New Brunswick appointed commissioner to tackle systemic racism

10th November 2021 – Manju Verma has been appointed as the commissioner on systemic racism by the provincial government of New Brunswick to build understanding on the impact and nature of systemic racism in the province.

Varma would lead an independent commission and present its final report by September 2022. The commission’s main objectives would include conducting a public consultation on the nature and impact of systemic racism on newcomers, Indigenous, Black, people of colour and other marginalized groups in the Atlantic province. A series of virtual and in-person meetings, written submissions by email, mail or website would be some of methods to collect data.

The commission which would work as a separate unit from the government would provide recommendations on the development of a provincial strategy and an action plan to address sector concerns such as barriers to opportunity, equitable access to programs and services and systemic racism in health care, education, social development, housing, employment and criminal justice. The final report of the commission would be made public.

Varma came to Canada as an immigrant and holds a doctorate in Anti-Racism from the University of Toronto. She is trained in Conflict Mediation from Harvard Law School and in change management and negotiation from Dalhousie University. She has worked with different First Nations and marginalized communities in her career spanning over 30 years.

The provincial government has allocated a budget of approximately $500,000 for commission’s working.

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