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Canadian leaders speak out against Floyd killing, racism in U.S.

Last Updated Jun 1, 2020 at 10:07 am PDT


Justin Trudeau says Canadians can't pretend racism doesn't exist here as protests break out across the U.S.

Jagmeet Singh calling for slew of measures including better data on carding, police training

Andrew Scheer said he was heartbroken by Floyd's killing and that no one should have to live in fear of the police

OTTAWA — Federal party leaders in Canada calling for action to address racism as unrest and protests grow on both sides of the border.

Saying Canada needs to do better, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday we all have a role to play.

“We need to continue to know that even though we have made strides forward in the fight against racism and discrimination, racism still exists in Canada,” he told reporters at his daily briefing. “As a country, we can’t pretend that racism doesn’t exist here.”

Trudeau also said all levels of government need to unite and work together to address the causes of racism and fix our systems, so no one faces discrimination.

“Together, we will keep taking meaningful action to fight racism and discrimination in every form,” Trudeau said, while also condemning those who used protests to damage communities and businesses, as was seen during the demonstration in Montreal.

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has proposed a slew of measures, including better data on carding and more training for police officers to combat systemic racism in Canada.

An emotional Singh, who has previously spoken of his own experiences dealing with racism as a practising Sikh, said he is angry over Floyd’s killing, but that Canada has its own problems that need to be addressed.

“There needs to be really clear training around deescalation. We see far too many instances, so many instances where a tense situation escalates instead of deescalating, and a life is taken,” Singh said.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer also spoke Monday morning about the protests in the U.S., saying he was heartbroken by Floyd’s killing and that no one should have to live in fear of the police.

Scheer says all levels of government have much more to do when it comes to addressing racism in Canada.

The proposals come as protests continued to rage in the United States over the police killing of George Floyd, which was captured on video.

The protests in the U.S. have proven extremely polarizing, with those on the left and right of the political spectrum attacking each other on social media and elsewhere.