On Monday, September 28, an Atikamekw woman from Manawan, Joyce Echaquan, passed away at the Centre hospitalier régional de Lanaudière. During her final moments, she had started a Facebook live in which you can hear her crying for help from the hospital staff members.
This article contains graphic content that might not be suitable for some readers.
Quotes such as "who do you think is paying for this?" and "you're stupid as hell" can be heard coming from nurses in the background of the video.
Echaquan, who, according to her husband Carol Dubé, had gone to the hospital due to stomach pains, then lost her life on that bed.
Since then, many have taken to social media to discuss the injustice this Indigenous woman had to suffer through. A GoFundMe has been started to help raise funds for Joyce's loved ones.
During Joyce's Facebook live video, you can hear her screaming "come get me."
Pamela Dubé Ketish, Joyce's cousin, told Radio-Canada that she was in the hospital at the same time as her and can confirm she heard these cries.
In the video, you can then hear two women start saying terrible slurs about the Atikamekw woman, stating that she was only good for sex.
Her family says that Joyce suffered from heart problems and ended up passing away on Monday, September 28 because of a negative reaction to the morphine she was given.
Echaquan was a 37-year-old mother of seven. The GoFundMe page aims to support her children.
The Government of Quebec has responded
2/2 Nous voulons savoir ce qui s’est produit. Une enquête est actuellement en cours, afin de faire la lumière sur ce drame. Quel que soit les résultats de cette enquête, les propos entendus sont inacceptables et intolérables.
Since the incident was brought to the public's attention, #JusticeForJoyce has been trending on various social media platforms.
Many people are speaking out to denounce the treatment that Echaquan received at the hospital in Joliette.
Chief Ghislain Picard from The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador stated "Racism and discrimination towards First Nations are very much present in Quebec and the passing of an Atikamekw woman yesterday at the Joliette hospital illustrates this sad reality that a large majority of Quebecers recognize."
Various protests are taking place to demand justice for Joyce, including one outside the National Assembly on September 29.
Montrealers will be holding their own protest on October 1 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Place Émilie-Gamelin.
While there's a myriad of possible reasons as to why Trudeau is ahead in the province, his handling of the pandemic could be the biggest. Among the Quebecers polled, 46% believed that health care is the most pressing issue in the upcoming election and 53% said the current prime minister "has performed well on pandemic management."
Politics and the Fourth Wave: As concern over COVID rises, are the Liberals poised to benefit?… https://t.co/znhujEMXZU
"We, the undersigned, demand that the Government of Quebec publicly reject, as of now, the idea of a mandatory vaccination passport and that it commit itself to do like the Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, has done, that is to say, prohibit the obligation to present a vaccination passport in order to attend certain events and practice certain activities," the petition states.
Samson, a former Coalition Avenir Québec member who switched sides in June, held a press conference about the petition alongside Conservative Party of Quebec leader Eric Duhaime on August 12. They explained that the party had already collected 133,000 signatures on a previous petition that did not meet the criteria of the National Assembly.
"We reviewed the wording [...] So we're going to ask these hundreds of thousands of people to re-sign their petition on the National Assembly website, and we're going to invite Quebecers who don't agree with the vaccine passport to come forward as well," Samson said.
The petition, which was posted to the National Assembly website on August 12, had garnered more than 75,000 signatures at the time this article was published.
Mary Simon's approval rating is lower in Quebec compared to the rest of Canada, a poll released Wednesday showed, because the new governor general can't speak French.
An Angus Reid Institute poll of 2,049 Canadians found only 49% of Quebecers approve of her appointment compared to 74% of respondents in the rest of the country.
"Despite being from Nunavik (the Inuit homeland in Northern Quebec), and having been awarded the [province's] highest distinction, many Quebecers remain unconvinced Mary Simon is the best choice for governor general due to her lack of fluency in French," stated the Angus Reid Institute.
"Support is cleaved along linguistic divides in the only majority Francophone province in Canada," it continued, as only 40% of Quebecers whose first language is French approve of her appointment compared to 81% of English speakers.
Though Simon, the country's first Indigenous governor general, is not currently fluent in French, she has promised to learn, Angus Reid stated.