Ontario is Spending $340,000 to Fight Anti-Asian Racism in Classrooms

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

The province announced today it will be allocating $340,000 towards fighting anti-Asian racism and discrimination in Ontario’s schools. The initiative aims to ensure students learn in more inclusive classrooms and are supported by their educators and communities.

As part of the Safe Restart Agreement, Ontario has partnered with community groups to support advocacy for educational issues and concerns relating to Asian Canadians in the education system and to address pandemic-induced racist acts and risks for East Asian Ontario families.  This includes providing:

  • $50,000 to the Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice to develop online resources and tools to help Chinese Canadian households engage their children (Grades 3 to 5) in discussions about racism.
  • $10,000 to the Asian Canadian Educators Network (ACENET) to develop a series of professional learning and workshops about anti-Asian racism for schools and boards in Ontario.
  • $140,000 to Community Family Services of Ontario to deliver resources and supports relevant to pandemic-induced issues and risks faced by newcomers and East Asian Ontario families.

The plan will also be contributing $140,000 to the Hong Fook Mental Health Association for mental health supports for Asian students, families and teachers. That includes offering counselling and workshops in Mandarin, Cantonese and English.

Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, said “Since the start of the pandemic, hate crimes have sharply and disturbingly risen against Asian-Canadians. In our schools, we celebrate diversity and champion inclusion, as no child deserves to feel unsafe in their schools and in this country.”

There has been a rise in discrimination and hate crimes against Asian Canadians over the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There were 1,150 cases of racist attacks from across Canada between March 2020 and February 2021. Most of all cases of racist attacks and incidents were reported from Ontario and British Columbia. In many instances, these racially motivated attacks have targeted the vulnerable, including children and the elderly. 

The announcement comes in the month of May as we are celebrating Canada’s Asian Heritage Month.