Words matter. Definitions matter.
That's the thought behind a new private members bill at Queen's Park, looking at addressing racial equity in Ontario's Education Act.
"The importance of being clear about what it is that we are aiming for, and what it is that we are working with is attention we would pay to any legislation," Kitchener Centre MPP Laura Mae Lindo said Thursday morning.
Her bill, the Racial Equity in the Education System Act, wants to take care of the gaps in the act, to ensure there are anti-racism strategies in place in elementary, secondary and post-secondary schools.
She said the word "racism" doesn't even appear in the Education Act, and yet the government said they're dedicated to having a system that does anti-racism work.
"My bill addresses the many gaps in existing legislation that neither the Liberals nor the Ford government cared to fix," Lindo added. "It should never have taken this long to do the basics like clearly define the terms 'racism,' 'anti-racism,' and 'racial equity' in legislation."
"It should never have taken this long to make sure educators have the training they need, or to recognize that 'diversity training' isn't working and replace it with anti-racist and racial equity tools that actually address the issue of racism."
"My bill makes sure that schools have plans in place that promote racial equity by creating environments where students, education workers or professors who have experienced the trauma of racism get the support they need."