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As U.S. boils over, Trudeau says systemic racism in Canada must be addressed

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a news conference at Rideau cottage in Ottawa, on Friday, March 13, 2020. Trudeau got thanks from Canada's premiers Friday for $11-billion in federal funding to confront the health and economic impact of the rapidly spreading novel coronavirus — but heard that much more will be needed to weather the crisis. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

OTTAWA — As long-standing anger about discrimination boils over in the United States, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canadians must recognize there is systemic racism in their own country.

Speaking during his daily news conference in Ottawa, Trudeau says many don’t see this bias but it is a reality for visible minorities in Canada.

Trudeau was asked about the protests in the U.S. and President Donald Trump’s talk of deploying the military to stop unrest.

He paused a full 20 seconds, lips pursed, jaw working, before saying that despite watching the United States with “horror and consternation,” Canadians must be aware of the challenges facing black Canadians and other minorities and take steps to address them.

The comments follow days of protests and violence in many U.S. cities after a video showed police in Minneapolis killing a black man, George Floyd, fanning the flames of fury over racism in the States.

A police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes while he pleaded that he couldn’t breathe.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 2, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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