January 20th, 2021 - 8:12pm
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 20, 2021
MASSE & COMMUNITY LEADERS DEMAND RECONSIDERATION OF GRANT APPLICATION FOR HISTORIC BLACK INSTITUTION
Federal Department’s response was offensive and incorrect demonstrating inadequate analysis
(WINDSOR) – Today, Brian Masse NDP M.P. (Windsor West) was joined by Nancy Allen Church Clerk of the Ontario Chapel-British Methodist Episcopal Church (Windsor) and Rob Vidamour of Winmar Property Restoration held a press conference concerning the federal government’s inadequate and insensitive evaluation of applicants for the Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiative (SBBCI).
“It is disappointing and concerning that a federal department would deny a grant application based on an incorrect determination. It demonstrates the lack of a thorough analysis. Even a basic elementary review would have revealed the importance of this historic Black Canadian institution. An immediate re-evaluation of the application is needed along with an apology from the Minister,” Masse stated
Employment and Social Development Canada sent emails to approximately four hundred black organizations, denying the grant applications with the following message “We are writing to notify you that the proposal you submitted under the Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiative (SBCCI) Call for Proposals has not been retained for funding. The application was reviewed using the required eligibility criteria and is not retained for the following reason: Black Governance and Black Leadership – Information provided did not meet this eligibility criteria or was insufficient to clearly demonstrate that the organization is led and governed by people who self-identify as Black.” Windsor’s BME received this email as well in response to its grant application
The Ontario Chapel-British Methodist Episcopal Church (BME) in Windsor was founded in 1856 by a community of people of African descent established in the neighbourhood who had travelled by the underground railroad. The historic importance has been recognized by City of Windsor. In 1963 the Church moved to its present location due to the expansion of the municipal buildings of the City of Windsor necessitated the use of the original location’s lands.
“I am very disappointed in the process. It is difficult to imagine what eligibility criteria was used to evaluate the so-called “black” component that was essential to determine a successful proposal,” stated Nancy Allen
“Having gone to Victoria and WD Lowe – I am a downtown kid. Many of my classmates were the descendants of the men and women of the Underground Railway. I think that this is the part of Canadian history that we all should be so proud of. I’m not so sure that the rest of Canada truly realizes that this is the situation in Windsor, Essex, and Amherstburg. This is the critical reason behind preserving and investing in this type of community organization,” stated Rob Vidamour.
For more information contact Mohummed Peer 519-982-8816