Today in the House, I addressed systemic racism. Watch my statement here:
Mr. Speaker, the terrible acts of violence against black persons in the United States has brought racism to the forefront in Canada.
Yet, racism has been systemic and insidious here, for generations. Not as openly violent, as in America, but here in our institutions, workplaces, schools and society.
Over the last 30 years, Canada enacted progressive legislation to protect minorities: The Charter, Employment Equity, anti-hate laws. Yet, statistics show Indigenous peoples still have the highest rates of suicide, poorest health outcomes and most incarcerations; that visible minorities, despite education, are under-employed and under-paid; that black men are carded and suspects of criminality regularly.
Crisis brings anger and fear. It cracks the thin veneer of tolerance in quiet polite times. COVID-19 exposed anti-chinese hate, and amplified the reality of black and Indigenous lives.
We are all shaken and empathetic, but our denial and ignorance can no longer stand. We must listen and act, collect disaggregated data, set goals, with policies and programs to achieve them.
To build a strong peaceful prosperous nation, every one must belong and everyone must build it together.