Justin Trudeau – Systemic racism: the leader of the Green Party tried to convince Legault – Inspired Traveler
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
OTTAWA – The leader of the Green Party of Canada took the opportunity of a conversation with Prime Minister François Legault to try to convince him of the existence of systemic racism.
Annamie Paul, a black woman elected head of the Greens last October, spoke for the first time with Mr. Legault last Monday. The meeting focused on the increase in health transfers.
Ms. Paul had just participated in the commemoration of the sad anniversary of the attack on the Grand Mosque in Quebec. She wanted to relay the grievances of the organizers who demand that Mr. Legault recognize the existence of systemic racism.
In an interview with The Canadian Press, she said that she tried to convince Mr. Legault that systemic racism exists among institutions, both in Quebec and in the rest of Canada.
“It’s especially important at this time to recognize it because if you don’t recognize it, you can’t work to take it apart (dismantle)”, said Ms. Paul, speaking of her conversation with the Prime Minister. of Quebec.
She says that Mr. Legault told her about the actions of the Government of Quebec to fight racism, in particular the setting up of an action group which recommended no less than 25 measures.
Ms. Paul finds it “encouraging” to know that there are initiatives underway. But she believes it was “important” for her to stress the very real concerns of minority groups.
The CAQ government still refuses to recognize the existence of “systemic” racism, a situation that has created a stir with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, among others.
More recently, it was those close to Joyce Echaquan, an indigenous woman who died from abuse, and the co-founder of the Islamic Cultural Center of Quebec, Boufeldja Benabdallah, who urged Mr. Legault to recognize systemic racism.
Ms. Paul did not lose hope, however. She says her first contact with Mr. Legault was very cordial, if not friendly, and she hopes to have a chance to continue the discussion with him in person once the restrictions are lifted.
“If we want to work together, even if we have differences, it is important to have open lines of communication”, argued the leader of the Greens.
Mr. Legault’s office did not want to comment on the “Prime Minister’s private meetings”.
But it is clear that Ms. Paul’s intervention did not change anything. “As for our position on this issue [le racisme systémique], it is known to all and remains unchanged, ”replied Ewan Sauves, press attaché for Mr. Legault.
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