All-party legislation seeks to address racism, discrimination in Nova Scotia

All-party legislation seeks to address racism, discrimination in Nova Scotia

The Dismantling Racism and Hate Act was introduced following extensive consultation

Members of a special all-party committee of the legislature say they believe new legislation will serve as a blueprint for addressing systemic racism, hate and inequity in Nova Scotia. The Dismantling Racism and Hate Act was introduced at Province House on Thursday following the work of the seven-MLA committee and 71 focus groups and engagement sessions earlier this year that included more than 1,200 people. An additional 800 people provided feedback through the internet or phone. "When we say no to hate and racism, when we address long-standing inequity, we create conditions where everyone can thrive," Pat Dunn, the minister responsible for the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs, told reporters at Province House. Among other things, the bill gives a definition to hate and requires the development of a provincial strategy and health equity framework by July 2023. A community network will also be established to gather further input, and data will be collected to help monitor and address systemic racism, inequity and hate. Dunn said the intention is to have something all government departments can use to assess their practices and policies. Municipalities, colleges and universities could also be required to develop their own strategies. Liberal MLA Angela Simmonds said the collection of race-based data is significant. "It will help inform the most effective actions as it will provide decision-makers with concrete data — which is what we wanted — so that we can track and make real progress on fighting racism in the province," she said. New Democrat MLA Suzy Hansen said she was pleased to work on the bill and see it come forward, but she's hoping it will be more robust before being passed. Hansen said she wants to see more measures included in the actual bill, rather than being left to the strategy or regulations. The MLA for Halifax Needham said she plans to introduce amendments to the bill during the debate process and she's hoping input from the law amendments process, where members of the public can comment on legislation, could lead to further changes.

 

Original Article Link:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/racism-hate-discrimination-legislation-1.6396745

 


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