I just read some stunning revelations by Manjot Bains on the HuffPost Canada site.
I know Bains. She's a smart, committed, community-minded person who has volunteered a great deal of time educating the public about diversity in a variety of ways.
In 2010, she cofounded the very impressive Jugni Style online publication to "bring fabulous South Asian–themed stories to the world". And that she has done that in fine form.
Bains is a genuine asset to the community at a time when Trumpism is on the rise.
We need people like her to help push back the rising tide of xenophobia and hate, which is rooted in ignorance and a lack of empathy for others.
According to her essay on the HuffPost site, Bains was forced out of her job as a program adviser in a federal antiracism program because Justin Trudeau dressed up in blackface.
Like many Canadians, Bains was shocked and disgusted by photos that were distributed of Trudeau during the election campaign.
She spoke of her concerns to HuffPost. Out of courtesy to her employer, the Ministry of Canadian Heritage, she informed management.
"I was told repeatedly by senior leadership that I had broken the trust of my bosses, that I couldn’t be trusted as a public servant, and that I would have to earn it back," Bains wrote. "I could not critique the prime minister publicly, even though I didn’t disclose my job with the department in the article.
"This was something I could accept, even if I didn’t like it. Working in the federal government, you get used to accepting things within the bureaucracy," she continued in the essay. "But then, I was told by my manager that I would have to choose: I could keep producing my podcast and my writing that I do in my personal time on issues of race, arts and culture, or I could continue working as a public servant."
You can read the rest of her essay here.
The minister of Canadian Heritage is Steven Guilbeault. He's supposedly the new star of the Trudeau cabinet—a veteran environmentalist and founder of the nonprofit group Équiterre.
He can pick up the phone and fix this problem and get Bains back to doing the antiracism work that the country and this region, British Columbia, desperately needs.
Or he can do nothing, proving that he's just another Trudeau lapdog.
The many people in Metro Vancouver who've admired Bains's stellar record of community service will be watching.
If she's not reinstated immediately and offered an apology, some of us won't forget this when the next election rolls around.