Kitchener MPP's anti-racism bill receives nearly unanimous support
A Kitchener MPP’s bill aimed at countering racism in schools received nearly unanimous support on Thursday in Queen's Park.
Bill 67 was brought forward by Kitchener Centre MPP Laura Mae Lindo.
“We have an opportunity to actually shift the discussion and ensure that policies get crafted, that do in fact create anti-racist spaces from kindergarten to Grade 12 and all the way through post-secondary,” Lindo said in the legislature on Wednesday.
The bill received support on Wednesday night. The second reading happened on Thursday. The lone vote against the bill came from Cambridge MPP Belinda Karahalios.
The bill aims to formally review and develop anti-racism accountability programming for students and staff and to establish protocols for recognizing, acknowledging, tracking, measuring, investigating and responding to incidents of racism. Lindo said the bill has received support from numerous racialized communities.
“A strategy for change is a strategy that works, a strategy that the community is bought into and a strategy that we can lead from these places,” Lindo said. “If you’ve got racism running willy nilly through our schools from kindergarten to Grade 12 in the form of harsher punishment and discipline for Black and Indigenous children, literally children. Then you look at what's happening in post-secondary and you hear the concerns that people have that we don't have a diverse workforce in post-secondary. Well, maybe part of that is because we still continue to stream Black, Brown and Indigenous kids out of k to 12.”
The bill was referred to committee before a possible third reading and final approval.