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Opposition Calls for Public Forum on Racism
Crosbie said, “There can be no reconciliation until systemic prejudices are identified and dealt with, and a public forum on racism is a means of bringing these matters out into the open.”
Thursday, November 14, 2019

Office of the Official Opposition
For Immediate Release

St. John’s, NL (November 14, 2019) – The PC Opposition is calling on the provincial government to hold a public forum on racism in Newfoundland and Labrador.

PC Opposition Leader Ches Crosbie said, “The resignation of a Liberal cabinet minister and the recent statement of Chief Misel Joe of the Miawpukek First Nation have placed systemic racism on the public agenda, so we need to provide an appropriate forum with full participation of affected groups to bring the larger discussion about racism into the public arena in a way that will lead to change.”

Crosbie said the public forum should hear from representatives of all Indigenous communities and also from representatives of visible minority communities in our province so that they can tell their own stories, in their own words, of their experiences of racism and their proposals for change.

Torngat Mountains MHA Lela Evans said, “Racism became a topic of widespread discussion in our province around the time that a provincial cabinet Minister stepped down over racially charged comments involving members of the Innu communities of our province. They have expressed concern that the matter has not been explored or resolved to their satisfaction.”

Evans said, “The Nunatsiavut Government and Inuit people in Labrador have also expressed concerns about the inadequate ferry service and food insecurity, wharf-side security checks and the broken promise on wetland capping as further examples of improper treatment predominately affecting their communities.”

Crosbie said in September that the larger issue is whether racially charged attitudes are prevalent in the provincial government. Crosbie cited tweets from former Grand Chief and Innu advisor Peter Penashue that asked: “Is this the attitude of government ministers when Indigenous peoples are not in the room? How is the government going to deal with this huge racial profiling of Innu???”

Crosbie said, “There can be no reconciliation until systemic prejudices are identified and dealt with, and a public forum on racism is a means of bringing these matters out into the open.”

Contacts:

Bradley Russell
Director of Policy and Research
(p) 1.709.729.3668
BradleyRussell@gov.nl.ca
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