ensure that the recommended solutions must meet the diverse and unique needs of all racialized people.

NBMC also recognizes the often disproportionate impact that systemic racism has on Black and Indigenous peoples, and echoes the concerns shared by Indigenous leaders related to their request for an independent inquiry and not being involved in the decision-making process that led to the implementation of this commission.

The unique realities of diverse BIPOC communities demonstrates the need for meaningful engagements and differentiated solutions to address systemic racism in the province,” added Ginette Gautreau, Interim Executive Director at NBMC. “We hope that moving forward, Black, Indigenous and People of colour will be involved throughout the process, including input on the appointed individual, how consultations will take shape, and recommended actions.

NBMC is committed to continuing its work with government and racialized and immigrant communities to eradicate racism in New Brunswick and create a place where everyone feels respected and has equal access to opportunities in this province.