STATEMENT ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ELIMINATION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
Montreal, March 21, 2016 — On this International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which was proclaimed by the United Nations in 1966 to mark the 1960 fatal armed suppression of an anti-apartheid demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, CRARR urges Quebec unions and public authorities to commit themselves to three concrete actions to address racism:
1. End the double-talk on integration and equality by eliminating legislated discrimination in the Professional Syndicates Act (PSA), which bars non-citizens from employment in more than 1,700 unions and non-profit organizations incorporated under this law. Such legal discrimination restricts immigrants’ employment prospects and flies in the face of the Quebec Government’s plan to promote immigrants’ economic integration;
2. Fix the increasingly ineffective human rights system in tackling racism: Complaints often now take up to three or four years to resolve (in many cases, it takes one year to have an investigator assigned to a case). Furthermore, the human rights commission’s persistent refusal to recognize the concepts of systemic racism and intersectionality, among other reasons, have resulted in many race cases being incorrectly handled and dismissed. In one case, the commission itself being sued by a Black victim of racial profiling for deficient handling of evidence and failure to respect the law;
3. Implement racial equality and inclusion in the judiciary from the Court of Appeal down to the Municipal Court. The mere presence of three racialized (more specifically, Black judges) among the 500 judges in Quebec over the last twenty years is a disgraceful symbol of the lack of racial diversity and inclusiveness of our justice system.