It’s not enough to be passively opposed to racism, Loblaw must commit to eliminating instances of bias, discrimination and racism as it "inadvertently arises" within the organization, said Galen Weston.
Loblaw's chief executive made his comments in a letter posted to the company's website over the weekend, following anti-Black racism protests in Toronto and around the world.
"Right now, people in Canada--our colleagues, customers and citizens--are grieving, angry
and mobilizing. Because systemic anti-Black racism lives in Canada. Because Black Lives Matter," he said.
Weston said he could never understand what it's like to be subjected to systemic racism "from the day you are born," but said he and Loblaw "unequivocally condemn anti-Black racism, violence and discrimination of any kind."
Loblaw aspires to a business culture that is inclusive of all Canadians, he said. "A place where our colleagues believe they can succeed by being who they are regardless of race, gender, or
Weston said one of the most impactful ways Loblaw can make a difference is to ensure "our own house is in order" and said the company would take the following actions:
•Ensure our recruitment and hiring practices eliminate any risk of racial
and ethnic bias,
•Ensure our internship and scholarship programs include opportunity for
the Black community,
•Eliminate any intentional or unintentional racial profiling in our stores,
•Mandate diversity and inclusion training that identifies biases and provides
tools to end racism in any form."
Also, as part of its commitment, Loblaw is donating $100,000 to the Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA), a national organization that supports the advancement of
Canada’s Black communities in higher education, economic development and business excellence.
Loblaw is also offering shoppers the opportunity to turn their PC Optimum points into donations for BBPA.