Alberta commits to strong and diverse communities
The new council will advise on ways to best support, inspire and promote cultural diversity, social inclusion and educational exchanges. This work will continue to help build inclusive communities where people feel appreciated, valued and respected.Alberta is home to people from different backgrounds, faiths and cultures.
Of the 4,177,720 people in Alberta: 27.8 per cent (1,161,420) are visible minorities, 23.2 per cent (970,975) are immigrants, 6.8 per cent (284,465) are Indigenous
Alberta’s government believes this multiculturalism is an intrinsic part of the fabric that knits the province together. The new Premier’s Council on Multiculturalism will provide advice to the government to ensure that Alberta’s communities become stronger and more welcoming for everyone.
Led by two co-chairs, Sumita Anand and Philomina Okeke-Ihejirika, the 30-member council will help guide Alberta’s government in efforts to build stronger relationships with the diverse communities represented in the province. By creating cross-cultural awareness, understanding and appreciation, Albertans will be better able to build new and stronger relationships.
Alberta’s government categorically condemns all forms of racism and hate. Continuous engagement and actions will be taken to ensure multiculturalism remains a pillar of Alberta’s society and that everyone can call Alberta their home, free from discrimination and hate.
The Premier’s Council on Multiculturalism will help supplement the work of the Alberta Anti-Racism Advisory Council (AARAC), which was created in 2019.
In 2022, Alberta’s government released its Alberta Anti-Racism Action Plan: Strengthening Diversity and Inclusion. Based on AARAC recommendations, it identified 28 action items for the government to take to encourage Albertans to be more accepting of one another. To date, seven of the action items have been completed,12 are underway and nine are ready to be looked into and actioned. In addition to these items, Alberta’s government has taken action, including ending the practice of carding, reforming the Police Act, creating the Alberta Hate Crime Coordination Unit and the Community Liaison on Hate Crime, creating the Alberta Security Infrastructure Grant program, establishing anti-racism and ethnocultural grants, and providing ethnocultural grants for trade skills and job training.
In recognition of the importance of each initiative identified in the Alberta Anti-Racism Action Plan, Premier Smith has directed the relevant ministers to complete each action item by the end of fiscal year 2023-24. To accomplish this goal, Premier Smith has committed that full funding will be made available where necessary to complete the initiatives.