Joyce Echaquan’s family did not want the Prime Minister at the funeral

His apologies were not enough. Prime Minister François Legault was refused attendance at Attikamek Joyce Echaquan’s funeral on Tuesday, with the community of Manawan deeming his “closed stance” on systemic racism disqualifying him from attending.

Mr. Legault had expressed his wish the day before, during a meeting with Aboriginal leaders Paul-Émile Ottawa, Constant Awashish and Ghislain Picard. “Out of politeness,” they replied in the affirmative, said a source close to the matter.

However, Joyce Echaquan’s family, “too angry”, subsequently decided otherwise.

” [La] closed position [du premier ministre] concerning the recognition of systemic racism against the First Nations explains the decision of the community, “said the Council of the Attikamek of Manawan, before inviting the Prime Minister to” reconsider his position “.

Representatives of all other parties were invited to attend the funeral of Echaquan, who died in Joliette hospital on September 28, after racist slurs by staff members. Only Liberal MP Greg Kelley went to Manawan, Québec solidaire and the Parti Québécois having expressed concerns about COVID-19. The PQ, however, has never acknowledged the presence of systemic racism. “I recognize it”, however declared the PQ member for Joliette, Véronique Hivon, at the Duty Tuesday evening.

Official apology

At the Salon Bleu on Tuesday, François Legault said that the recording of the last moments of Joyce Echaquan’s life is “difficult to bear”, because one hears “all the pain of her complaints, but […] especially hatred, racism in the voices of the employees at his side ”.

He offered “an official apology” on behalf of the Quebec state to those close to Joyce Echaquan and to the Attikamek nation. “We should not be afraid to say it, the Quebec public service has failed in its duty to Echaquan. The state has a duty to offer the same dignity, the same respect to everyone, ”he said on the floor of the National Assembly hall.

According to Federal Minister Marc Miller, Mr. Legault implicitly acknowledged the existence of systemic racism in Quebec by declaring that the health care system “has failed”. “I salute this recognition. This is a start, “responded the federal Minister of Indigenous Services, saying he was” disgusted “by the” serious discrepancies […] of conduct “by the authorities towards the First Nations.

Although symbolic, Mr. Legault’s apology on behalf of the Quebec state is legally limited. The Civil Code of Quebec was amended last June so that an excuse cannot “be admitted in evidence, have an impact on the determination of fault or responsibility” in an action such as the one envisaged to file by the family of Joyce Echaquan.

She expressed her desire to “obtain fair and appropriate redress” from the Joliette hospital, in particular. Such “discriminatory and repeated acts of inconceivable violence against Indigenous people” must remain in the dustbin of history, she said.

Right to practice intact

Otherwise, The duty was able to confirm Tuesday that the nurse who insulted Joyce Echaquan still has her right to practice, a week after being fired from Joliette hospital.

The order of nurses of Quebec (OIIQ) has neither revoked nor suspended the license to practice of the nurse whose, according to Mr. Legault, the voice filled with “hatred” and “racism” accompanied the end of the 37-year-old Attikamek’s life.

“The investigation process is underway with regard to the rules of the Quebec professional system in force,” said the OIIQ in an email sent to Duty Tuesday. “The public protection mechanisms are at work,” the professional order added on Twitter.

The nurse, who did not deny having made the racist remarks that can be heard on a video broadcast on social networks, can therefore theoretically be hired in another health establishment.

However, she will not find a job in a public establishment in the Lanaudière region, said the CISSS de Lanaudière. Given the “criminal and professional background” checks, “an ex-employee with significant lapses in previous duties would have little chance of being selected [pour un emploi] Added the Ministry of Health.

With Marie Vastel

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