New Democratic Party establishes official Black Caucus in Ontario


Dr. Laura Mae Lindo, Faisal Hassan, Dr. Jill Andrew, Dr. Rima Berns-McGown and Kevin Yarde

Ontario Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath  has announced the official formation of the NDP Black Caucus, the first in the history of the province.

“Black community members should see themselves represented and respected when they look at their government. Black Canadian leaders must be at the table when every decision is made. That’s why I’m so proud to announce the formal creation of the Ontario NDP’s Black Caucus, chaired by our Anti-Racism Critic and MPP for Kitchener Centre, Laura Mae Lindo,” said Horwath on Monday.

“This is the first official Black caucus in Ontario’s history. It is the first time any party has elected enough Black members to form a caucus, and the first time a body like this has been formally identified as a key priority. What we’re putting out there by formalizing this caucus is that we expect and believe that the Ontario NDP MPP Black Caucus will continue for generation after generation, growing after every election.”

According to a new release from the Ontario’s NDP,  the Black caucus was established as a direct result of an initial Black community leaders’ roundtable discussion at Queen’s Park with the NDP.

 

It notes that this discussion, which was a key step in cultivating and advancing an ongoing partnership between the NDP and the Black community, gave members of the NDP caucus the opportunity to hear from Black community leaders.

 

A key recommendation was the importance of formalizing representation, and direct engagement with the Black community as a distinct group, it pointed out.

The news release also  noted  that the establishment of the Black caucus ” is part of the Ontario NDP’s continued commitment to working with Black communities – from Zanana Akande’s trailblazing work establishing the Anti-Racism Secretariat in the 1990s to aggressively pushing the previous Liberal government to abolish carding instead of legislating it, and the NDP’s present call for the government to not only eliminate carding in Ontario, but also destroy all data obtained from the unconstitutional practice.

” The mandate of the NDP Black Caucus is to ensure that Black perspectives are meaningfully incorporated into the work that New Democrats do on every file – from finance, to health care, education, housing, the Arts and beyond. Our mandate is to work actively and collaboratively with Black communities to address systemic anti-Black racism by proposing policy solutions that will help build a future of equity, justice, respect and safety,” said NDP Black Caucus Chair Laura Mae Lindo.

“It’s time for political leadership in this province that isn’t content with backsliding or even with a slow pace of change, but that instead works actively and urgently with the Black community to build a future of equity, justice, and respect,” she said.

 

The members of the inaugural Ontario  NDP Black Caucus are as follows:

Kitchener Centre MPP Dr. Laura Mae Lindo

York South-Weston MPP Faisal Hassan

Toronto – St. Paul’s MPP Dr. Jill Andrew

Brampton North MPP Kevin Yarde

Beaches—East York MPP Dr. Rima Berns-McGown