Frequently Asked Questions
Feel free to review our frequently asked questions list to learn more about FBC FCN.
Town Hall meetings are being hosted across the country for FBC FCN to present its vision to interested Black community members, solicit advice on FBC FCN priorities, and encourage organizations and individuals to establish the coalitions prior to the establishment of the FBC FCN Board before the end of 2018.
During their time on the bench, several Canadian judges have engaged in external activities, which have pushed for policy and legislative change at the provincial and federal levels. These include:
Justice Murray Sinclair
As Associate Chief judge, Senator Sinclair was appointed Co-Commissioner, along with Court of Queen’s Bench Associate Chief Justice A. C. Hamilton, of Manitoba’s Public Inquiry into the Administration of Justice and Aboriginal People (The Aboriginal Justice Inquiry). The AJI report was an extensive study of issues plaguing the relationship between Aboriginal people in Manitoba and the Justice system. It has had a significant impact on changing the law and legal policy in Canada. It was referred to in the Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples of Canada (RCAP) as well as by the Canadian Bar Association in its report on Aboriginal People and the law of Canada.
Justice Michael Tulloch (Ontario Court of Appeal)
Justice Michael Tulloch has presided over an independent review of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD), and the Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC). The review dealt with carding and racial profiling within the police force, and it sought to recommend ways government could enhance the transparency and accountability of the police oversight bodies while preserving fundamental rights, through such things as legislation. Justice Tulloch sits on the court of appeal and, although seconded to these areas, is still able to sit on cases that involve police and allegations of racial profiling
It is important to note that being members of these committees and making recommendations for legislative change did not undermine the aforementioned justices’ “fitness” to judge.
Donald McLeod is a founder of the FBC. He is uninvolved in advocacy on criminal justice reform or issues which affect his independence and impartiality as a member of the judiciary, and similarly uninvolved in any fund raising for the organization or partisan politics. In his role within the organization, he does not speak on behalf of the Court or as a member of the Court.
Ebyan Farah joined the FBC FCN Steering Committee to engage Canadians originating from continental Africa. With executive-level experience serving the Canadian Somali Congress, Ebyan Farah provided strategic insight on how the FBC FCN could frame its strategic mandate to engage community stakeholders from a variety of continental African backgrounds.
Recognizing the perception of conflict, Ebyan had not engaged in any discussions with the government since June of 2016, when the work began to establish the FBC FCN as a non-profit organization. Further, Ms. Farrah received the appropriate clearances from the Liberal Party Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commission to join the Steering Committee.
Ebyan Farah’s term of service on the Steering Committee ended on February 25, 2018, at her request, and she remains a supporter of the FBC FCN vision.
Since its inception, FBC FCN has been clear that it does not speak for all Black Canadians, but that it is adding its voice to a chorus of organizations working across the country to improve the lives of Canadians of African descent.
FBC FCN considers international, national, regional and local matters that negatively affect Black Canadians and raise matters of concern directly during its meetings with government officials and political parties. Presently, the FBC FCN responds to issues of concern based on the following criteria:
• Be national in scope and have a direct impact on Black Canadians;
• Be time sensitive where the loss of life, liberty or security is imminent; and
• Be relevant to FBC FCN partners in principle and/or relevant stakeholders.
The genesis of FBC FCN is a meeting of 37 concerned Black Canadians, following the murder of a young Black woman in the GTA. Those present decided to work together to establish an organization, which could collaborate with groups across the country to affect change.
FBC FCN is a non-partisan not-for-profit organization, which will continue to maintain its apolitical status and independence.
The Canadian government requires that with some exceptions, that bylaws be adopted at the first meeting of the Directors and should take effect immediately, once confirmed at the first meeting of members. After confirmation, a copy of the bylaws must be filed with Industry Canada within, 12 months.
Currently, FBC FCN is finalizing governance documents, including the bylaws and financial oversight framework. It will be presented to the Board for adoption during its inaugural meeting. Once ratified, the bylaws will be filed in accordance with the Corporations Act and full disclosure will be made to registered FBC FCN members and partners.
FBC FCN is currently inviting the public to join our mailing lists and follow FBC FCN social media platforms, where information on becoming formal members will be announced mid-2018, once finalized. The FBC FCN looks forward to welcoming members, through a formal process, which will establish with clarity opportunities to engage with FBC FCN and shape its work.
