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Anglophone visible minorities about to become more vulnerable: CRARR

Public hearings on systemic racism and discrimination are underway in Montreal. Thursday November 07, 2019.
Public hearings on systemic racism and discrimination are underway in Montreal. Thursday November 07, 2019. Sylvain Trudeau / Global News

The Centre For Research-Action On Race Relations (CRARR) says anglophone visible minorities are about to become more vulnerable now that the province is planning to limit access to communication in English with the government.

That’s one of several message’s the centre shared to Montreal’s public consultations office (OCPM) at Thursday hearing on systemic racism in the city of Montreal.

The centre raised the issue after the CAQ government said they want only those who are ‘historical anglophones’ to have access to government services in English.

READ MORE: CAQ suggests only ‘historic Anglophones’ in Quebec should have access to services in English

CRARR says that policy would affect English-speaking communities of colour disproportionately and would make the issue worse than it already is.

“It’s such a crazy idea that can create further division and the city does not need that,” said Fo Niemi, CRARR’s executive director. “We need all the talents and the brain power that can make Montrealers and Quebec strong in order to compete in a global economy.”

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Public consultations on systemic racism and discrimination begin in Montreal
Public consultations on systemic racism and discrimination begin in Montreal

CRARR, an organization advocating for Montrealers who have been victims of discrimination, believe racism is systemic and deep-rooted in the city.

In their presentation, the non-profit asked the city to include more people from different backgrounds in their agencies.

Niemi said they also want to make sure that once the city is done with these public consultations, that they put practices in place and take concrete actions to change things.

READ MORE: Racial profiling class-action lawsuit against Montreal gets green light

“We have to make sure there are enough measures to call out and to hold public officials accountable and to bridge the gap between speech and talk and walking the walk,” Niemi said.

One of CRARR’s specific requests is an annual report of complaints of discrimination and grievances, as well as lawsuits filed against the city of Montreal.

“And also the cost,” Niemi said.

“Because tax payers need to know how much discrimination costs.”

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READ MORE: Montreal man launches complaint, alleges repeated racial profiling by police

The OCPM will hold hearings until Dec. 4.

Montreal’s public consultations office will prepare a report with recommendations and deliver it to the city by the beginning of March.

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