LETTER: Politicians need sensitivity training on racism

LETTER: Politicians need sensitivity training on racism

I am an Indigenous person and I totally support Jagmeet Singh for calling out the Bloc for not supporting the bill to deal with systemic racism. This issue should not be politicized – politicians should not play to their base or put regional government interests first. Quebec continues to consider separating from Canada because they say they are unique? Elijah Harper (Indigenous leader) stopped this from happening by making a strong argument that if Quebec can be deemed a separate and distinct society in Canada – then so should Canada’s First Peoples. The separation failed.

Eighty-nine per cent of Canadians agree there is systemic racism so why did the Bloc member, not support the bill to reform the RCMP, which is only one piece of the puzzle. Quebec is a province existing in Canada. They like any other Canadian have a “mother” tongue and culture like our multicultural societies in our native land. We have as many languages and cultures in this country as we have distinct races. What makes Quebec “special”, they enjoy the recognition with our second official language but they are part of Canada and need to get over themselves when it comes to our serious and unacceptable systemic racism. Personally, I think the Bloc member exposed himself to what many Canadians would view as a racist decision to not take racism seriously and start the hard work to eliminate it.

Of course your opinion one way or another is going to be uncomfortable, that is the basis of racism. In fact, Webster’s dictionary is changing the meaning to include systematic racism in the meaning. No one in any part of our society can dictate how a person perceives a person’s words, actions or decisions that they personally feel is racist. The Bloc needs to listen, acknowledge and work to change racism in a country that is not immune to it but well documented over 200 years with the First People.

I would like for a bill to be introduced in the House that all elected officials take sensitivity training around racism so they are educated on what systemic racism is and how to recognize it through the eyes of the victims.

Case in point, when my letters get published and I disclose I am Indigenous, comments will follow such as: What country does she live in? She needs to go back to the Reserve? Give her a break – she doesn’t know how to earn a living? Those people live off our tax dollars? What kind of native name is Berezanski? All ignorant and racist remarks!

So anyone who believes that racism doesn’t exist in Canada needs to be educated on what constitutes racism, including our politicians and they should lead in this change. You are elected by the people, for the people. The RCMP swear an oath to serve and protect all people and are not above the law. No elected official should be removed from the people’s house for expressing how they feel about what is a highly charged and sensitive issue requiring all opinions expressed.

Jo-Anne Berezanski

Victoria

Just Posted

Alex Fiset and Cooper Oakes, both Grade 4, running to the finish, raising money for the ALS Society of B.C. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
John Muir students rally for ALS support

‘Hey ALS. Nobody likes you!’ the students yelled

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
University of Victoria researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of June 6-12. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
New COVID-19 cases up on Island, but health officials say trends going right way

There were 22 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Victoria last week after just four the week before

Eric White’s roadside farm stand in Metchosin sits stocked with produce. (Photo courtesy of Eric White)
Fledgling Metchosin farmer frustrated by thefts from stand

Eric White said every dollar made at the roadside helps sustain his farm

Helicopter crew members onboard HMCS Halifax conduct inflight refueling during Operation Reassurance in the Mediterranean Sea in 2020. Some of the military choppers flying around Greater Victoria recently are taking part in a special ops training exercise. (Photo by Cpl. Braden Trudeau/Trinity-Formation Imaging Services)
Special Ops exercise brings influx of helicopters to Victoria

Ontario-based air force unit comes to Victoria to train over ocean

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

Most Read