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LAUNCH OF THE PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON SYSTEMIC RACISM AND DISCRIMINTATION WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THE CITY OF MONTRÉAL

Montréal, April 25, 2019 – The Office de consultation publique de Montréal announces the public consultation process on systemic racism and discrimination within City of Montréal jurisdiction. The consultation is the result of a citizen initiative, as per the Right of Initiative provided for in the Montréal Charter of Rights and Responsibilities.

In its reference document, the City of Montréal presents 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.

 

“This consultation stems from the desire of some 20,000 people, who, in signing the petition, chose to trust the collective intelligence to identify 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 of systemic racism or discrimination,” says OCPM President Dominique Ollivier.

On July 27, 2018, the City Clerk’s Office received a petition calling for a public consultation on systemic racism and discrimination, which it deemed conform following the validation of 16,700 signatures. On August 29, the City of Montréal Executive Committee mandated the Office de consultation publique de Montréal to organize and hold the consultation.

Throughout the fall of 2018 and during the first few months of 2019, the City drew up the reference document that will serve as the basis for discussion during the public consultation. In addition, the OCPM assembled a Commission composed of five commissioners, each with vast experience and knowledge of inter-cultural issues, and did a tour of the boroughs, a pre-consultation exercise aimed at preparing the public part of the process.

The consultation will begin with a general information session, on May 15 2019, at 7:00 p.m., at the Plaza Centre‑Ville (777 Robert-Bourassa Boulevard). During the evening, there will be two presentations, the first by the Department of Diversity and Social Inclusion of the City of Montréal, and the second by the petitioners of the Right of Initiative. These presentations will be followed by a public question period. The public session will be webcast live on ocpm.qc.ca/en-direct, on Facebook (@officedeconsultationpubliquedemontreal) and on Twitter/Periscope (@OCPMontreal). 

Subsequently, on May 21, 28 and 29 2019, there will be three thematic public information sessions, respectively on the topics of culture, employment and racial and social profiling. The summer will be devoted to citizens’ contributory activities. Throughout the season, a DIY kit will be available to allow people to organize their own consultations or to join an existing group. All relevant information, as well as the kits, will be available in French and English by the end of May.

In autumn 2019, people wishing to do so will be able to express their opinions online. In addition, four travelling information sessions will be held in four corners of the city, in close proximity to Montrealers in every corner the city and to produce a summary of suggestions originating from the citizens’ contributory activities. Lastly, the hearing-of-opinions sessions will be held starting on November 4 at the OCPM. (Please see the infographic presenting the process: rds.ocpm.qc.ca)

The commission will hear any Montrealer or Montréal association or business wishing to contribute to the discussion. The commissioners will analyze all of the opinions presented and the documentation submitted during the consultation and, within 90 days following the last public meeting, will submit a report outlining its recommendations to elected officials.

All information regarding this consultation is available on the Office website at ocpm.qc.ca/r&ds and at the OCPM, 1550 Metcalfe Street, Suite 1414.