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Raymond Sheppard: Is yesterday’s funding announcement for African Nova Scotian Justice Institute merely an election ploy?

Iain Rankin at the Black Cultural Centre. Photo Communications Nova Scotia

On July 12, 2021, Nova Scotia Liberal leader and Premier Iain Rankin announced the non-immediate 4.8 million-dollar funding of an African Nova Scotian Justice Institute to address policing accountability, data collection, court support and legal defence plus a number of other areas of concern. He made this announcement at the Black Cultural Center in Cherrybrook, Nova Scotia.

With the writ due to be dropped any day now spurring a provincial election, this announcement is suspect in terms of the political timing and because funding will not be available until a year from now. Which basically seems to suggest that if Mr. Rankin is not re-elected as premier and if his party does not form the next government of Nova Scotia all could be for naught.

White politicians vying for political office will do the bare minimum to secure African people’s votes, and after an election they hardly ever keep their word on anything.  

As African Nova Scotians, most of us are well aware of structural and political racism and how entrenched racism is in Canadian politics. Canadian politics is a contradiction. It is a system said to endorse the principles of freedom and equality with the inclusion of People of Colour. History suggests over many many years now people of African descent in Nova Scotia/Canada have been manipulated and duped into voting for one party or another.

The first time an African Nova Scotian Justice Institute was floated was during the 1960s. The concept and development of such an Institute is a good solid initiative that could help African Nova Scotians if the institute is given teeth to seriously impact the current Injustice system within Nova Scotia.

At the announcement on July 12th, approximately 20 African Nova Scotians so it would seem had been invited to this announcement, but no one seemed to ask why the year-long wait for funding and if this funding announcement is a political ploy to gain and or sway the votes of African Nova Scotians.

Hopefully this much-needed initiative will come to fruition and will positively take a bite out of the injustice system that now exists in the province of Nova Scotia and cut down on the racist treatment of African Nova Scotians.

See also: Robert Wright: “All agencies that are responsible for upholding the civil and human rights of Black people have failed us”

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