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Montreal Public Consultation Office conducts last hearings on systemic racism and discrimination

The OCPM conducting the last of several hearings on systemic racism and discrimination in Montreal. Wednesday December 4th, 2019.
The OCPM conducting the last of several hearings on systemic racism and discrimination in Montreal. Wednesday December 4th, 2019. Yohan Hache / Global News

The last of nearly 80 groups and individuals presented their opinions on the issue of systemic racism and discrimination in Montreal on Wednesday night.

It marked the last of several hearings conducted by the Montreal Public Consultation Office (OCPM).

Among the groups that have presented briefs was the Quebec Human Rights Commission.

READ MORE: Montreal’s first public consultations on systemic racism, discrimination underway

In its brief, the commission asked the city to become an example in human rights and in the fight against racism and discrimination.

It recommended the city collect data on street checks conducted by police to eventually eliminate the practice, which mostly affects Indigenous women.

“We’ve seen a lot of discussion, a lot of principles being put forward by the city of Montreal,” said the commission’s president Philippe-André Tessier.

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“What we’re asking for right now are more actions, more concrete steps forward.”

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The consultations kicked off last May after community activist Balarama Holness collected enough signatures to force the city to conduct the hearings.

Montreal’s first ever consultations on systemic racism
Montreal’s first ever consultations on systemic racism

He says he is hopeful the City of Montreal will listen to the recommendations.

READ MORE: ‘We are ecstatic’: Montreal to hold first ever public consultations on systemic racism and discrimination

“The competitive advantage for these recommendations is that they came from the people. Twenty-two thousand people signed the petition [to force consultations],” Holness told Global News.

“This is not a group of experts that randomly created recommendations. These ones will be different, and I think City Hall will be held accountable because now people will be watching.

“People will want to ensure these recommendations get implemented.”

The OCPM now has 90 days to publish its recommendations and submit them to the City of Montreal.

Quebec government wants to move forward with Indigenous people
Quebec government wants to move forward with Indigenous people