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Vietnam News in English 27.10.2021 15:08
Quebec is the most racist
18.03.2021 13:37

New Poll Suggests Quebec Is More Racist Than The Rest Of Canada 
An Ipsos poll for Global News shows almost half of Canadians think that it is okay to be racist.

A new study conducted exclusively for Global News by Ispos made troubling findings about Canadians and entrenched racism. The detailed study, which polled over o­ne thousand adults living in Canada, asked many difficult questions, and yielded some interesting results regarding how Canadians see racism.

About 47% of Canadians believe that racism is a serious problem,compared to 69% of Canadians in 1992. The survey mentions that visible minorities, who are three times as likely to experience racism, are alsotwice as likely to say that racism is a serious problem.

Troublingly, almost half of Canadians polled said that having racist thoughts was normal and acceptable, even if few people will voice their prejudices out loud. 

The poll revealed that people with the least formal education were the least likely to be tolerant towards others. 40% of Canadians think that immigration is a threat to white Canadians, and people without a high school degree were most likely to voice this belief.

The problem is particularly acute in Quebec. Global News noted that racist stereotypes are more prevalent in the province, where 39% of respondents believed Muslim Canadians favour Shariah.

On average, a little under o­ne third of Canadians believe the abovementioned stereotype, and o­ne fifth believe harmful stereotypes about Jewish people.

These findings correspond with a recent survey done by the Angus Reid Institute, which shows that Quebecers are more likely than other Canadians to find some religious symbols less acceptable than others.

Other studies, too, point to a troubling trend. Statistics Canada has found that, despite record diversity, Canadian "youth aged 15 to 30 are more likely to report that they experienced discrimination."

The last year also saw an increase in racially motivated hate crimes. Police statistics show that hate crimes increased by almost 50% between 2016 and 2017, the most recent available data. The majority of these hate crimes were "motivated by hatred

Luckily, though the Ipsos study shows the pervasiveness of racial stereotypes and racism in Canada, it also uncovered that 9 in 10 Canadians have a negative view of racism.

It's unclear how this fits into the narrative above, but it is reassuring to think that we can almost all agree that racism sucks.

To summarize: an Ipsos Poll shows that racist views are more prevalent in Quebec than other provinces.

After Legault says Quebec has no racism problem, Black Quebecers disagree

Rob Lurie 2015

Rob LurieCTV News Montreal 

MONTREAL -- For almost 30 years, Seeta Ramdass worked in public relations in the health-care sector. She says she had o­ne boss, more than a decade ago, who she’s never forgotten.

He’d say, she recalls, “that I was a lucky little… n-word to have a job of this prominence.”

That “no o­ne's going to hire a woman who’s Black, with a name like Seeta Ramdass. No o­ne is going to hire you in Quebec.” 

She says she complained, but not much came of it. And eventually, she lost her job.

“I was told by an all-white administration that I was not needed,” she said.

“I was the o­nly visible minority, the o­nly anglophone, the o­nly person of colour, the oldest, the o­ne with the most experience—in a CIUSSS that has a large visible minority and ethnic population.”

Events south of the border in the last two weeks have sparked an outpouring of stories from Quebecers. They want it known that the racism that has sparked marches and riots across the U.S. is not just a problem there.

Tennis star Félix Auger-Aliassime spoke of his father being stopped by a police officer, seemingly for no reason, while driving his Mercedes. 

“She tells him, basically makes him understand, that it's pretty odd or pretty rare to see people of colour driving this type of vehicle in the neighborhood,” Auger-Aliassime said.

Alouettes coach Khari Jones said he received vile letters when he played football in Winnipeg: “Calling my wife names, calling my just-born child just horrible names, and then it just got violent… with him saying ‘I hope someone shoots you,’” he recounted.

And Lionel Carmant, Quebec’s junior health minister, says he’s also been racially profiled.

“It happened to me a few times when I was younger,” Carmant said. “For no reason, I was stopped and asked why was I in this neighborhood.”

On Monday, Premier François Legault said he believed that o­nly a very small minority of Quebecers were racist and that there was no bigger problem of systemic racism.

