Justice (25-42): Current Problems

Sûreté du Québec


December 14, 2021


Systemic Racism in Policing

Class Action lawsuit against Sûreté du Québec

Trudel Johnston & Lespérance (TJL) – A law firm representing Val-d’Or Native Friendship Centre v. Attorney General of Québec. The purpose of this class action is to condemn the discriminatory practices and abuses committed against Indigenous people committed by certain officers of the Sûreté du Québec (the “SQ”) working in the Vallée-de-l’Or RMC (i.e. Val d’Or and its surrounding areas). This class action also aims to obtain compensation for the individuals who were victims of these acts.

The plaintiff, the Val d’Or Native Friendship Centre (the “Centre”), believes that the Government of Québec is obliged to compensate individuals for the harm caused by these actions, as they were committed by SQ officers in the context of their employment. The Centre also believes that the government must answer for the fact that the SQ was aware of these practices, but failed to put a stop to them. Finally, the Centre believes that these practices constitute violations of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the “Canadian Charter”) and the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms (the “Québec Charter”) for which the government must be held accountable. Dec. 16, 2021: Québec Native Women – salutes and supports the collective action issued on December 14 by Indigenous the women of Val-d’Or, represented by the Val-d’Or Native Friendship Centre. The discriminatory practices and abuses committed by certain officers of the Sûreté du Québec towards Indigenous people, particularly women, must be sanctioned.

The painful stories told by these women are unfortunately not a surprise to QNW. QNW is not afraid to use the exact words that explain the appalling behaviour of the police: systemic racism and discrimination against Indigenous women and girls in Quebec does exist.

QNW is asking the Government of Quebec to act in this matter to ensure that justice is done. The latter is obliged to repair any prejudice by taking the necessary measures, and this, without delay. It is inconceivable that the government can tolerate such actions. As the government’s role is to protect and ensure the safety of all, Indigenous women and girls should not be afraid of the police.