Posted on Jun 1, 2020


EDMONTON - Jason Kenney’s UCP government cut funding to groups aimed at ending racism in Alberta by two-thirds last year.


“We cannot look at what is happening in the United States as someone else’s problem,” said NDP Leader Rachel Notley. “As a society, we have to be able to have conversations about racism, we have to challenge it at every step, and we have to support organizations that are doing that work every day.”


The previous NDP government introduced the Anti-Racism Community Grant Program that provided $2 million to support grassroots initiatives that raise awareness and understanding of racism. The program also included funding to support anti-racism initiatives specific to Indigenous peoples. Last year, the UCP cut this funding by twenty-five per cent while expanding eligibility beyond the focus of anti-racism. 


This in addition to cutting a $1 million anti-racism program administered by the Human Rights Commission, which means that funding to combat racism has been cut over fifty per cent by Jason Kenney’s UCP. 


“Premier Jason Kenney and I can agree to disagree about his plans to force Albertans to endure cuts to programs, health care, and education as part of his fiscal reckoning,” said Notley. “But, surely we can agree that when the most disturbing evidence of racism comes to the fore, ending it must become our top priority.”


Two years ago this month, the previous NDP government released a report by the Anti-Racism Advisory Council with 10 recommendations aimed at fighting racism in Alberta. 


“Jason Kenney needs to do more than condemn the situation south of the border,” said Notley. “He can start by immediately restoring funding to groups who are dedicated to anti-racism, and take up the calls from members of the Anti-Racism Advisory Group.”