The Encasa Financial Board and staff are horrified by the recent violence against black men and women in the United States. The murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor showcase only a fraction of the years of systemic racial injustice towards black communities. Canada is not immune to this violence and racism as recent examples involving black and Indigenous persons remind us. Systemic racism lives in Canada. We are committed to changing this. We stand in solidarity with members of black communities across Canada as we do with all persons facing racial discrimination.
Canadians must acknowledge our longstanding history of racial inequality. Government and religious colonialization of Indigenous communities, the ghettoization of persons escaping slavery in the United States, and the head tax placed on Chinese Canadians are a few of the examples of our country’s racist history. The impacts of our actions have been deeply painful – and they continue today.
The effects of racism on Indigenous persons and communities of colour are profound: Canadians dying unnecessarily because of racial bias in health-care systems, barriers to job development because of institutional racism in job markets, abuse and deaths caused by police violence, and inequity within the justice system. There is so much more.
We must not wait for another recorded encounter between police and a person of colour to rise up to racism. We must acknowledge and speak out against anti-black racism and implement policies that reflect equity within our systems. We must continue to support efforts to combat racism and eliminate inequities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada. We must promote, practice and value the principles of reconciliation. We must support core public services to empower disadvantaged persons and communities, employ transparent inclusion practices, and remain vigilant to counter abuses against communities. Yet, these steps towards equality will not be enough to eradicate racism.
At Encasa, we commit to continue working within our organization and in our community to eliminate racism. We are listening and reflecting on the events around us and the advice we receive from those with first-hand experience of racism.
Encasa has a deep belief that in managing assets on behalf of investors, we must invest in a socially and financially responsible manner. Since our inception, we have taken care through our investments to select companies and securities that support positive outcomes for Canadians and communities. Responsible Investment is at our core and we will continue to ensure that we do not deliberately or inadvertently support companies and policies that contribute to racism and social inequity.