July 2, 2020 18h55
Systemic racism: Boulerice does not go as far as its leader Jagmeet Singh
The canadian Press
OTTAWA — The only mp québécois New democratic Party does not go as far as its leader Jagmeet Singh, who has stated that anyone who does not recognize the systemic racism is “racist”.
In an interview with The canadian Press, the deputy leader of the NDP, Alexandre Boulerice, did not want to go as far as Mr. Singh in this charge which may apply to many Quebecers, the prime minister François Legault in the lead.
“Me, I don’t want to say. I would say that there are a lot of education to do with the concept of systemic racism, and then I think we should have a discussion that is frank and honest here and not put our heads in the sand. And above all, avoid saying that because it recognizes the systemic racism, it means that we acknowledge all Quebecers of being racist,” said Mr. Boulerice.
Now, this is precisely the equation that has made Mr. Singh, on the 17th of June last, a few hours after having been expelled from the House of commons to have dealt with the bloquiste Alain Therrien “racist”. During a press briefing after the fact, the chief neo-democrat, visibly emotional, said that anyone who does not recognize the systemic racism deserved this label.
Mr. Boulerice did not endorse fully the interpretation of its leader, but said he understands, given the personal history of Mr. Singh.
“I am a white man who is privileged in the society. I have not had to suffer (racism). So I don’t throw the stone to Jagmeet if it is this equation-because I think that for him, it is something that comes to pick up souvenirs, injuries and that is something for him that is not negotiable. So, obviously, I’m going to have a reaction that is not necessarily identical to hers, then this is correct. He knows it,” said Mr. Boulerice.
Mr Singh has in the end not to apologize to Mr. Therrien, as required by the Bloc québécois. Heather Bradley, director of communications, office of the president of the House of commons, said that the leader of the NDP will be able to regain his seat as expected at the next regular session, in the Commons, on 8 July, under parliamentary procedures.
The decision, revealed by Radio-Canada, has revived the trade already tense between bloquistes, and new democrats on the social networks. Wednesday, the day of the Feast of Canada, the leader of the Bloc québécois, Yves-François Blanchet, has accused Mr Singh of having “assaulted a deputy in a staged and orchestrated” supported more or less by Justin Trudeau.
At the exit of a meeting with the prime minister Legault, Thursday, Mr. Blanchet has continued in the same vein.
“Is it that the leader of the NDP is not made to look at themselves in the mirror seriously and whether it has not created a social crisis that is severe, a division severe among people who (…) have to stay friends, and for the moment, deal with the hatred and unfounded charges because of him, and of him only, and him personally?” accused the chief bloquiste.
Mr. Blanchet then refused to take more than one question on the topic, as he has done during his press conference earlier.
According to Mr. Boulerice, the insult launched by Mr. Singh to Mr. Therrien is not part of a machiavellian plan.
“I can assure you that this was not at all planned, there was nothing organized there, it was a spontaneous reaction, very emotional on the part of the leader of the NDP, I totally understand why he had, moreover, because the decision of the Block was incomprehensible”, accuses the new democrat member of parliament.
The Block had refused to support a motion that acknowledges the systemic racism within the royal Canadian mounted police against Aboriginal people, among others, under the pretext that a parliamentary committee was already addressing the subject. Mr. Blanchet then refused to say whether his party would side with the conclusions of the committee in question.
With the swelling verbal the last few days, Mr. Boulerice believes that “it smells of panic on the side of Mr. Blanchet and his troops”.
“There is a malaise within the Block because they play a little on the two tables. They know that there is a part of their electorate, which is very sensitive to the arguments a little bit xenophobic, a little on nationalism and identity, on populism and conservative, so Mr. Blanchet is stuck a little. Some days, it’s going to be more progressive and politically correct and other days, it leaves the door open, because he feels that he can’t appeal to one part or the other of its electorate,” he said.