Toronto has officially declared anti-Black racism a public health crisis in the city. 

The move comes a week after a coalition of Black health leaders, backed by NDP leader Andrea Horwarth, called on the Ford government to formally recognize anti-Black racism as a public health crisis. 

The motion, introduced by Joe Cressy, was unanimously approved by the Toronto Board of Health on Monday, June 8.

It also asked for Board of Health members to affirm its commitment to support policies and programs that address inequities faced by Black communities; a request for the Medical Officer of Health to re-prioritize resources to address anti-Black racism in health inequity; and a request for the Civic Appointments Committee to promote diversity when filling positions on city boards and committees, including the Board of Health.

Cressy said he hoped the recent protests would provoke a change in policies that contribute to systemic racism and not just changes to behaviour.

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