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Perspective: Racism On The Hill … Shameful, Scandalous, Scary & Silly

Speak of the House of Commons Geoff Regan poses for a photo in his office on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, December 5, 2017. iPolitics/Matthew Usherwood

Speaker condemns ‘racial profiling’ of black visitors to Parliament Hill

What is Canada Descending To?
Having had the honour of being a guest to the Houses Of Parliament in the 90s, and  was extended helpful, dignified and very courteous treatment, I have found a recent report that a Black group was disrespected by Parliamentary Protective Services (PPS) as shocking as they had the required passes and accreditation is shocking to say the least.  
Evicted from the cafeteria, it is reported.  The Speaker Ragan must be commended for his timely intervention and condemnation of this atrocity.  As the speaker noted this place, Parliament is supposed to be the seat of the Canadian democracy.  For such blatant racism to be displayed there is cause for much concern.  Most shameful is the fact that they were profiled and apparently targeted on the basis of the colour of the pigmentation of their skin.
Dark Skinned 
Reports are that these black visitors  were recorded as being referred to as “dark skinned.”  That in itself taken in isolation was nothing . It is the context in which the reference was made makes the reference unacceptable. This is demeaning, disgraceful, despicable if not distasteful  . . . to say the least.
SNC Lavalin
If the racism allegations on the Hill was not bad enough PM Trudeau has an even most potentially explosive issue on his hand which seems to be spiralling out of control. It involves SNC Lavalin of Quebec’.
The Trudeau led Liberals find themselves embroiled in yet another scandal. This time in what appears to be tampering unlawfully or unlawfully trying to subvert the course of justice by trying to prevent the Quebec’ conglomerate SNC Lavalin from facing the full brunt of the law for alleged bribery.  So far former Attorney General, a first Nation lawyer and MP  Jody Wilson-Raybould was shuffled out of Trudeau’s Cabinet and dumped in the Veterans’ Affairs Ministry … seen as a demotion.  Ms. Jody Wilson-Raybould has since resigned and has been conspicuously been silent.  She has promised to break her silence but has retained the services of a retired High Court judge to advise her “what she can say or what she cannot say.  It has been felt that she is bound by confidential strictures of silence not to speak? It is widely believed that Jody “Is bound by client lawyer privilege”? As attorney General she was legal advisor to PM Trudeau and the Government of Canada.  They were both her clients. Yes … she was … but is this just being used as a smoke screen?  Is this the reality or partially a contrived excuse? Allegations carried in the Globe and Mail, are that unknown persons in the PMO’s office pressured Jody not to presecute, or to suppress criminal prosecution of SNC Lavalin for alleged bribery.
Trudeau’s Principal Secretary Gerald Butts suddenly resigned from Trudeau’s inner circle … described as Trudeau’s right brain.  Butts read the eulogy at  daddy Pierre Trudeau’s funeral.  Justin and Gerald were at University together.  He has been described as the brain behind the Liberal’s winning political strategy.  Butts feels the allegations of alleged unethical conduct regarding SNC has hurt his reputation.  He gave no reason for his shock resignation.
There has been calls for a public enquiry.
Opposition Conservative Leader Andrew Sheer has been hammering the Liberals as if they smell blood especially on the SNC Lavalin debacle. PM Trudeau has denied wrongdoing in this matter.
PM Trudeau seems too busy to meet with dark skinned rejects even as they have unsuccessfully been trying to meet to talk about their rejection if not eviction from the Hill. What a shame!
Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is Senior International Correspondent & photojournalist for Vision Newspaper Canada.

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