Rejection letter ESDC sent to Black organizations 'completely unacceptable': Hussen

·1 min read

OTTAWA — Activist Velma Morgan says several Black organizations were denied federal funding through a program designed to help such groups build capacity — after the department told them their leadership was not sufficiently Black.

The chair of Operation Black Vote tells The Canadian Press her group received an email from Employment and Social Development Canada this week saying their application did not show "the organization is led and governed by people who self-identify as Black."

The department sent a second email the next day, saying their applications were not approved because it did not receive "the information required to move forward."

Morgan says her not-for-profit, multi-partisan organization that aims to get more Black people elected at all levels of government is one of at least five Black organizations that didn't get the funding.

Social Development Minister Ahmed Hussen says the initial letter his department sent to unsuccessful applicants was "completely unacceptable" and that he demanded a retraction as soon as he saw it.

In a thread on Twitter, Hussen says he discussed with his department's officials to how such a mistake could have happened and implemented measures to make sure it does not happen again.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2020

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press