Canada’s Black Justice Strategy: Next steps

It is critical that Canada’s Black Justice Strategy (the Strategy) be grounded in the diverse histories, backgrounds and lived experiences of Black people in Canada. The Strategy’s external Steering Group has developed the Framework, a document to guide consultations and engagements, and will work with other experts and community leaders to identify ways in which to reform and modernize the criminal justice system to ensure that all people have access to equal treatment before and under the law.

The Strategy will be developed in five phases:

  1. Establishment of the Steering Group for Canada’s Black Justice Strategy (completed)
  2. Consultations and engagements with Black communities (completed)
  3. Final Strategy Report from the Steering Group (current phase)
  4. Development and release of an Implementation Plan
  5. Implementation of Canada’s Black Justice Strategy
Legend

Completed

Current stage

Yet to occur

Current status

Completed

Establishment of Steering Group

Completed

Consultations with Black communities

Current stage

Final Strategy Report from the external Steering Group

Yet to occur

Development and release of the Implementation Plan

Yet to occur

Implementation of Canada's Black Justice Strategy

Phase 1: Establishment of the external Steering Group for Canada’s Black Justice Strategy (completed)

It is critical that the Strategy be grounded in the experiences of Black people in Canada, reflecting the diverse history, backgrounds, experiences and regional realities of Black communities. To ensure that the development of the Strategy is informed by experts and community leaders from Black communities across the country, the Government of Canada established an external Steering Group, comprised of nine experts and leaders from Black communities across Canada, with diverse backgrounds and experiences, and with expertise related to Canada’s criminal justice system.

The Steering Group, established in February 2023, will work to identify ways in which to address the overrepresentation of Black people in the criminal justice system, including as victims of crime, and to reform and modernize the criminal justice system to ensure that all people have access to equal treatment before and under the law.

Phase 2: Consultations and engagements with Black communities (completed)

The Steering Group developed the Framework, a document to guide consultations and engagements on the Strategy.

Using the Framework, 12 Black-led community-based organizations contracted by Justice Canada led targeted consultation and engagement activities to validate existing information and recommendations included in the Framework, identify missing or outdated information and recommendations, and highlight gaps in policies, legislation, data, services, initiatives, programs and community supports. These organizations held consultation and engagement activities between September and October 2023, and reported the results to the Steering Group in November 2023.

To ensure that people who were unable to participate in community consultations and engagements could contribute to this important work, Justice Canada also launched an online survey informed by the Steering Group’s Framework. Through this survey, Black people of all ages living in Canada who could not participate in community engagement and representatives of organizations that provide justice-related services and supports to Black communities in Canada were invited to share their views. The online survey was available between September and October 2023.

For more information on consultation and engagement activities, please visit the Consultations and Engagements page.

Phase 3: Final Strategy Report from the external Steering Group

In March 2024, the Steering Group will present its Final Strategy Report to Justice Canada. The Final Strategy Report will include recommendations to address the overrepresentation of Black people in Canada’s criminal justice system, including as victims of crime, and to reform and modernize the criminal justice system.

The recommendations presented in the Final Strategy Report will be informed by the outcomes of community consultations and engagement, as well as the results of the online survey.

Phase 4: Development and release of an Implementation Plan

In response to the Steering Group’s Final Strategy Report, Justice Canada will develop and release an Implementation Plan. This plan will outline the actions that the Government of Canada will undertake to address anti-Black racism and systemic discrimination and the overrepresentation of Black people in the criminal justice system, including as victims of crime.

The Implementation Plan will be released on Justice Canada’s website in 2024.

Phases 5: Implementation of Canada’s Black Justice Strategy

Implementation of the Strategy will begin in 2024, with the release of the Implementation Plan, that will provide a roadmap to address the anti-Black racism and systemic discrimination that has led to the overrepresentation of Black people in the criminal justice system, including as victims of crime.