Joyce Echaquan’s death must never be repeated

Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
2020-09-30 0:40 [p.319]

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia.

I felt the same way when our colleague from Calgary Nose Hill spoke about the terrible tragedy of the death of Joyce Echaquan, an indigenous woman. A few minutes ago, I read in the news that an investigation has been launched and a nurse fired.

The problem of racism also exists in our public health system in British Columbia. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, a prominent indigenous woman and lawyer, is now leading an investigation into a similar matter. However, the circumstances are not as horrifying as those mentioned by my colleague.

What does my colleague think we can do to eliminate racism in our societies? It is not the focus of the bill before us, but that is what is in our hearts right now.

Kristina Michaud (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia)
2020-09-30 0:42 [p.319]

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question. I am glad that she raised this subject.

I will come back to what I was saying earlier. Prorogation had several negative repercussions. I had the opportunity to sit on the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, which was studying systemic racism in Canada’s police services. Yes, racism is present in the health system, in police services and in many other places.

There have been reports on systemic racism. Everyone recognizes it. We were about to draft a new report, but Parliament was prorogued and the committee is no longer. The government must act. It knows what to do. The demands of the various groups have not changed. We know what needs to be done to eliminate or at least to work on eliminating systemic racism. However, the government chose to prorogue Parliament because of the scandal.