featured Racism

We need a national inquiry into anti-Black racism

Raymond Sheppard. Photo Robert Devet

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – There are thousands of reasons why Canada must conduct a public inquiry into anti-Black racism, and racist police brutality. Anti-Black racism is a pandemic all on its own.

The Canadian government,with provincial/territorial input, should order such an inquiry. The inquiry should consider issues raised by the United Nations Committee on Human Rights, which in August 2017 raised serious concerns regarding ongoing systemic discrimination faced by people of African descent in Nova Scotia.  The United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent presented its report to the United Nations Human Rights Council on September 25, 2017, in Geneva.

The working group stated that it was deeply concerned about the structural racism that lies at the core of many Canadian institutions and the systemic anti-Black racism that continues to have a negative impact on the human rights situation of African Canadians. Canada’s history of enslavement, racial segregation and marginalization of African Canadians has left a legacy of anti-Black racism, which must be addressed in partnership with the affected communities. African Nova Scotians make up the largest racially visible group in Nova Scotia.

The scope of this public inquiry would include acts of racism, the impact of racism, systemic and structural racism, government wrongdoing, divisive policies and Canadian policy-making.

Such an inquiry would definitely be worth the time and expense and could make a major difference if it came up with solid recommendations to be genuinely acted upon.

The Canadian government, in concert with the African Canadian community, could establish the mandate and or purpose of the public inquiry, and provide the funds necessary out of the money it made from the historic enslavement of the African and the trillions that this wrongdoing generated and continues to generate.

The evidence would come from historical records, lived testimony of many, criminal justice statistics, health records, arrest records and with records from human rights commissions, etc.

This inquiry should be set up in view of the tragic public health emergency caused by the treatment of African Canadians.

Anti-Black racism in all areas of life in Canada directly impacts African Canadians

Black Lives Matter!!!

See also: Book review: North to Bondage: Loyalist slavery in the Maritimes

With a special thanks to our generous donors who make publication of the Nova Scotia Advocate possible.

Subscribe to the Nova Scotia Advocate weekly digest and never miss an article again. It’s free!



  1. Bravo! Someone should FOIPOP HRM, how many cases are before the NS HR Commission with regards to anti-Black racism? What departments are these type of issues prevalent? We the public need to know. A public audit/inquiry is needed just like the HRP Wortley report, anything else is unacceptable.

  2. The Mayor of HRM Nova Scotia has recently learned from Germany and UK regarding the COVID-19 management.
    Why not do so when it comes to complying with human rights in Nova Scotia.
    The big France is one of the best law-abiding countries in the world.
    In France, anyone who wants to violate, break laws cannot afford to see his reputation impacted as well as the compensation to pay to the victims of racism and discrimination. It is the only way to combat the systemic evil practices in Nova Scotia.
    Canada needs to go back to learn from France, if Canada wants to be perceived as a real developed country.
    Mr. Trump was right to treat our Premier Honorable Justin Trudeau as a weak when he was talking about compromised human rights and racist justice systems in Canada.

Comments are closed.