Urban Commitments to Reconciliation: Current Problems


June 15, 2020

Systemic Racism in Montréal

Systemic Racism in Montréal

Summary Report: Public Consultation on Systemic Racism and Discrimination within the Jurisdiction of the City of Montréal
The Office de consultation publique de Montréal (OCPM) – “The analysis of the documentation provided and accounts heard lead the commission to conclude that the lack of formal recognition of the systemic nature of the racism and discrimination victimizing racialized groups and indigenous peoples prevents the City from equipping itself with the necessary tools to really tackle the problem,” says OCPM president Dominique Ollivier.

The commission outlines 11 findings and 38 recommendations to guide the decisions of the municipal administration. The 38 recommendations involve, essentially, four major phases that are required in order to manage strategic change:

  • recognizing the problem,
  • measuring the problem,
  • defining goals that lead to concrete actions and
  • being accountable for these actions

The recommendations are divided into two categories:

  • transversal recommendations that create a framework for the elaboration of a strategy to counter systemic racism and discrimination within the jurisdiction of the City;
  • specific recommendations to implement this strategy within the various domains under the City’s jurisdiction

The Commission # 1 recommenation is that the City of Montréal publicly recognize, without delay, the systemic nature of racism and discrimination and commit to fight against these phenomena.

Indigenous-specific Recommendations: Numbers 9 and 10 plus others

Recommendation #9

In conformity with the principles of transversality, perennity and coconstruction that are set forth in the Strategy of Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, the Commission recommends that, by the end of the first mandate of the Indigenous Affairs Commissioner, the City of Montréal, together with Indigenous organizations, proceed to revise:

  • The offer of municipal services to Indigenous persons, regardless of the borough in which an individual lives or in which an organization is located, in order to better adapt the services to the demographic reality of the Montréal Indigenous population;
  • The system of grant subsidies for projects in order to examine if biases or organizational practices are disadvantaging Indigenous groups.

Recommendation #10

In order to strengthen and increase the support for measures concerning the relations with Indigenous people, the Commission recommends that the City of Montréal:

  • Ensure the perennity of the mandate of the Indigenous affairs Commissioner and increase her resources so that she can adequately carried out the mandate conferred;
  • Request that the SPVM work with the Indigenous groups in order to reinforce the work of the liaison officer in various sectors of police activities.

Recommendation #4

  • To expand and update the scope of the Montréal Charter of Rights and Responsibilities, the Commission recommends that the Municipal Council:
  • Modify article 16 i) so that it includes the recognition of the systemic and intersectional character of the various forms of discrimination enumerated in the article;
  • Adds its endorsement of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to the preamble, emphasizing the City’s adhesion to texts that promote fundamental rights.

Recommendation #29

The Commission recommends that within the next year, the City of Montréal, in collaboration with Indigenous organizations, examine the possibility of establishing an Indigenous cultural center in Montréal, and ensure that the training provided to guides includes substantial and accurate content relating to Indigenous history, art and culture.