New Brunswick now has an “independent” commissioner of systemic racism. Her name is Dr. Manju Varma.
According to CBC, Radio-Canada, and Turtle News, Dr. Varma is a “Multiculturalism expert” and she holds a PhD in “Anti-racist education” from the University of Toronto.
Varma also “leads the new office of Inclusion, Equity and Anti-Racism for the Atlantic Canada Opportunity Agency (ACOA) since 2020, a federal government initiative aimed at fostering its internal corporate diversity and inclusiveness.”
As a reminder, our provincial government will finance the work of this commissioner (from our tax money) and it will cost us half of a million dollars, as per the media articles cited above and an earlier post by Bambi (shown further below):
As reported by the CBC, Dr. Varma wrote in news release: “Having been an immigrant and having experienced racism growing up in this province, I personally know there is systemic racism here that must be addressed… “As I embark on this journey, I do so with an open mind and no preconceptions.”
According to CBC, “A public report is due by September 2022, with recommendations to address systemic racism in areas such as health care, education, social development, housing, employment and criminal justice. A total of $500,000 has been set aside, and Varma will have staff to assist in her work.”
The French language counterpart of the CBC uses the following terms: “La commissaire aura comme responsabilité, entre autres, de mener une consultation publique sur la nature et les répercussions du racisme systémique à l’égard des nouveaux arrivants, des Autochtones, des Noirs, des personnes de couleur et d’autres groupes marginalisés au Nouveau-Brunswick ».
Of note, once again, we seem to already have the outcomes of the report by endorsing, without any evidence base, the (rather vague) trendy concept of “systemic racism”.
Five questions for Dr. Varma:
- What is the field of “anti-racist education” (i.e. her PhD)? Bambi is curious.
- What is “systemic racism”?
- Could Dr. Varma be confusing the concepts of “racism” and “systemic racism”?
- Isn’t the assumption of the existence of systemic racism in our province, before even investigating it, a “preconception” in itself?
- Will Dr. Varma’s functions include also an interest in studying Acadians (the historical ethno-linguistic largest minority in NB)?
If the answer to the fifth question is positive, why wasn’t this mentioned in these media articles?
And, finally, a last question to our government: