The recognition of systemic racism is debated within the Parti Quebecois, which still has no official position on the issue.
“This is an issue of leadership race,” said MP Véronique Hivon when journalists questioned her on Wednesday about the presence of systemic racism in Quebec.
“You will understand that people who are neutral in the leadership race are not taking a stand on this issue at the moment. It’s flat, I know, but that’s it, “she added.
The PQ has no official position on the presence of systemic racism in Quebec, said the member of the political party. “The expression is not in the program, there was no debate on it [dans le passé] “, did she say.
His colleague Martin Ouellet was draped in his title of parliamentary leader to refuse to comment on the existence of systemic racism in Quebec. “As an officer, I have a duty of reserve not to interfere with the race,” he said. “You can ask me three times, four times [ta question], I will answer you the same thing. “
The parliamentary leader, Pascal Bérubé, did not take detours last week to say what he thought about it. “Is there racism in Quebec? Yes. Are there racist acts in Quebec? Yes. Do they deserve to be fought, denounced, judged, condemned? Yes. Is there systemic racism in Quebec? I don’t believe it, “he said.
The leadership candidate Sylvain Gaudreault, for his part, said that he subscribed to the definition of systemic racism of the Commission on Human Rights and Youth Rights (CDPDJ). The latter defines it as “the sum of disproportionate exclusionary effects that result from the combined effect of prejudiced attitudes and stereotypes, often unconscious, and generally adopted policies and practices without taking into account the characteristics of the members. of groups targeted by the prohibition of discrimination ”.
“We are gone” elsewhere, according to Anglade
The leader of the Quebec Liberal Party, Dominique Anglade, believes that it is “always better” to settle the semantic debate on the existence of systemic racism in Quebec. However, “the most important” remains, according to her, the deployment of an “action plan” to combat racism.
In his view, however, there is no need to lead a commission on discrimination and systemic racism – an idea with which the Liberal government of Philippe Couillard had flirted.
“Now we have gone elsewhere,” said the Liberal leader. “We have to push more with an action plan, with measures. Ms. Anglade stressed the importance of taking “very concrete actions”, such as “measures on racial profiling” or “working with CVs”.
She preferred to leave it to the experts to decide on the proposals for “funding” of the police services, preferring to bet on the “obviousness” of investing in social programs. “I don’t like answering these questions when I don’t have all the data in hand. But training, supervision, awareness in the workplace, the whole question of employment, it is obvious that there is work to be done and it is obvious that it will require additional money ”, she said.
For QS, words act
The member for Québec solidaire Sol Zanetti said he believed that beyond the semantic debate, the recognition of systemic racism “would give confidence to people who suffer from this racism that, really, we will do something in depth” .
A commission on the issue could “help move the concept forward and document it for better public policy,” he said.
“I think one of the problems with the Prime Minister’s reluctance is that he pretends to be attacking Quebec when we talk about it,” he added.
“But what defines us is not: is there systemic racism here? This is how we deal with it. Are we sticking our heads in the sand, or are we fighting it in a self-assertive way? That’s what defines us. “