Founded in 1983 - United for Diversity and Racial Equality


Montreal, March 29, 2011 --- In a letter addressed to the Montreal Public Security Commission, CRARR has called on the Commission to hold additional meetings in areas that are more accessible to anglophones and minorities.

The Public Security Commission announced last week that it would hold two public consultation sessions on April 7, 2011 and May 4, 2011 to listen to Montrealers on police service quality and police-citizen relations. The consultations are part of the Commission's “constant will” to see to the maintenance of positive relations between the Montreal Police Service and residents of Montreal.

The first will be held in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve sector of town, and the second, in Verdun. Neither borough or area is known for its racial and ethnocultural diversity, or linguistic duality, and both locations are far from diverse neighborhoods with a long history of tensions between residents of color and the police.

In its letter, CRARR expresses its concern and objection regarding the choice of venues as the locations will geographically and socially deter an important number of residents and community organizations, particularly those from racialized and immigrant backgrounds and those who are English-speaking, from participating in this process.

“In light of evident tensions in police race relations in the last five years, we would expect that greater care and sensitivity be given to the present exercise if its ultimate goal is to seek citizen input and participation. Boroughs and neighborhoods such as Côte des Neiges, NDG, Ville Saint-Laurent and Little Burgundy on the West side, and St-Michel, Park-Extension-Villeray, Montreal North and Rivière-des-Prairies on the East side, are areas where significant police-community tensions have taken place,” wrote CRARR Executive Director Fo Niemi to Commission Chairman Claude Trudel.

The additional concern is that the process may be seen as superficial, restrained and exclusionary, either skewed or more of a public relations nature, and being designed to “duck” the real issues, if the consultations are not accessible to key communities.

CRARR recommends that the Commission adds two more consultations -- one in the Côte des Neiges-NDG borough, and another, in the East-end sector (Villeray-St-Michel-Parc-Extension, for instance), “so as to provide to a greater number of residents of Montreal, fair and meaningful access, geographically or otherwise.”

For information on the consultations:

AVISPUBLIC_20110324.PDF27.19 KB
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