Jagmeet Singh does not want to make “equivalences” between Aboriginals and Quebecers

The NDP leader, Jagmeet Singh, disagree with Yves-Francois Blanchet, chef du Bloc Quebecois, who on Thursday equated the discrimination experienced by Aboriginals to that of Quebecers.

During the debate in English on Thursday evening, a young Ontario voter asked the leaders of the five major parties how they would restore confidence after more than 150 years of “lies and abuse” against Indigenous peoples.

In his response, Mr. Blanchet said that no one should tell a nation what to do and that each nation, including the Quebec nation, should be recognized as such and treated as an equal.

In Ottawa on Friday morning, Mr. Singh indicated that he did not want to make “equivalence between one group and another”, while stressing that “Francophones and Quebeckers have suffered systemic discrimination” in Canada. . He spoke in English of the “real challenge” of Francophones living in a minority situation in Canada, “who cannot access services in their language, education in their language”.

Systemic racism and discrimination are found across Canada, “in every province and territory,” and can be seen in the fact that many Indigenous communities do not have clean drinking water, Singh argued.

According to him, a strong example of this systemic racism and its concrete impacts on people’s lives is that of Joyce Echaquan, who died “because of systemic racism” in a hospital in Joliette a year ago.

But Francophones, Quebeckers and Aboriginals “do not face the same challenges, the same injustices,” said Mr. Singh. “So I am not making an equivalence” between one group and another. “But I can clearly say that yes, Francophones have suffered systemic discrimination and Quebeckers have not long faced systemic discrimination. So yes, it does exist and it is a real issue. “

About Mr. Legault’s position

Asked about the Prime Minister’s thinly veiled support Francois Legault to federal parties that are not “centralizing”, such as the NDP, Mr. Singh replied that his party would be there to help Quebeckers, as it did during the pandemic.

“Universal pharmacare is not about centralizing, it’s about helping people cut costs,” he said. “The idea of ​​investing in our health care, of facing the housing crisis (…) All these problems are problems in Quebec and elsewhere, across the country. And it’s important that we work together to resolve them. ”

Mr Singh also revealed on Friday that the New Democratic Party would publish the financial framework of his election promises on Saturday, nine days before the September 20 poll.

The NDP will be the last of the Big Three to release the cost of its promises, but Singh says Canadians already know what the NDP has to offer, including universal pharmacare, affordable child care and child care. dental care – social programs paid for, among other things, by taxing the richest.

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