“I don't see a system, an organized system, in the police community or anywhere,” Legault said.

Seeta Ramdass calls those comments a type of whitewashing of the truth.

“I don't know where he’s getting his data from, or where he’s getting his information from, but there’s plenty of systemic racism that exists,” she said. 

While Legault seemed to suggest that “systemic” meant an intentional, methodical system of discrimination, the term “systemic racism” refers to the idea that organizations and societal institutions, such as health care, housing and the justice system, routinely end up creating or perpetuating inequalities, even if the individual workers in those institutions don’t believe they’re doing so.

For his part, Carmant has been supporting the party line, saying he doesn’t think all the known problems do amount to systemic racism.

At the same time, he says he tells young Black people that to succeed, they need to work harder and be better than others.

This weekend, the West Island Black Community Association is holding a virtual town hall, via Zoom, to discuss racism in Quebec.

MONTREAL -- For almost 30 years, Seeta Ramdass worked in public relations in the health-care sector. She says she had o­ne boss, more than a decade ago, who she’s never forgotten.

He’d say, she recalls, “that I was a lucky little… n-word to have a job of this prominence.”

That “no o­ne's going to hire a woman who’s Black, with a name like Seeta Ramdass. No o­ne is going to hire you in Quebec.”

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She says she complained, but not much came of it. And eventually, she lost her job.

“I was told by an all-white administration that I was not needed,” she said.

“I was the o­nly visible minority, the o­nly anglophone, the o­nly person of colour, the oldest, the o­ne with the most experience—in a CIUSSS that has a large visible minority and ethnic population.”

Events south of the border in the last two weeks have sparked an outpouring of stories from Quebecers. They want it known that the racism that has sparked marches and riots across the U.S. is not just a problem there.

Tennis star Félix Auger-Aliassime spoke of his father being stopped by a police officer, seemingly for no reason, while driving his Mercedes. 

“She tells him, basically makes him understand, that it's pretty odd or pretty rare to see people of colour driving this type of vehicle in the neighborhood,” Auger-Aliassime said.

Alouettes coach Khari Jones said he received vile letters when he played football in Winnipeg: “Calling my wife names, calling my just-born child just horrible names, and then it just got violent… with him saying ‘I hope someone shoots you,’” he recounted.

And Lionel Carmant, Quebec’s junior health minister, says he’s also been racially profiled.

“It happened to me a few times when I was younger,” Carmant said. “For no reason, I was stopped and asked why was I in this neighborhood.”

On Monday, Premier François Legault said he believed that o­nly a very small minority of Quebecers were racist and that there was no bigger problem of systemic racism.

“I don't see a system, an organized system, in the police community or anywhere,” Legault said.

Seeta Ramdass calls those comments a type of whitewashing of the truth.

“I don't know where he’s getting his data from, or where he’s getting his information from, but there’s plenty of systemic racism that exists,” she said. While Legault seemed to suggest that “systemic” meant an intentional, metoing so.

For his part, Carmant has been supporting the party line, saying he doesn’t think all the known problems do amount to systemic racism.

At the same time, he says he tells young Black people that to succeed, they need to work harder and be better than others.

This weekend, the West Island Black Community Association is holding a virtual town hall, via Zoom, to discuss racism in Quebec.

Quebec temp agency head says provincial health network often requests white personnel

Regional health authority requested white, female staff 10 times last fall, La Presse reports

Jill Eusanio of Comfort Keepers, which provides hundreds of nurses and home-care workers to the province as needed, says she refuses requests for white staff. (CBC)

A regional health authority north of Montreal is investigating allegations that the human resources department at o­ne of its hospitals made being white a job requirement when recruiting new staff.

Rosemonde Landry, head of the CISSS des Laurentides, said she was shocked to read the allegations that were first revealed in La Presse.

The digital newspaper reported it obtained emails sent by Saint-Eustache hospital recruiters that said a "difficult patient" was insisting o­n being helped by a white woman o­nly. The request for white women was made 10 times last fall, La Presse said.

"We have zero tolerance for racism," Landry told CBC News, adding there are other ways of managing patients who insist o­n being served by whites o­nly. "We launched an investigation immediately."

