Trudeau says its time we recognize anti-black racism exists, ensure equality

GATINEAU, Que. — Justin Trudeau says it’s time Canadians acknowledged that racism and unconscious bias against black people exist in this country.

And the prime minister says it’s time to take action to ensure equal opportunity and treatment of the more than one million black Canadians, including doing more to recruit and elect black members of Parliament.

Trudeau made the comments in a short speech at a reception marking Black History Month.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives to speak at a Black History Month reception at the Museum of History in Gatineau, Que., on Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Two weeks ago, Trudeau announced that Canada is officially recognizing the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent, which emphasizes the need for research and data collection to better understand the challenges facing the black communities around the globe.

Trudeau says advocacy groups for black Canadians have complained about the over-representation of black individuals in prisons and about insufficient support for those with mental health issues.

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