Alberta’s Anti-Racism Advisory Council provides insight and advice from those with lived experience on how government can address racism. The council’s recommendations helped inform the action plan.
The inaugural annual report highlights significant cross-government actions taken over the past year to combat racism, celebrate diversity and strengthen social inclusion, and it is part of the government’s pledge to provide updates on the advancements achieved.
“This report shows how our government is fulfilling promises and putting actions in place to address the issues around racism and discrimination. These are complex issues that require ongoing work, but our efforts are making a difference. We are proud of the significant progress we have made over the past year and are committed to continued action to ensure all Albertans have fair access to government programs, services and opportunities.”
Alberta’s government has used public surveys and community engagement sessions to inform its priorities and work. The community engagement sessions have included in-person sessions with organizations and partners and ongoing consultation with Indigenous Peoples to gather their perspectives. Both the Alberta Anti-Racism Advisory Council and the Premier’s Council on Multiculturalism engage with communities on an ongoing basis.
Significant progress made over the last year includes:
- Creating a Premier’s Council on Multiculturalism to provide advice on ways to support,
inspire and promote cultural diversity and inclusion in Alberta.
- Appointing two hate crimes community liaisons.
- Creating an Indigenous Primary Health Care Advisory Panel.
- Launching the Indigenous Business Support Program.
- Amending the Social Housing Accommodation Regulation to include racialized people and newcomers in prioritization.
- Implementing the Alberta Broadband Strategy in rural and Indigenous communities.
- Mandating cultural diversity and inclusion training for Alberta Sheriff recruits.
- Instituting government-wide training and support initiatives, including Respect in the Workplace and Unconscious Bias training, and the Indigenous and Visible Minority Mobility Program.
"We do not live in a post-racism society. Racism continues both in the form of express hate but also insidious and systemic forms that are implicit and unconscious. The council has focused on empowering and consulting with communities, and on the importance of meaningful and transparent change. We are pleased to see the significant progress made last year and look forward to continuing to make more progress on anti-racism."
“The Alberta Anti-Racism Council is deeply committed to tackling racism with solid action through addressing hate crimes, taking tangible actions to break down prejudices and cultivating a united community, highlighting the value of diversity, tearing down barriers in government programs and making sure everyone in Alberta has an equal shot at information, resources, services and opportunities. We're devoted to shielding vulnerable groups from hate and discrimination, and we're all about empowering communities to embrace social inclusion, diversity and multiculturalism.”
The report also highlights actions to support community-based organizations, First Nations and Métis groups to identify and address systemic and social barriers, and to develop effective community supports.
Alberta’s government continues working on legislation to remove barriers to public sector programs and services for all Albertans, building on the action plan and actions taken to date.
- According to 2021 StatsCan census data, 23 per cent of Alberta’s population are immigrants, 25 per cent are visible minorities and almost seven per cent are Indigenous.
- StatsCan demographic projections suggest Canada’s population could reach almost 48 million by 2041, with 25 million (52 per cent) of those being immigrants or children of immigrants.
- In 2022-23, the Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Grant Program provided $3.63 million to 130 community organizations to increase cross-cultural awareness and help prevent and address racism.
- In fall 2023, the Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Grant Program was separated into two grant programs, an ethnocultural grant program and an anti-racism grant program, as multiculturalism and anti-racism are distinct concepts.
- The Ethnocultural and Anti-Racism Grant Programs support community initiatives that foster and promote Alberta’s multicultural diversity and inclusivity and support Indigenous communities in celebrating and sharing their rich historical heritage.
- The Ethnocultural Grant is now accepting applications, while the Anti-Racism Grant opens Dec. 18 for applications.
- Taking Action on Racism: Year in Review
- Ethnocultural Grant Program
- A new road map for combating racism Alberta’s Anti-Racism Plan (July 18, 2022)