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Quebec saw a rise in racially-motivated hate crimes during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report from Statistics Canada.

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An extensive report on one of Montreal's largest English-language school boards found acts of racism, sexism, homophobia, and barriers to education for marginalized students within its schools.

Lester B. Pearson School Board (LBPSB)'s Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion issued over 100 recommendations in the final report, which was created after two students at John Rennie High School were seen wearing blackface and using racist language last year.

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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."

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Canada's Green Party leader, Annamie Paul, says political leaders across the country should speak with one voice in terms of acknowledging systemic racism — and she told Quebec Premier François Legault as much in a December 2020 meeting.

MTL Blog asked Paul about her discussion with Legault, as well as her views on Bill 21, otherwise known as Quebec's secularism law.

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Quebec Premier François Legault has named a new anti-racism minister to lead the fight against racism in the province. 

Minister of the Environment, Benoit Charette, will add the title of anti-racism minister to his resume after Immigration Minister Nadine Girault and Social Services Minister Lionel Carmant submitted their recommendations on how to combat racism in the province. 

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Quebec is the only home Laura Luu has ever known, but a surge of anti-Asian racism in Montreal linked to the COVID-19 pandemic has raised uncomfortable questions.

“For me, it's very hurtful,” she told MTL Blog. “Yes, I'm Asian but I was born in Quebec. I’m a Quebecer and it feels very hurtful because you’re denying my identity and who I am. I was raised here and I thought I was part of your province and country.”

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A First Nation is voicing anger and frustration after the province rejected a proposal for better health care access for Indigenous people because it would mean acknowledging the existence of systemic racism in Quebec

The Atikamekw Nation presented the proposal called "Joyce’s Principle" to the province on November 16. On November 24, a motion was presented by Liberal MP Gregory Kelley to recognize and apply the principle, a motion which was rejected, seemingly because it explicitly calls for a clear acknowledgment of systemic racism by the state.*

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Black Montrealers are much more likely to be arrested by an SPVM anti-gun squad than other groups, according to a report by Concordia University professor Ted Rutland.

The report found that 74% of all persons charged by the Quiétude squad — a team of about 20 investigators — were Black while 19% were white. 6% were non-Black people of colour.

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City officials are aiming to strengthen their effort to fight racism with a brand new Montreal job. In a statement from the mayor's office, the city's Director General, Serge Lamontagne, promised that the new Commissioner for the Fight against Racism and Systemic Discrimination and their office "will play a key role in achieving Montreal's goals of becoming more just and inclusive."

The job posting shows that the commissioner will have a pretty broad set of responsibilities to work toward that goal.

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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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Quebec Premier François Legault will deliver an "official apology" to the family of Joyce Echaquan, an Atikamekw woman whose tragic death has sparked outrage across the province. 

The racist circumstances surrounding Echaquan's death are a troubling indicator that racism against Indigenous communities is still very present in Quebec and its institutions. 

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