The interim Chair of the Steering Committee will be replaced when Black community members elect the Board of Directors, before the end of 2018.
The Steering Committee is an interim group of volunteers tasked with setting up FBC FCN’s regional coalition infrastructure and governance model for ratification by the new Board before the end of 2018.
Comprised of Black community members from across the country, the coalitions will participate in the election of the FBC FCN Board of Directors.
The Steering Committee has been working on:
• Collaborating with Black community organizations to establish the regional coalitions across the country;
• Drafting a proposed FBC FCN governance structure to be ratified by the new Board;
• Creating an inclusive, clear and deliverable manual of operations for ratification by the Board;
• Establishing partnerships with community organizations and individuals;
• Consulting with Black community organizations and individuals to identify activities and collaborative work; and
• Sharing the outcome of its non-partisan discussions with government officials.
The FBC FCN Steering Committee has 11 members, of which 1 is a registered Progressive Conservative Party member, another is a registered New Democrat Party member, and yet another is a registered Liberal Party member. Most Committee members and its Chair are not affiliated with a political party.
FBC FCN has engaged with several political parties at all levels of government, including the municipal level. This engagement has included presentations to the Prime Minister as well as to leaders of the federal and Ontario Conservative and New Democratic parties.
Outreach events like Lobby Day and the National Summit of Black Canadians have engaged representatives and spokespersons from a variety of federal, provincial and municipal parties.
Lobby Day (also known as Advocacy Day) is a name used by non-governmental organizations like FBC FCN for select days, often annual when lay members meet politicians or public servants at various levels to advocate on a variety of relevant issues.
FBC FCN has participated in Lobby Day, which provided a face-to-face opportunity to address federal laws, policies and programs that affect Black Canadians and recommend ways to remove racial barriers and improve quality of life of Canadians of African descent.
Participants at Lobby Day met with representatives of the federal liberal, conservative, NDP and Green parties.
FBC FCN is working on two main documents that focus on community engagement.
A National Working Paper: A Roadmap Towards Recognition, Development and Justice
The first one was developed out of the initial meeting of 37 concerned citizens and Black community organization representatives in 2016. It is entitled “A National Working Paper: A Roadmap Towards Recognition, Development and Justice,” of which an iteration of the document has been presented to government officials.
Canadian International Decade Strategic Action Plan: 2018-2024
The second document, which has not been presented to any elected official, is the “Canadian International Decade Strategic Action Plan: 2018-2024”, which is still being finalized based on the outcome of the strategic planning sessions at the National Black Canadians Summit, responses to online surveys and discussions at town halls being hosted across the country. Once completed and presented to the Black communities, it will be presented to external stakeholders and government officials.
FBC FCN is a national organization that collaborates with Black communities, organizations and people in 13 provinces and territories across Canada. We provide a space for these organizations to share ideas, best practices and strategize while advocating with them to governments, parliaments, regional and multilateral organizations, businesses and faith-based organizations.
national black canadians summit
The National Black Canadians Summit featured over 48 speakers including the Honourable Ahmed D. Hussen, federal Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship; Jagmeet Singh Leader of the New Democratic Party; Patrick Brown then leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party; and John Tory, Mayor of Toronto.
The Michaëlle Jean Foundation organized the National Black Canadians Summit, in partnership with the Toronto Public Library and the FBC FCN. No political party was involved in coordinating the event. The event did include speakers from Liberal, NDP and Conservative parties.
The Michaëlle Jean Foundation is the partner with which FBC FNC co-hosted the inaugural National Black Canadians Summit, in December 2017. It uses its unique arts for collective impact model to enable underserved youth to use creativity to change their lives and their communities.
To that end, FBC FNC will collaborate with the Foundation to implement the strategic plan emanating from the Summit, which includes collaborating with Black community organizations, the business sector, arts organizations, government and other sectors of society to help make a lasting difference in the lives of Canadians of African Descent across the country.
The FBC FCN is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization, which seeks to address issues of concern to Black communities with all major federal, provincial and municipal parties. The FBC FCN steering committee currently receives no government funding and continues to sustain itself with private funding.