This morning Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante gave a press conference in response to a 252-page report that finds the city has turned a “blind eye” to systemic racism. The report, by the Office de consultation publique de Montréal (OCPM), recommends 38 measures to combat racism and discrimination in the city and in the Montreal police force (SPVM), from hiring practices to anti-racism training.
“The first recommendation is to recognize publicly and formally the systemic character of racism and commit to fight it,” Valérie Plante said. “We have racism and systemic discrimination and we must act. Starting today I will propose a declaration that says that we recognize the systemic character of racism and discrimination and affirm our solidarity with the thousands of citizens that denounce racism in all its form as well as our engagement to act and put in place the measures to fight racism. The second recommendation is for the city to have some measurable data on racism. I am recommending that we have a Commissioner to fight racism.
“There is under-representation of Montreal diversity inside the executive committee of the city. 21% of the executive committee are identified as minorities. This was an increase from 12.8% previously, however we still have a lot of work to do. We need to bring more people from underrepresented groups. That is why we have committed to a measurable way that the executive committee of the city represents all Montrealers with a program that says that we should have equitable criteria for hiring for women, for minorities, for Indigenous people and for disabled people. In 2019 we had objectives to have up to 30% of people who are considered minorities in the public service. We will also review the the access for hiring for equity for 2020 – 2023 and I want you to know that this plan is already ongoing and this commission will bring fuel for this plan. We will identify targets for hiring and will have a program for managing of talent and diversity. The first group should be 50% women and 65% should be targeted through the access to equity hiring, whether it’s Indigenous people, people that are disabled or minorities. The city must be the most exemplary employer — we are the most important employer in the city of Montreal — and I expect that the services for all the neighbourhoods should be more ambitious to better the Montreal society. We can do better and we must do better.”
The OCPM study on systemic racism in Montreal took place between Aug. 2018 and Dec. 2019, incorporating consultations with 7,000 people. Among its most egregious findings, racial profiling in the SPVM has apparently gotten worse in recent years.
See the full report here.
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