With Ontario provincial elections less than a month away, the Toronto Expose Committee (TEC) , an organization formed to combat anti-Black racism in the workplace, has expressed concerns about the future of the provincial government’s$47-million Black Youth Action Plan.
Will a new government from another party continue the funding of the four-year Plan established in 2017 by the Liberal government of Premier Kathleen Wynne ?
The TEC is demanding an answer to this question from the leaders of the two other main provincial parties – the Conservatives and the Democrats -now on the campaign trail.
Arlene Wallace, chairman of the TEC, told the Caribbean Camera that it is imperative that “the question be asked and clearly addressed not only for the sake of transparency but for the safety, protection and building of our youth.”
Activists in the Black community have been outspoken on this issue.
Philip Johnson, vice -chairman of the TEC, said that ” a lot of black youth are suffering right now” and Kathleen Wynne is the first premier ” to come forward with a major program to assist them.
“Doug Ford, like his brother, has proven that when it comes to the most vulnerable , they have no concern. So I feel that this is an extremely important election based on what has happened in the past,” he said
Sherwin Barnes, a Toronto real estate agent, noted that it took a long time for an initiative such as the Black Youth Action Plan to come into existence, and now that it is finally here, we know that an election can change the fortunes of so many underserved youth.”
There are also concerns in some political circles that after the June 7 elections the Black community may for the first time in many years have no representatives in the provincial legislature
The Ontario Black Youth Action Plan which was launched last year is part of a broader three-year Anti-Racism Strategic Plan to combat systemic racism in the province.
Michael Coteau, Minister of Children and Youth Services and Community and Social Services as well as Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism, described the Youth Action Plan as ” the single largest investment dedicated to Black youth in the history of the province.”