Paul confirmed to MTL Blog that she took the opportunity to speak to Legault during a January parliamentary meeting on health transfer payments.
"I had just participated a few days before in the [Quebec] Islamic cultural centre's digital commemoration of the fourth anniversary of the [Quebec City] mosque attack," she said.
"The leaders who [spoke] raised their continued concerns around safety [and] systemic discrimination within Quebec, and I felt I needed to pass those messages along to him."
According to Paul, the existence of systemic racism in Canada is "simply a fact."
"Whether it's the case of Mr. [Mamadi] Camara, [or] police use-of-force statistics we have available to us [...] one does not need to compare or reference any other country in order to understand and acknowledge the reality of systemic racism in this country," she said.
What about Bill 21?
Paul described two schoolteachers assigned to her now-teenaged son's kindergarten class in Ontario — a Muslim woman who wore a hijab and a woman from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
"They were two of the best teachers that he ever had [...] they were wonderful. I couldn't have asked for a better beginning to his education," she said.
"It occurred to me that he would not have those two teachers, had he been a student asserting his education in Quebec public schools. And that's a terrible thing to think about."
Premier François Legault recently announced that unvaccinated Quebecers are going to be charged a "significant" fee if they refuse to get at least their first dose in the next few weeks unless they have a medical reason not to.
The premier began by saying that the Government of Quebec will "reach out one by one" to the 600,000 adults who have not yet received a vaccine dose to inform them about the fee and ensure that the person is not in a vulnerable situation and has good reasons to refuse the vaccine.
"The objective, indeed, is to be able to have a list of people who refuse to be vaccinated, not for medical reasons, not because they don't speak French or because they don't have access to vaccines. And these people, if they really refuse, given that they bring an enormous burden on the health care system, I think it is normal that they pay a contribution," Legault stated
How much such will cost has not been announced yet, nor is it known exactly what form it will take. The "health contribution" was compared on the program to a "fine" received for running a red light.
Guy A. Lepage, one of the show's hosts, asked Mr. Legault how the government was going to get the list of non-vaccinated people, since patients' medical information is supposed to be protected by confidentiality.
Government lawyers are working on this and a bill is expected to be debated with the opposition parties in the National Assembly in early February, which is when we'll find out how much the fee would cost.
According to Legault, if important surgeries are postponed, it is "often because of the non-vaccinated."
"One person going into intensive care can cost up to $50,000. Multiply that [by] a few hundred non-vaccinated people continually adding up, it's a lot of money, but it's mostly a risk for all the people who have their surgeries postponed."
In the latest turn of events in the mounting national opposition to Quebec's controversial Bill 21, Toronto Mayor John Tory said that Toronto's city council will vote on a motion to help fund legal battles against the law, which bans many public servants from wearing religious symbols while performing their duties.
Tory also voiced his personal opposition to Bill 21 in a statement published on Twitter. "I continue to be opposed to Quebec's Bill 21. Today, I will ask City Council to help fund the legal fight against Bill 21," the mayor wrote.
I continue to be opposed to Quebec's Bill 21. Toronto City Council has also repeatedly voiced its opposition to this bill. Today, I will ask City Council to help fund the legal fight against Bill 21.pic.twitter.com/TyekKVJ2NX
This news follows a recent letter published by Brampton, Ontario mayor Patrick Brown in which he implores mayors across Canada to consider pooling their cities' financial resources to help "fight Bill 21 in the courts."
Mayor Tory said Thursday that he stands with Brown and "[encourages] other cities across Canada to join this fight to uphold the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms."
In the past week, Quebec has been under fire for applying Bill 21 to remove elementary school teacher Fatemeh Anvari, who wears a hijab, from her position in the city of Chelsea. The incident prompted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to speak out against the law.
"I don't find that in a free and open society that someone should lose their job because of their religion," Trudeau said at a press conference on Monday.
Quebec Premier François Legault clapped back, insisting laws need to be enforced. He said the local school board made a mistake by hiring Anvari.
What will Legault have to say about this latest move by Tory?
Attention party animals: on September 11 from 1 to 3 p.m., Montreal's corgis and their owners will be gathering in a downtown park for a special day of fun and fluffy butts.
Organizer YATAI MTL is launching the pooch party after successfully hosting a Shiba Inu gathering in June as part of Montreal's first-ever Japan Week celebrations.
Among the highlights of the Shiba gathering was the presence of "Kombu the Corgi" an adorable fellow "who tried to infiltrate" the Shiba-only affair and underlined the need for a corgi party, reads the invite.
To keep the event from being too overcrowded – as it's sure to be the social event of the year for Montreal's corgis and their people – guests must pre-register and organizers are only disclosing the venue a few days in advance.
Admission is free and the event will be postponed until September 12 in case of rain.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.