Michael Tibollo must resign and the provincial government owes our community an apology.
July 19, 2018: Jane Finch Action Against Poverty (JFAAP) strongly condemns the racist and discriminatory comments made by Community Safety and Corrections Minister, Michael Tibollo, for stating in Queen’s Park on July 18, 2018 that he had to wear a bulletproof vest while touring Jane and Finch community.
It’s even more appalling that this minister is heading Ontario’s anti-racism directorate.
Residents of Jane-Finch Community have been experiencing gun violence like many other neighbourhoods across Toronto and the GTA. What makes Jane-Finch and other low-income and racialized neighbourhoods distinct is an ongoing systemic violence perpetuated by different levels of government through years and years of disastrous planning, neglect, discrimination, high unemployment, diminishing public schools, unsafe and unaffordable housing, a broken public transit system, lack of affordable healthy foods and an overall economic apartheid that has been undeniably documented and proven.
In addition, years of targeted policing through racist and harmful initiatives such as TAVIS, SRO and “carding” targeted hundreds of people particularly black and other racialized youth in our community.
Thousands of residents of Jane-Finch, from over one hundred cultural backgrounds, proudly live in the neighbourhood, without bulletproof vest or fear of each other, knowing that the most brutal violence imposed on them has been caused by poverty and racial discrimination reproduced by all levels of government, and years of austerity and rich-loving/poor-bashing policies.
While JFAAP was encouraging debates during the recent provincial election, we consistently received strong messages from many community residents that they do not trust politicians and they don’t think anything would change for the better through electoral politics. Many said they would not take part in the election not because they don’t know how to vote but because they have lost the trust of the electoral system.
Were they wrong?
This is the same electoral system that has elected people like Michael Tibollo and now puts him in charge of Ontario’s anti-racism directorate.
JFAAP calls on Michael Tibollo to resign from this portfolio and demands a formal apology from the provincial government.
Instead of scapegoating and stereotyping our community,
- stop cutting community programs and services,
- stop providing more tax breaks to the rich and corporations so they can become even richer,
- stop destroying our public schools and creating more precarious employment
- stop justifying more policing in our neighbourhoods;
- start bringing real long-term decent jobs and sustainable investments in the community as opposed to short term PR announcements.
JFAAP calls on all community based organizations and concerned individuals in the Jane-Finch community and our allies across the City to strongly stand against these kinds of blatant racist attacks on our community and demand social and economic justice for all.
For more information, please contact Butterfly Gopaul, Jane Finch Action Against Poverty, PHONE: 416-567-2705, EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org