Statement - Blackout Tuesday

June 2, 2020

I believe that one of the most important aspects of leadership is listening. As politicians and people in positions of responsibility, we must first seek to listen and understand our constituents in order to serve them effectively.
Over the past 5 years I have developed some incredible friendships in the Liberal Caucus, including my close friends Greg Fergus and Ahmed Hussen. In fact, I have joined the Black Caucus as a non-black person to try and better understand issues faced by black Canadians. Over the past week, both Greg and Ahmed have shared their experiences that are still far too common in our society.
Our Government has made anti-racism and discrimination a key priority.
We cannot pretend that being in a better position than other nations means we do not have our own problems that we must work on together.
I recognize that I speak from a place of privilege.
But I also know that when any of us are under threat, all of our freedoms are under threat.
That is why I will continue working with the black community in Guelph to listen to their concerns, and to bring them forward to other elected officials at all levels so we can work together to combat racism.
Here in Guelph, the Guelph Black Heritage Society is leading the way in breaking down the barriers that still exist including through the renovation of Heritage Hall on Essex Street. Once completed, the space will be universally accessible for all so that everyone can benefit from the thought provoking and inspiring events that take place in the space.
What we are seeing demonstrates that this work is more important than ever and that each of us have a role to play in confronting anti-racism and ending discrimination.