Injunction Law is a prime example of systemic racism

Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
2020-11-16 13:54 [p.1899]

Madam Speaker, although it is a little outside the scope of Bill C-3, one of the places where we see systemic racism is in the use of injunctions. I know he will have experienced, as a British Columbian, the use of injunctions to arrest indigenous protestors. However, when indigenous nations go to seek injunctions to protect territory, they are far less likely to be granted one than corporations that seek injunctions to violate indigenous rights and pursue projects like pipelines.

I wonder if my hon. colleague has some thoughts on how we might want to reform injunction law to deal with the systemic racism throughout our criminal justice system.

Alistair MacGregor (Cowichan—Malahat—Langford)
2020-11-16 13:55 [p.1899]

Madam Speaker, the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands raises an important point. I know that a couple of years ago she joined with the now mayor of Vancouver, Kennedy Stewart, to protest the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline. It is quite interesting to note, as she correctly pointed out, the treatments that corporations get versus indigenous protestors who, in many ways, are there trying to protect what is rightfully theirs since pre-contact. These are their traditional and unceded territories. For these projects to proceed, it is important we have that full consent going forward.

It is an interesting question. It is certainly one about which I, as a Vancouver Islander, have been rightly concerned. I still have constituents to this day writing to me about these specific issues. Therefore, I would agree with her that, when we are talking about Bill C-3 and the stereotypes and myths that exist and are acknowledged in this legislation, it does allow us to open up a broader conversation about the justice system as a whole. That is why I acknowledged in my comments that this was a small but important legislative step. However, it is important that we follow through with further actions and commitments to make the justice system much better for all Black, indigenous and persons of colour because of the discrimination the frequently experience.