FRIDAY (JUNE 13) Update:
ON Friday, Lucki, apparently sensing the great resentment that decent Canadians felt about her denial that here was systemic racism in the RCMP, said in a statement: “During some recent interviews, … I did acknowledge that we, like others, have racism in our organization, but I did not say definitively that systemic racism exists in the RCMP. I should have.
“As many have said, I do know that systemic racism is part of every institution, the RCMP included. Throughout our history and today, we have not always treated racialized and Indigenous people fairly.”
I guess she really smelled the curry!
PRIME Minister Justin Trudeau publicly snubbed RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki at a press conference on Thursday when he bluntly noted that there is no denying the existence of systemic racism in all Canadian institutions, including the RCMP.
A day earlier, Lucki appeared pathetically puzzled when she said she didn’t have a clear understanding of the definition of systemic racism and refused to acknowledge that the Mounties treat Indigenous and racialized Canadians differently.
Trudeau said that Indigenous Canadians and racialized Canadians are not treated in the same way as “people of privilege” across Canada, The Globe and Mail reported.
Trudeau said: “Systemic racism is an issue right across the country, in all of our institutions, including in all of our police forces, including in the RCMP. As much as we admire and support the RCMP, we know we need to do better. It is not just the individual examples we have seen, it’s the issues faced by Canadians of diverse backgrounds over years, decades and generations.”
The appalling fact that Lucki still doesn’t understand this reality, underscores the need to replace the RCMP in Surrey with a fresh police force – no matter what the financial cost. Yes, indeed Lucki and her Mounties need to WAKE UP and smell the curry!
Trudeau added that all Canadians have to recognize their country’s institutions “have not always treated people of racialized backgrounds, of Indigenous backgrounds, fairly.”
Trudeau, apparently not to demoralize Lucki, said: “I have confidence in Commissioner Lucki and I know the changes that she has already begun to bring to our national police force and the work that we are going to be doing together in the coming months is going to make a huge difference in combatting systemic racism and reducing it in this country.”
Trudeau realistically pointed out: “The calls to action, the calls to do more, far more than this government has done up until now, are continuing. I think we are going to need to work really, really hard to make sure that we are moving forward together on this and that is what this government is committed to.”
After Lucki’s statements on systemic racism, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair also snubbed Lucki, saying: “We must acknowledge that Indigenous people, Black Canadians and other racialized people far too often experience systemic racism and disparate outcomes within the criminal justice system.”
As the Globe and Mail reported, speaking about the overrepresentation of Indigenous and Black Canadians in Canada’s courts and prisons, Blair said: “A criminal justice system that produces such disparate outcomes for specific segments of our population cannot be considered truly just. It is incumbent upon all of us who work within the criminal justice system to take whatever steps are necessary to produce more equitable outcomes.”
Blair added the fact that the “overwhelming majority” of police officers conduct themselves with integrity and professionalism, but pointed out that that does not change the fact that the system needs to be improved.
And Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said that all federal agencies, including the police, must understand that systemic racism is a problem in Canada.