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Open letter calls on Prime Minister Tim Houston to address concerns from African Scots – nova – Halifax

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An open letter from the Association of Black Social Workers, the Health Association of African Canadians and the African Baptist Association of Nova Scotia is calling on the Prime Minister to address the concerns of the Nova Scotian African community.

Tim Houston has faced criticism for appointing a white man as Nova Scotia’s African Affairs Minister, as well as for his removal of Dr. Kesa Munroe-Anderson, a woman of color who served as former Deputy Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

The letter, dated Tuesday, said the three organizations recently hosted a meeting for Nova Scots of African descent to discuss these issues, as well as “subsequent injustices within our elected government and the health system in Nova Scotia”. .

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“Our organizations have received numerous calls for concern from community members,” she said. “Our communities have felt traumatized, disrespected, disillusioned and ignored by your actions.”

The letter was signed by United Baptist Association president Carolann Wright, former Black Social Workers Association president Veronica Marsman and co-president of the Health Association of African Americans Sharon Davis-Murdoch.

He said more than 200 people of all ages and backgrounds signed up for the meeting, which aimed to discuss the impact of these changes and “move forward with strategic solutions focused on solutions”.

“Attendees spoke of the systematic racist approach to decision-making taken by our elected government and the lack of respect for our history and experience,” she said.

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“Black Nova Scots are known and recognized as one of the Founding Peoples of Nova Scotia. White. ”

The letter called for an immediate meeting with Houston before the legislature session.

“It is the people of African descent in Nova Scotia who, through our vision and self-determination, must lead the development of short-term and long-term solutions to this injustice,” she said.

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The province responds

In a statement, Catherine Klimek, a spokeswoman for the prime minister’s office, said Houston was aware of the open letter.

“The Prime Minister has been clear that our government is serious about making positive progress in improving equality and addressing systemic racism in this province,” the statement said.

“We see the work of Nova Scotia’s African Affairs and the Office for Equality and Anti-Racism Initiatives, together with the community and other partners, as a priority and we will continue to support it.”

The statement said they will listen and learn from the community and are open to hearing voices and ideas.

He said the office would arrange a meeting with the prime minister, Nova Scotia African Affairs Minister and Wright ahead of the autumn Legislature session.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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