March 18, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The following statement was issued today by Business New Brunswick Minister and Minister responsible for the Population Growth Secretariat Victor Boudreau, to mark Sunday, March 21, as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination:
This occasion marks the 50th anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre in South Africa, when peaceful anti-apartheid demonstrators were wounded and killed. In recognition of that tragedy, and anyone who has been a victim of racial discrimination, the United Nations identified March 21 as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
I'm proud to say that Canada was the first country in the world to show its support for this declaration.
I had the pleasure of attending a celebration of diversity earlier today at Boyce Farmers' Market in recognition of this important day. Throughout that event, one thing was very clear to me: New Brunswick is a place where people of different races, cultures, creeds or religions can be themselves, belong and be better.
On March 21, our government will renew its commitment to eliminating racism, but in doing so, we must also acknowledge that truly embracing diversity and supporting multiculturalism requires concrete action. Government has doubled funding for the multicultural grants program, and made record investments in settlement programs for new immigrants.
In addition, as part of our efforts to eliminate racial discrimination, our government has launched a new campaign celebrating diversity in New Brunswick. Entitled "Share our similarities, celebrate our differences," the campaign highlights the contributions made to New Brunswick by three first-generation immigrants and one second-generation immigrant. It is now being shown throughout the province, online and on television.
The New Brunswick we know today is the result of the work of individuals from a variety of cultures and backgrounds. Our government, together with our federal colleagues, has worked for the benefit of all in denouncing racial discrimination. In spite of these efforts, we know that racism still exists, which is why we must continue to be vigilant to ensure a future free of discrimination.