Quebec needs to be aware – The issue of Racism will reappear. Cancellation is not equal to Annulation. Denying racism is the new racism (Bill Maher)

Following the aftermath of a 2,662-signature petition tabled in the National Assembly by Québec Solidaire MNA Amir Khadir, calling for “the creation of a consultation commission on systemic racism”, and voices calling for a legislative committee to look into the matter increased in volume, Premier Philippe Couillard’s government announced the immanency of measures for consulting the public on systemic racism in Quebec.
On May 20, Kathleen Weil  then minister of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion unveiled plans, for the public consultation on systemic discrimination and racism in Quebec, scheduled to commence in September of 2017. Public consultations on racism would address discrimination in employment, education, health care, housing, public security and culture. Premier Couillard mandated the Quebec Human Rights Commission to organize and lead the consultations with the objective being to put forward concrete and permanent solutions that engage all of Quebec society in combating these problems. The Commission would then submit recommendations to the government, which was expected to release the findings and an action plan, next spring.
In April, just a month shy of the making known of plans for public consultation on racism and discrimination, the Parti Quebecois accused the Couillard government of playing with fire, and launched a petition, opposing plans to debate the issues of racism and systemic discrimination in Quebec
The article Political Demission at the Quebec Human Rights Commission, enmeshed in Premier Couillard’s draconian decision to rename and reframe the Consultation on Systemic Discrimination and Racism is being revisited because except for the efforts of Black Lives Matter, neither the community’s response to the cancellation of the consultation  nor police unjustly killing Black men have changed appreciably.
On Wednesday October 18, 2017 the Couillard government announced an overhaul to the controversial consultations on systemic racism and discrimination including a new focus and a new leadership mandate —–a decision that followed the Premier’s assurance that the government would review the format. In addition, Kathleen Weil, who was Immigration Minister for more than three years, lost her portfolio to David Heurtel .The consultations process was also renamed, now being called “the Commission on Valuing Diversity and Fighting Against Discrimination.” my sincere hope that there is no intent to sweep racism under the rug, as the emanating dust would be too much. Quebec appears visionless to the reality of racism and discrimination, and thus, the possibility of pain — a pain that unleashes itself in structural circles, meanders through the docks of courtrooms, ending in the unjustifiable deaths at the hands of law enforcers. Politically speaking the pendulum of public attitude regarding racism and discrimination has reached the limit of its swing, exposing once again the cold hard truth that the story of racism will never be told, especially since from the outset opposition parties had in no uncertain terms called on the government to scrap the consultation process completely, claiming that it puts Quebec society on trial.
If the truth is to be both known and told, not only is a trial needed, but long overdue as Quebec is known to be struggling with a pervasive and age old problem called racism. The continued reluctance to forthrightly confront the issue persists, even though it is responsible for the economic disparities that hinder economic progress and any measurable race-related gains. The  daunting challenge lies in the fact that Premier Couillard, like so many others is covertly dismissing the fact that here in Quebec a certain group of people enjoy certain privileges that others do not, and further discounts any relevance of past practices having a bearing today. To behave as if racism does not matter is to deny the absolute truth, and this again is part and parcel of how wide the divide is.
Again in a recent article in La Presse (September 9) — titled “Editorial Consultation sur la discrimination systémique — reculez, m. Couillard!” — journalist, Francois Cardinal, urged Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, to abandon the consultation on systemic discrimination and racism, if he does not want to be found guilty of arousing the ashes of intolerance
Plainly put the cancellation means that there will be no focus ever on understanding the perilous effects of interpersonal and institutional racism on both the psychological and physiological well-being of minorities. Let us not be misguided that institutional racism applies to a physical institution or building, for if so, such thinking needs to be halted in mid –formation. We are the institutionalized racism, and become part of the displayed institutionalized behavior each time we fail to stand up, turn a blind eye, walk away thinking that it is not our problem, hold our heads down or fail to intervene when we see someone being harassed or discriminated against.
Yes, the very racism whose presence Quebec has so long failed to acknowledge can psychologically affect its victims by allowing society to deny their true value as individuals, and by compelling them to internalize the racist conceptions of them held by the dominant culture. The odds notwithstanding, it is imperative that we see the cancellation as an opportunity to bring collective weight to bear. Sustained public pressure is the only way to make this happen, as it is blatantly evident  that Blacks along with other racialized minorities have been left out in the cold  and the story must be told that they cannot afford to be put on hold.
The overwhelming response of disbelief at the move made by Premier Couillard should herald the beginning of new commitments to sustain and transform righteous outrage into a collective resolve focusing on strategies that would unapologetically benefit all affected racialized minorities. Racism is a major issue that cannot be ignored, the facts are undeniable and if Quebec continues on the path of disingenuousness, a very painful confrontation will eventually ensue. According to Pope Francis, “Racism today is the ultimate evil in the world”.
Premier Couillard cannot have his say and his way also— putting in motion an independent process under the aegis of the Quebec Human Rights Commission, only to have him dabble at the rumblings of a rabble.
Sustaining righteous outrage is now more important than ever, so remember: R-ally A-gainst C-ouillard’s I-nstinctively S-urreptitious  M-ove.