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City needs to help fight job discrimination, says Fredericton racism taskforce chair

Passionate Ncube, chair of the City of Fredericton's anti-racism task force, says newcomers won't stay in the capital if they face discrimination when looking for jobs. (Aidan Cox/CBC - image credit)
The head of Fredericton’s anti-racism task force wants to see the city play a role in ensuring members of minority communities don’t face discrimination when looking for a job. 

With Fredericton growing and looking to attract more newcomers, the municipality has a part to play in ensuring people of colour aren’t overlooked on the job market because of race, said Passionate Ncube, chair of the task force, following a presentation he gave to the city’s livable community committee on Thursday.

“One of the critical issues is if Fredericton is going to grow, it’s going to accept everyone,” Ncube said. “Fredericton needs to look into the fact that there are immigrants, there are new people who are coming in.

“And one of the things that makes people come in and not want to stay in Fredericton, and not want to stay in New Brunswick as a province, is because of employment difficulties.”

Ncube said he also wants to see city hall do more to ensure members of minority groups feel welcome when they use municipally owned facilities.

“If I go to a swimming pool, do I feel I belong there? You know there are some places … where you get in and feel like maybe I don’t belong in here.”

The City of Fredericton announced the 15-member task force in August 2021, after Mayor Kate Rogers vowed before her election that she would combat racism in the city.

Ncube’s presentation Thursday was about the work the task force has done in the months since it first met last March.

He said the task force has established a governance structure and set up sub-committees to come up with recommendations to be brought before city council, Ncube said.

Ncube didn’t share any recommendations during his presentation but said the task force has been hearing form residents about their experiences and will formally present recommendations to councillors at a later date.

Speaking after his presentation, Ncube said racism exists everywhere in the world, with Fredericton being no exception.

In February 2021, CBC News reported on the experience of racism by residents of Fredericton’s Doone Street, many of whom are immigrants.

Coun. Ruth Breen, the city council representative for the anti-racism task force, said she’s pleased with what it’s done so far.

Ruth Breen/Facebook
“They’ve really started doing focused work on what is really a monumental task,” she said. 

Breen said even before she became a councillor in spring 2021, she knew Fredericton had work to do to combat racism.

“We are constantly faced with issues of racism, but more importantly, we really need to focus on the systemic racism, and what’s happening that’s creating barriers to full participation.”

Last December, Manju Varma, New Brunswick’s former commissioner of systemic racism, issued her long-awaited report, which most notably called for “a task force focused on dismantling systemic racism in New Brunswick policing.”

However, members of the Wolastoqey, Mi’kmaw and Black communities criticized her report for falling short of recommending the provincial government launch a public inquiry into system racism in New Brunswick.

Asked his thoughts on a public inquiry into racism, Ncube said it was a matter he needed to research before weighing in on.

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Credit belongs to : ca.news.yahoo.com

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