LISTEN: Former Projet Montreal candidate wants laws to end lack of diversity at City Hall
Is there systemic racism at Montreal City Hall? A former Projet Montreal candidate believes so and is spear heading the legal battle to stop it.
Balarama Holness joined the Natasha Hall show Monday and said the lack of elected officials from ethno cultural communities does not represent the population.
"I think something needs to be done so homogeneity at City Hall, I don't think it should occur again and I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure it doesn't" Holness said.
Out of 103 people elected in Montreal on November 5, only seven are visible minorities.
The former candidate for borough mayor of Montreal North has launched a petition to force the city to hold public consultations on systemic racism. Holness then hopes to take the issue to Quebec Superior Court.
"The prejudice based policies and discriminatory practices are imbedded in the cement of these institutions and to change it we need laws" he said.
Holness is taking the city to task for the underrepresentation of cultural minorities and not just on city council, but for its lack of diversity in its municipal employee hiring as well.
The former Montreal Alouette accused Projet Montreal of not doing enough for its visible minority candidates, saying they were put in races they were never going to win and then ignored when they lost.
"You cannot use members of the cultural community as a mise en scène as a marketing tool during the election and then after the election you have a homogeneous city hall and you're there for four years and you're response will be 'We'll do our best.' I don't want your best, I want laws" Holness said.
He wants measures implemented that would require a minimum number of visible minority candidates in elections to reflect the diverse population of Montreal.
A former Projet Montreal candidate feels used by the party
Balarama Holness, multidisciplinary educator & research professional and former Projet Montreal candidate