During a parliamentary debate on Tuesday, June 1, Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet explained what he thinks of the term "systemic racism" following a question from Winnipeg MP Leah Gazan about whether or not he acknowledges that systemic racism against Indigenous people exists.
Blanchet said that he "acknowledged the existence of systemic racism" in June 2020 but that he rejects "the extreme and often focused politicization of the term."
Gazan's question cited the case of Joyce Echaquan, the Atikamekw mother of seven who was subject to racist taunts from members of the nursing staff of a Quebec hospital and passed away soon after, as "an example of how systemic racism resulted in death."
Blanchet said he accepts a definition that "[describes] how institutions, rather than individuals, throughout history have systematically [...] discriminated against communities like the First Nations."
He further insisted that the term has been "turned into a political weapon against the Quebec nation, which may not share certain points of view on Canadian multiculturalism," and that he took "exception to the glorification of the term for political purposes."
MTLàTABLE is back with set menus at your favourite eateries!
MTLàTABLE is back this year, and around 100 Montreal restaurants are participating in the city-wide food festival between June and October. You can get three-course meals at some of the city's best eateries starting at $20.
MTLàTABLE has revamped its format for 2021 complete with table d'hôte menus, fresh local produce and prizes you can win for simply dining out.
You can filter your preferences by neighbourhood, price, cuisine and more.
Contests & weekly draws
Each meal you buy at the festival's participating restaurants makes you eligible to win one of five weekly draw prizes like a $50 SAQ gift card and a $75 pre-paid VISA card to spend at the participating restaurants.
There are also eight 'Food & Fun Packages' to be won throughout the event, which include two nights in a Montreal hotel.
All you have to do is scan a restaurant's QR code every time you visit to earn a 'fork' and participate in the weekly draw.
Quebec-grown produce & food products
This year's edition of the festival will also focus on fresh seasonal harvests in Quebec, with recipes tailored to in-season produce.
In June and July, restaurants will serve dishes with beets from the Montérégie region, strawberries from Île d’Orléans and raspberries from the Eastern Townships, as well as broccoli from the Capitale-Nationale region, zucchini from the Laurentians and other green vegetables from Quebec.
In August, field tomatoes, leeks, blueberries, and green beans from across the province — from Bas-Saint-Laurent to Lanaudière — will adorn restaurant plates across Montreal.
In September and October, the fall harvest begins, and restaurants will serve soups and stews that include Quebec carrots, morels, oyster mushrooms, eggplants and acorn squash.
Autumn brings the return of apples to Quebec orchards, and restaurants will make use of locally-grown apples on their dishes toward the end of the festival.
The organization is urging Montrealers and Lavalois.es to "[remain] vigilant when near the water" — and to learn CPR.
"Survival can hinge on how quickly CPR is performed as the survival rate of a person who goes into cardiac arrest decreases by up to 10% for every minute without treatment," Urgences-santé wrote in a press release.
It also said its "medical dispatchers can instruct callers on how to perform a cardiac massage until the responders' arrival."
Urgences-santé further recommends that swimming parties appoint a "dedicated watcher."
In a summer 2020 interview with MTL Blog, a spokesperson for the Société de Sauvetage also advised Quebecers to wear life jackets when in the water, research potential dangers at every swimming location, swim with other people and limit alcohol consumption.
This article's cover image is used for illustrative purposes only.
Swing By This Sandy Beach In The Middle Of Downtown
Where: Saint James United Church, 463, rue Sainte-Catherine O., Montreal, QC
When: June 4 to September 26, 2021
Why You Need To Go: Yes, you read that right — just outside Saint James United Church is the coolest sandy beach hangout, where you can even bring booze. It's the most relaxing place to chill in the middle of the downtown core.
Gender and sexuality identified as areas of difficulty
The school board passed a resolution at the end of March, banning the use of the n-word in its schools.
Testimony solicited from the public included accounts from both students and parents that shared their challenges and difficulties in LBPSB schools.
Through the accounts, the task force identified four major "recurring themes":
Gender stereotypes that dictate what is "appropriate" for boys and girls
Gender stereotypes that produce a "narrow understanding" of masculinity
Gender-based double standards
Bullying linked to gender and sexuality
The report found that schools' dress codes singled out girls by forbidding them from wearing spaghetti-strap tank tops, short shorts and crop tops, explicitly banning "clothing that is unnecessarily sexualised" and "skimpy or revealing clothing."
Parents offer accounts of sexism, racism, transphobia and homophobia
One parent said they raised their seven-year-old daughter without gendering her toys, but after attending first grade at an LBPSB school, she began to tell her parents that some toys were only for boys.
Another parent said, "My son loves the colors pink and purple, but he constantly tells me he doesn’t want to wear t-shirts in those colors to school because people have told him (other students) that those are girl colors."
Mothers of Black sons that attended LBPSB schools — which have a predominantly white student body, according to the report — said they felt their sons were being subjected to racism by teaching staff.
"One boy told his mother that his teacher just doesn’t like him because he’s Black [...] On one occasion in particular, the young man was suspended because the teacher said that she felt 'threatened' by him, however, the young man said that he didn’t do anything but ask why she was sending him down to the office," the report read.
The full report, including the Task Force's recommendations, is available here.