Pre-election ‘social cohesion’ blitz to target white voters

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The Ministry of Canadian Heritage is planning a pre-election advertising blitz on racism with the aim on white voters this fall.

According to Blacklock’s Reporter, Heritage Minister Steven Gulbeault’s blitz will “deal with pressing, urgent or emergency-driven marketing that may arise.”

The plan of the campaign is to weave together a compelling narrative of contemporary Canadian identity with values “as antithetical to racism and racial discrimination and one that directly supports social cohesion, strength in diversity and inclusivity, eventually further strengthening Canada’s leadership of these values on the global stage,” according to a staff note to contractors.

In a notice by the Communication Marketing Management, the anti-racism campaign specifically targets “non-racialized Canadians, middle-aged adults and non-racialized Canadian adults.”

Caucasians are encouraged to discuss discrimination and its impacts, break down systemic barriers and embrace diversity, social cohesion, inclusion, social justice, equity-deserving groups, intersectionality, reconciliation, Indigenous rights, missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and member of the two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities, racialized peoples, religious minorities and human rights.

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The call was made out to marketing companies on Thursday, eight days after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the House of Commons that politicians must take action on bigotry.

“Over the course of this pandemic we have seen an unfortunate rise in Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, anti-Asian hatred and anti-Black racism,” said Trudeau, as reported by Blacklock’s Reporter.

The PM told Commons that words matter, noting they can be “a seed that grows into an ugly, pervasive trend and sometimes lead to real violence.

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“The jokes that are not funny, the casual racism, the insinuations that are only meant to diminish, the toxic rhetoric, the disinformation and extremism online and the polarization we see too often in our public discourse and in our politics,” said Trudeau.

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The Ministry of Canadian Heritage stated a website, videos and social media postings will give Canadians timely and comprehensive accessible information with the intent to educate the public and provide them with empowerment to combat racism.

While no budget has been set for this advertising blitz, contractors will be paid by the hour.

The campaign will also feature outreach programs that will target businesses, unions and non-profits that will “mobilize communities around taking concrete steps to eliminate systemic racism in their organizations, holding them accountable for their progress and creating tangible change,” according to Marketing Management.


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