Posted on Jun 16, 2020


EDMONTON - Alberta’s NDP Official Opposition intends to bring forward a motion for emergency debate today that will call for the creation of a task force to conduct hearings to begin conversations centered on systemic racism that exists in our province and provide recommendations back to the Legislature no later than this fall.


“Addressing racism can’t be a top-down approach,” said NDP Multiculturalism Critic Jasvir Deol. “The solutions must come from the communities in response to the realities they face every day, and they need more than just talking points and vague assurances from this government.”


Hundreds of thousands of Canadians across the country have been demanding immediate action to address the violence that marginalized communities face as a result of systemic racism — particularly in law enforcement. A rally at the Legislature on June 5, drew more than 14,000 people.


The motion will call for the Government to conduct hearings throughout the province to examine, and make recommendations to address multiple areas where systemic racism exists in Alberta’s institutions. 


The task force must consist of members of the Anti-Racism Advisory Council, provincial Indigenous leadership, and Black Lives Matter chapters of Alberta. It will also call for the task force to deliver a report to the Legislature with findings and recommendations no later than Oct. 1.


NDP Justice Critic Kathleen Ganley will also bring forward an amendment to Bill 18, Corrections (Alberta Parole Board) Amendment Act, to enshrine representation on the Alberta Parole Board from members of the Black and Indigenous communities.


“We don’t support the creation of a second Parole Board but if the Government insists on using its majority to proceed, we are going to propose some changes to better address the systemic issues in our justice system,” Ganley said. “The bottom line is members of racialized communities face a higher rate of incarceration. There are many reasons for this that we hope our broader consultation can address but at the very least these overrepresented groups deserve voice on the Parole Board.”