Benoit Charette, Quebec's new anti-racism minister, has responded to reports that Saint-Eustache Hospital sent a series of emails to employment agencies looking for "white woman only" job candidates — however, he wouldn't yet deem it as racist.
During a question period at the National Assembly on March 17, Charette said he felt "disgust" reading the reports, but added that he's holding off on drawing conclusions. He confirmed that an investigation into the situation is underway.
10 annonces envoyées aux agences avec qui travaille le #CIUSSS demandaient « un #PAB de couleur blanche, femme blan… https://t.co/4AM70cv7Mc— Jennifer Maccarone Députée • MNA (@Jennifer Maccarone Députée • MNA) 1615995713.0
Jennifer Maccarone, the Quebec Liberal Party's official opposition critic for diversity and inclusiveness, said the incident is just one in a string of incidents demonstrating systemic racism in Quebec's health care network.
"We have never seen a job posting that said we need a Black or Indigenous person," Maccarone said.
"This openly racist posting is a systemic racism problem. To not name it is to deny it exists and not address the problem. I am floored."
Charette told the legislature to "be careful" before condemning the hospital's actions. He advised waiting for the results of the investigation to find out what happened.
"We wanted to take care of a very sick man with cognitive problems that could be violent [and therefore] could not be responsible," he said.
In response, Maccarone replied, "Not only is it inappropriate and unacceptable, it's illegal. We need more than an investigation — we need action."