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The Bloc Québécois Leader Wants Jagmeet Singh To Apologize For Calling A Quebec MP Racist

The NDP leader accused the Bloc MP after he rejected a motion to address systemic racism.
Staff Writer
The Bloc Québécois Leader Wants Jagmeet Singh To Apologize For Calling A Quebec MP Racist

It's been a tense 12 hours between the Bloc Québécois and the NDP in Canada's Parliament. At Wednesday's House of Commons session, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh accused Bloc MP Alain Therrien of being a racist after he said "no" to Singh's motion to address systemic racism. Now a day later, Bloc leader Yves-François Blanchet is asking Singh to apologize for his remarks. 

Singh explained that his party presented a "pretty simple motion" in three parts: acknowledging that systemic racism exists in the RCMP, "reviewing" the use-of-force used by officers, and funding for healthcare workers instead of police. 

While almost all MPs agreed, the Bloc MP did not. Singh admitted to the Speaker of the House that he called the MP a racist and was later expelled from the chamber. 

Blanchet came to the defence of his MP, saying that "Mr. Therrien did nothing wrong." 

Singh admitted that he let his anger get the best of him but the NDP leader has so far refused to offer an apology to the Bloc.

In a statement, Singh said that "I got angry but I'm sad now. Why can't we act? Why can't we do something to save people's lives?" 

Although the Bloc admits that they "supported the request that the Public Safety Committee study the existence of systemic racism in the RCMP," they believe that it's "inappropriate to impose conclusions on a committee before it has studied it." 

"Because the Bloc Québécois said no to the NDP motion, the leader of the NDP slandered the House leader of the Bloc Québécois with an unjustified insult that tarnished his reputation. He must apologize immediately."

On social media, the public has been quick to defend Singh and accuse the Bloc of fundamentally missing the point the NDP leader was trying to make. 

Many have pointed to the Bloc's problematic history with racism. 

During the 2019 election, the Bloc was accused of racist and divisive remarks when they urged Quebecers to vote for and support candidates "who look like you."

It doesn't seem like the NDP leader is going to apologize for his comments, so it'll certainly be a tense day in the House of Commons.

This article's cover image is used for illustrative purposes only.

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