Montreal ready to kick off public consultations on systemic racism

Information sessions kicks off on May 15, hearings to follow

Contact Staff

“This consultation stems from the desire of some 20,000 people, who, in signing the petition, chose to trust the collective intelligence to identify the means of promoting inclusion and social justice in Montréal. It is now up to us to give a voice to all points of view, through a transparent, rigorous and accessible process that will offer up innovative avenues to improve people’s lives together and to counter systemic racism or discrimination,” so states Dominique Ollivier, president of Office de consultation publique de Montréal, as she launched the process to examine systemic racism and discrimination within the City of Montréal jurisdiction.
Ollivier made the announcement on April 25, stating the consultation will begin with a general information session on May 15, 7:00 p.m., at the Plaza Centre Ville (777 Robert-Bourassa Boulevard), and it will include two presentations by the Department of Diversity and Social Inclusion of the City of Montréal, and by the petitioners of the Right of Initiative followed by a question period for the public.
These consultations follow the delivery of a petition bearing 16,700 signatures to the city clerk’s office last summer by Balarama Holness and his Montreal In Action political movement, calling on the Valerie Plante administration to examine issues of exclusion and denial of opportunities faced by Blacks and other minorities in the city.
The City of Montréal identifies systemic discrimination “as discrimination resulting from the dynamic interaction between decisions and attitudes that are tinged with prejudice, as well as from organizational models and institutional practices that have prejudicial effects (intended or not) on groups protected by the Quebec Charter of human rights and freedoms. For example, the under-representation of some visible minorities in employment sectors and executive or management positions may be the result of systemic discrimination.”
The consultation continues on May 21, 28 and 29 with public information sessions looking at issues surrounding culture, employment and racial and social profiling, following which the public will be encouraged to get involved and contribute to the process throughout the summer months. The OCPM promises to make DIY Kits available to assist in making participation easier.
On-line submission will be accommodated in the fall, which will be followed by four travelling information sessions planned for different points in the city.
The actual hearings will start on November 4, at the OCPM offices, following which the commissioners will analyze submissions and documents and submit a report and recommendations to the City within 90 days of the final meeting.
Information on the consultation is available on the OCPM website at and at the OCPM, 1550 Metcalfe Street, Suite 1414.