FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT OF THE QUEBEC HUMAN RIGHTS AND YOUTH RIGHTS COMMISSION: A HISTORIC STEP FORWARD
Montreal, February 8, 2017 — The Quebec National Assembly took a giant step forward in the name of hope, inclusion and equality, by appointing Tamara Thermitus President of the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission.
This is the first time in the 41-year history of the Commission that a person of color is appointed President. It is the second time that a woman is named Chair of the Commission. The National Assembly celebrates Black History Month well this year.
Ms. Thermitus’ appointment sent a powerful signal to Quebecers of all backgrounds, breaking the color and gender barrier that still exists in the public sector at all levels. As Quebec is undergoing a most painful chapter in its History, with the killing at a Quebec City Mosque barely two weeks ago, this appointment is a concrete gesture by all parties in the National Assembly to achieve the promise of racial and gender equality and inclusion in Quebec.
CRARR congratulates the Government of Quebec and Premier Philippe Couillard for taking this bold and long-awaited step, and Quebec Solidaire for being the first Opposition party to support equality and excellence beyond partisanship.
CRARR looks forward to the National Assembly acting quickly to fill the other vacancies on the Commission, with Commissioners with tangible, proven experiences in human rights who reflect the Quebec of 2017.
In addition to gender parity, it is important to have members of racial and religious, Anglophone, First Nations, LGBT and disabled communities to make enlightened decisions and adopt progressive policies, such as policies on systemic racism and intersectionality that have long been resisted inside the Commission.
CRARR wishes Ms. Thermitus success in her new functions and looks forward to working more productively with the Commission under her leadership in the common pursuit of fundamental human rights and freedoms in Quebec.