The NDP leader has challenged the prime minister to do more when it comes to racism in Canada. On Tuesday, Jagmeet Singh told Trudeau that people were “done” with his “pretty words and pretty speeches,” and called for stronger action. It comes as Canadians across the country have been protesting against anti-black racism and police impunity.
In the House of Commons on Tuesday, June 2, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh urged the prime minister to “go beyond pretty words, and pretty speeches, and do something.”
During his statement, Singh pointed out the racial inequalities that Indigenous people in Canada experience, drawing specific attention to the federal government’s court proceedings with First Nations children.
“Why do black people, why do Indigenous people need to keep on asking to be treated like a human? Why?” Singh asked.
“You know, people are done with pretty speeches, particularly pretty speeches from people in power that could do something about it right now if they wanted to,” he added.
Singh’s comments follow a statement from Trudeau that recognized anti-black racism exists in Canada, and acknowledged his own personal “serious mistakes” as an ally.
“I’m not perfect, but not being perfect is not a free pass to not do the right thing,” Trudeau said.
A long pause means nothing. Silence won't confront anti-Black racism, actions will. I asked the Prime Minister if… https://t.co/psDsIEKfyP— Jagmeet Singh (@Jagmeet Singh) 1591139614.0
A follow-up tweet from Singh shows the NDP leader asking Trudeau questions such as, "Will the prime minister end racial profiling in Canada against black people once and for all?"
While Trudeau did respond, Singh accused him of refusing to answer the question.
"Silence won't confront anti-Black racism, actions will," Singh tweeted.
Everyone who saw the killing of George Floyd is reeling from the casual violence of anti-Black racism. Anti-Black… https://t.co/0Oe4Rcz7Ha— Jagmeet Singh (@Jagmeet Singh) 1591054298.0
Singh’s tweet also makes reference to the “silence” from Trudeau during his daily COVID-19 press conference on Monday, when he was asked about the U.S. President calling for military action against protesters.
The PM was quiet for 21 seconds, before saying "We all watch in horror and consternation what's going on in the United States."
"It is a time to pull people together but it is a time to listen, it is a time to learn what injustices continue despite progress over years and decades."
Speaking about the death of George Floyd in the U.S., Singh said on June 1, “Everyone ... is reeling from the casual violence of anti-Black racism."
Anti-Black racism is not just an American problem, it exists across the world, and here in Canada.”