The Stream

Is Canada finally facing its own reckoning with racism?

Protests across the country have spawned intense national debate about systemic inequalities and how to tackle them.

On Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 19:30 GMT:
Recent anti-racism protests in the United States have sparked a national debate in Canada about its own problems with equality.

Over the past few weeks, thousands of people across the country have been taking to the streets, calling for an end to prejudice and police brutality at home and abroad.

“We’ve seen a large number of Canadians suddenly awaken to the fact that the discrimination that is a lived reality for far too many of our fellow citizens is something that needs to end,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said while participating in a protest over the weekend.

However, other officials are downplaying the problem, sparking fierce backlash from minority communities across Canada.

According to police and census data, Black Canadians:

  • Make far less money than their white peers;
  • Are more likely than any other racial group to be the victim of a hate crime; 
  • Contend with higher unemployment rates; and 
  • Are disproportionately dying of coronavirus. 

Acknowledging these systemic issues is just the first step, activists say. The harder part is establishing programs to increase accountability and defeat anti-black prejudice. 

In this episode we ask, is Canada finally facing its own reckoning with racism? Join the conversation.

On this episode of The Stream we are joined by:

Cicely Belle Blain, @cicelybelle
Activist and consultant

Desmond Cole, @DesmondCole

Robyn Maynard, @policingblack

Read more:
Canada: Protests across Quebec against racism, police brutality – Al Jazeera
Five charts that show what systemic racism looks like in Canada – CTV
Trudeau says anti-black racism is alive in Canada and ‘we need to be better’ – CBC