•   
  •   
  •   

Canada Black candidates asked for concrete measures to combat systemic discrimination

03:06  15 september  2021
03:06  15 september  2021 Source:   ottawacitizen.com

Canada Election: Black, Indigenous voters lament leaders shying away from race-based issues

  Canada Election: Black, Indigenous voters lament leaders shying away from race-based issues The social and racial reckoning once dominating headlines seems to have turned into a fringe issue among federal leaders in the 2021 Canadian election.Since the murder of George Floyd, the Black Lives Matter movement has prompted broader discussions around race, which some feel has fallen to the wayside in this election cycle.

text: A stock image of Elections Canada voter information cards. © Provided by Ottawa Citizen A stock image of Elections Canada voter information cards.

Area candidates were asked what concrete steps their parties would take to address systemic discrimination and inequalities that exist for Canada’s Black community at a debate Monday evening hosted by 613-819 Black Hub.

“It’s been a very long road that we’ve been on over the last number of years,” said Hull-Aylmer Liberal MP Greg Fergus, co-chair of Parliamentary Black Caucus and one of seven Black Parliamentarians.

“Since the founding of the Black Caucus (in 2015), we’ve been working very hard to bring the interests of the Black community to the government and making sure your voices are being heard. So many of you have been working for years to make a better future, and we have heard you and we are working with you to make sure we can bring some changes.”

Leaders defend Quebecers as questions about discrimination erupt after debate

  Leaders defend Quebecers as questions about discrimination erupt after debate OTTAWA — Federal party leaders were defending Quebec against charges of racism on Friday — a day too late, Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet shot back — as they returned to the road hoping to capitalize on any post-debate momentum as Canadians start voting in advance polls. No stranger to recent federal election campaigns, the controversial issue of secularism in Quebec once again burst onto the scene at Thursday's English-languageNo stranger to recent federal election campaigns, the controversial issue of secularism in Quebec once again burst onto the scene at Thursday's English-language debate, when Blanchet objected strongly to the phrasing of a question by moderator Shachi Kurl.

The debate was held at Ottawa City Hall’s Champlain Room, which had strict capacity limits due to COVID-19 restrictions, and was moderated by the CBC’s Adrian Harewood and broadcaster and producer Sarah Onyango.

Technical issues prevented the debate from being webcast live, but organizers later posted the two-hour debate online.

Three local candidates participated, including Fergus, his Hull-Aylmer Green Party challenger Simon Gnocchini-Messier, and Ottawa South NDP candidate Huda Mukbil.

Hull-Aylmer Conservative challenger Sandrine Perion had been scheduled to participate, but, according to organizers, pulled out of the debate at noon Monday.

“If we don’t have representation, we can’t tackle the tremendous issues of systemic racism in the country and ensuring everyone has opportunity for growth and employment,” said Mukbil, who said she faced systemic racism while working as a national security expert for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

Canada election: Activists ‘frustrated’ over party leaders dodging racism issue

  Canada election: Activists ‘frustrated’ over party leaders dodging racism issue Just over a quarter of Canadians say they've been a victim of racism personally, according to a new poll. The vast majority of Canadians are against racism and acknowledge it as an issue in Canada, though about two-thirds of all non-white Canadians say they have experienced it themselves, according to a new poll.

“I’m running because I want to represent people who have been subjected to so much discrimination in this country.”

a man wearing a suit and tie:  Greg Fergus, the incumbent Liberal candidate for the riding of Hull-Aylmer. © Jean Levac Greg Fergus, the incumbent Liberal candidate for the riding of Hull-Aylmer.

Black Canadians have felt a “disproportionate impact” from the COVID-19 pandemic, “because already there are health issues in the community that are there because of inequalities,” Mukbil said, and Black communities in Canada often don’t have the same access to health care services.

“There’s an imbalance that makes people feel very anxious and very alone, and that also has physical impacts on health. With all of this together, it’s a crisis that we need to tackle,” she said, calling for more Black health care and mental health professionals. “People who have experienced systemic racism don’t feel they have the support.”

Fergus touted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s acknowledgement of systemic anti-Black racism and said his government was the first to not only recognize, but also to adopt the United Nations’ declaration of the Decade for People of African Descent.

Trudeau, O'Toole push back at debate question on Quebec's secularism law

  Trudeau, O'Toole push back at debate question on Quebec's secularism law Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said today a question asked during last night's English debate regarding Quebec’s secularism law was “offensive."The debate kicked off with a fiery exchange between Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet and debate moderator Shachi Kurl over Bill 21 — which bans some civil servants, including teachers, police officers and government lawyers, from wearing religious symbols at work — and Bill 96, which would make French the only language needed to work in the province.

“We have invested in the policies and in the budgets that are necessary for us to fulfil our mandate with the United Nations declaration … We’ve invested in communities, and I know that our work hasn’t been perfect, but it’s been a really good start, and a good way forward,” Fergus said, citing recent Liberal government investments in housing, economic empowerment for the Black community, an affordable child care plan and a “call to action” in the form of mentorship and sponsorship program allowing Black employees to rise in the ranks of the public service.

“Systemic racism does exist. It’s important to say what it is, name it and to work together to find solutions and build a Canada based on equality,” Gnocchini-Messier said.

“We need to find the right person to lead those programs to address those problems, and we need to work together.”

a boy wearing a hat and smiling at the camera:  Huda Mukbil is the NDP candidate in Ottawa South © Huda Mukbil Huda Mukbil is the NDP candidate in Ottawa South

Mukbil quoted author and activist James Baldwin when she asked Fergus, “How much time do you need for your progress?

“I watched the debate from 2019, we’re still talking about the same issues. We have an employment equity law that’s 25 years old. Women are still fighting alone.

“We need to make sure there is representation at all levels and in decision-making. And quickly,” she said. “We don’t have the time to wait a couple more years because in 2019 we were talking about this. We know there’s a problem. Why don’t we just fix it now?”

ahelmer@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/helmera

Election preview: Many unknowns locally and across Canada as voters head to polls .
After being cooped up at home for much of the past 18 months, at least one reason to leave house has been tossed at Canadians — a call to get out and vote on Sept. 20 to decide the political leadership of our nation. The decision by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to announce a federal election has caught many across the country off guard — particularly with a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic emerging. Exactly what impact that will have on the ballot box “is the big question,” says University of Windsor political science professor Lydia Miljan, who questions whether the campaigning tainted by protests over the last couple weeks should be a “concern” to Liberals intent on reta

usr: 0
This is interesting!