Premier François Legault has time and time again said that while he can admit racism exists in Quebec, he doesn't believe that it exists on a systemic level.

Empirical reports, such as the Viens Commission report, have proven otherwise, though. So, a petition has begun demanding the premier recognize its presence in Quebec.

Other members of the CAQ government, including Geneviève Guilbault, have refused to acknowledge systemic racism in our province as well. Meanwhile, political leaders like Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mayor of Montreal Valérie Plante have publically said it does, in fact, exist in both Quebec and all of Canada.

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Legault has claimed to have "a different definition" of systemic racism than others, believing that it doesn't exist here is because "the vast majority of Quebecers are not racist."

Local Criminal Lawyer Maria-Livia Beaugé has explained that "systemic racism is not about being racist. It's about a system that allows you to act in a racist way and to act with discrimination."

While the CAQ government is currently planning an "awareness campaign" to fight racism in the province, the group behind the new petition, We Do Something, "demand that the Legault government recognize the presence of systemic racism in Quebec."

This petition points out the recent death of Joyce Echaquan in a hospital in Joliette and the "racist abuse" that the organizers believe was linked to it.

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