Madam Chair, as humanity battles COVID-19, we are confronted by the stark realities of another disease.
On May 25, George Floyd fell unconscious and died as a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. This all happened after the 46-year-old black man was handcuffed and put in a position where he could do no harm.
In Canada, we have come a long way since Viola Desmond, yet there is much more to do. Anti-black racism is institutionalized, hidden under dominant narratives of a free and multicultural society. Hatred has no boundaries, whether it is against black communities or is anti-Asian sentiment fuelled by COVID-19.
The question always is this: Who is next? We must all stand up together against hatred and for justice and reconciliation, to dismantle systems of oppression that long remained unquestioned.
Recent data from Statistics Canada shows that Canada is failing black youth, creating the conditions that push them into the justice system. To the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth, my question is this: What is the government doing to address the unique challenges faced by black youth?