Racial Problem is Undeniable in Canada - Kabir Chowdhury
Canada is a multicultural country, where all citizens are protected and share their equal rights despite their race, culture, and ethnicity by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Unfortunately, this is not true; Canadian citizens are still facing discrimination and systematic racism and it is deep-rooted in society. Finding unmarked graves and more than thousands of Indigenous students’ remains at former residential school grounds in Provinces of Manitoba, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan proving that systemic racism is a large and widespread problem in Canada. According to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, "I recognize these findings only deepen the pain that families, survivors, and all Indigenous peoples and communities are already feeling and that they reaffirm a truth that they have long known” (CBC News).
Not only that, but these recent years also we have witnessed lots of racialized action by Canadian police forces. According to Alexa Joy, a researcher, journalist, and graduate student at The New School for Social Research, “From the assault of Dalia Kafi in 2017 by Calgary police officer Alex Dunn, to three incidents last year — the shooting and killing of Eishia Hudson by Winnipeg police, the death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet involving the Toronto police, or the fatal shooting of Chantal Moore by Edmundston police in New Brunswick — assaults and killings of Black, Indigenous and people of colour by police continue unabated” (CBC News)
There is lots of whispering around that Canada is not safe for immigrants, which to some is difficult to believe. When relating back to my own past experiences, I will say in my 33 years of Canadian life I have never been a victim of a racist attack or any kind of discrimination, but that does not mean I represent our entire community. There has been a killing of four members of a Muslim family in London, Ontario by a 20-year-old driver. He drove his truck over the family because they were Muslim. According to detective superintendent Paul Waight of London police, “There is evidence that this was a planned, premeditated act and that the family was targeted because of their Muslim faith” (The New York Times). It is not limited to only this, as of January 29, 2017 within a Quebec City Mosque, 6 people of Islamic faith were murdered by Alexandre Bissonnette, a man with a history of racially insensitive remarks.
All those killings are hate crimes and it is alarming for the community and for the government. This is the time for every citizen to think seriously about the problem and identify the places where it is coming from. The good news is that the Canadian government took the hate crime issue seriously. According to a News Release by the Department of Justice Canada, the Canadian government is committed to keeping all Canadians safe, while also protecting their “rights and freedoms”. On June 23, 2021, the honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, along with the honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, and the honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, announced actions the Government of Canada is taking to “protect Canadians from hate speech and online harms”. As part of this approach, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada introduced amendments to the Criminal Code, the Canadian Human Rights Act, and the Youth Criminal Justice Act. A News Release from the Department of Justice Canada and above mention killings lets Canadian citizens believe that there is racial discrimination dwelling with the society which needs to be fixed as soon as possible.
Kabir Chowdhury / Ottawa