NBMC’s Response to Systemic Racism Commissioner’s Final Report
The New Brunswick Multicultural Council (NBMC) would like to express its appreciation for the work undertaken by the commission on systemic racism and the extensive consultation process that was employed to inform the report and its recommendations.
The report issued by the commissioner on systemic racism highlights key areas of focus that the NBMC is aware of and currently working on. The NBMC, as the umbrella organization for 20 immigrant settlement agencies and ethnocultural associations, leads projects that are focused on positively impacting immigration in support of the province’s immigration strategy. Moncef Lakouas, President, NBMC’s Board of Directors, indicates that he “believes that our ability to remove instances of systemic racism will play an important role in the province’s ability to have all newcomers welcomed into their communities and to be enabled to fully participate in their community and in society.” As New Brunswick becomes more multiculturally and ethnically diverse, programs such as the NBMC’s RePRESENT NB, which prepares newcomers for civic leadership roles, will become even more important.
The commissioner’s report highlights areas that the NBMC has been advocating for systemic changes in for quite some time; programs such as prompt and easy access to Medicare, drivers licensing and Foreign Credential Recognition. The NBMC, in partnership with the Saint John Newcomer Centre, recently released a study which highlighted barriers that international students face in New Brunswick and is working collaboratively with our member agencies, WorkingNB and Opportunities NB, to address these barriers. The commissioner’s report highlights challenges with resources required within the immigration sector, and the NBMC also believes this is an area that requires more investment to enhance the breadth and depth of knowledge and expertise, and increase retention in the sector.
The commissioner’s report references the need for employers to be aware of the realities of systemic racism that are occurring within their workplaces and to have the tools and resources required to provide a safe, respectful and healthy workplace for everyone. For this to become a reality, the NBMC believes that every employer has a role to play. While the NBMC provides anti-racism training, the NBMC will continue to advocate for a provincial position and associated requirements to move this file forward.
Mr. Lakouas indicates that “The NBMC is committed to continuing to work with all departments within the GNB, with the office of the commissioner on systemic racism, and other partners to advance the immigration sector by removing systemic barriers, eliminating systemic racism, and properly resourcing the sector.”