Trudeau has to do more than say the right words or show up at a protest: Jagmeet Singh

IN a message to federal NDP supporters, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said on Sunday that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has the power to make the changes we need to end systemic racism, but he has to do more than say the right words or show up at a protest.

Singh said: “I wanted to reach out to you directly about what happened in the House of Commons this past week.

“On Wednesday, I put forward a motion with concrete steps to address systemic racism in the RCMP. It required unanimous consent to move ahead, and a single MP blocked it. I called it out and was kicked out of the House of Commons.

“That part that got a lot of attention, but I want to be clear what this whole thing is really about:

“Systemic racism.

“As we mark National Indigenous Peoples Day today, I want to acknowledge that challenging systemic racism is bigger than a single person. I stand on the shoulders of giants from Indigenous and Black communities that forged the path of racial justice long before me. I am forever thankful for their sacrifice and draw inspiration from their strength and resilience.

“I know some people feel like this isn’t a Canadian issue, but for a lot of Black, Indigenous, and racialized people, this has been a problem in Canada for a very long time. And it’s really important to know that racism isn’t a coincidence. Colonialism, underfunding, social exclusion, and poverty have systematically undervalued human life — by design.

“We’ve seen some horrible examples of it in the past couple of months — images of Chief [Allan] Adam being beaten up over an expired license plate and the police involvement in the killing of people like Chantel Moore and Rodney Levi.

“Systemic racism in Canada is killing people — and there hasn’t been a single policy change made to address it. The Prime Minister went to a protest and took a knee, but he has not stood up and brought forward anything to address systemic racism.

“I don’t know how to say this any more clearly:

“Empty words from Prime Minister Trudeau won’t cut it; he has the power to end this.

“Our motion focused on four concrete steps the government can take right away to save peoples’ lives:

“1. Acknowledge there is systemic racism in the RCMP
“2. Prioritize de-escalation
“3. Review use of force — people shouldn’t be brutally beaten up over an expired license plate
“4. Fund healthcare professionals to respond to health crises — instead of police

“Our motion didn’t pass last week, but we will never back down to racism and we will never stop working for systemic changes to address it.

“None of this is about an Opposition MP or a political party —- it’s really about who has the power to make the changes we need to end systemic racism. The Prime Minister has the power to act. He has to do more than say the right words or show up at a protest — and New Democrats will keep fighting for the change we need.

“Thank you for your support over these past few days, {first-name}. I’ve received thousands of messages and so many of you have signed our petition in response to what happened. It means a lot to me.” 

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