However, the president of a local temp agency that works primarily with government health services says this happens all the time.

"I've lost some files because I wasn't able to agree that I would o­nly send white people," said Jill Eusanio of Comfort Keepers, which provides hundreds of nurses and home-care workers to the province.

WATCH | Quebec government won't call hospital's job notice for white women racism:

Quebec government won’t call hospital’s job notice for white women racism

16 hours ago
2:01
A Quebec hospital's job notice calling for white women o­nly has touched off another flurry of controversy over intolerance in the health-care system, but a provincial government minister refused to say it is the result of racism. 2:01

Eusanio has worked in the field for nearly 20 years and also sits o­n a provincewide board of temp agencies (EPPSQ). She said recruiters from government health facilities request white staff from her about o­nce a month.

She said some clients have mental illnesses, such as Alzheimer's or dementia, and that can make them particularly vicious to health-care workers who make house calls.

"You have racism in Quebec. It does exist," said Eusanio. "There is a clientele that's older, they are racist, and we have to provide care for them."

Staff end up alone with a racist client, she said. Employees will often request to be transferred because they do not want to suffer the abuse, she said.

"If we send in somebody who is Black, or of a different background, [the client] will be mean, abusive, verbally, physically, to this worker, to o­ne of my employees, and I don't want to put my employees in that position," said Eusanio.

Regardless, Eusanio said she refuses to bend to any request for white staff.

"We will not discriminate here," said Eusanio.

Not a first for Quebec

Fo Niemi, director of the Center for Research-Action o­n Race Relations, said there are laws and charters specifically aimed at preventing discriminatory hiring practices.

This issue dates back decades, and it was long ago decided that a patient cannot expect to be served by a person of a certain race, said Niemi. There are protocols and rules in place when managing these situations, he explained.

In light of the allegations against Saint-Eustache, he said, the next step is to investigate other facilities in the province and see "how long have people known about this."

"We really think it should not o­nly be seen as a civil rights issue, but it's also a professional ethics issue," he said. "And eventually it is a question of accountability that goes all the way up to the health minister."

Fo Niemi, who heads the Center for Research-Action o­n Race Relations, says the problem of patients requesting white health-care staff is not new in Quebec. (Sudha Krishnan/CBC)

This is not the first time in recent memory that Quebec's health-care system has come under fire for racism.

Two nurses at a health clinic in Joliette were fired Tuesday after an Atikamekw woman revealed they had taunted her with racist insults. 

Back in September, also in Joliette, Joyce Echaquan caught staff hurling racist insults at her o­n video just before she died in a hospital. Allegations of racism at that hospital date back years before the 37-year-old mother of seven broadcast the abuse o­n Facebook.

But it's not just in Joliette.

The Quebec coroner is investigating the death of Mireille Ndjomouo, who posted a video o­n social media two days before she died claiming staff at a hospital o­n Montreal's South Shore had ignored her allergies.

Ndjomouo, a 44-year-old single mother of three from Cameroon, is seen in the video begging for help to get transferred to another hospital.

Race-based hiring not allowed

The allegations against Saint-Eustache quickly reached Quebec's National Assembly.

Geneviève Guilbault, the province's deputy premier, said patients with cognitive issues demanding services from people of a certain profile creates a difficult situation and she has "a lot of empathy" for workers who experience that.

But hiring people based o­n race, sex or other characteristics is not allowed in Quebec, she said.

She said any racism in Quebec's health system is unacceptable, and the province is providing cultural awareness training to all health-care workers.

Liberal MNA Jennifer Maccarone stood up in the National Assembly o­n Wednesday to call the situation "horrible." She described it as yet another example of discrimination and systemic racism in the health-care network and asked how the government will address the issue.

Benoit Charette, the minister responsible for the fight against racism, said an investigation is underway.

"Before calling this a racist act, we must wait for the results of that investigation," he said. "Rest assured, I will be looking into this."

Quebec Minister Responsible for the Fight Against Racism Benoit Charette says it's too early to say whether a hospital hiring whites o­nly is a racist act. (CBC)

With files from Jay Turnbull and Sarah Leavitt





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