Montreal North mayoral candidates need to address 'anti-black racism,' activists say

A newly formed activist group is calling on mayoral candidates in Montreal North to address what they call "systemic anti-black racism" in the borough and in Quebec.

New activist group, Montreal Noir, formed following police shooting of Bony Jean-Pierre

Will Prosper, a member of the activist group Montreal Noir, speaks to reporters Wednesday. (Charles Contant/CBC)

A newly formed activist group is calling on mayoral candidates in Montreal North to address what it calls "systemic anti-black racism in Quebec."

Members of Montreal Noir say they came together following the death of Bony Jean-Pierre, a 46-year-old black man who was shot by police with a rubber bullet during a drug raid in the borough last month.

Activists say the shooting shows little has improved in relations with police. A march organized in his memory and to honour Fredy Villanueva, an 18-year-old shot by police in 2008, ended in violence.

Montreal Noir wants mayoral candidates to propose solutions to what it sees as the major issues facing the borough, including racial profiling by police and a high poverty rate.

The activist group Montreal Noir was formed following a police shooting during a March 31 drug raid in Montreal North that led to the death of Jean-Pierre Bony. (Charles Contant/CBC)
"We think it's an important time to take a stand on these issues," Robyn Maynard, a spokeswoman for the group, said Wednesday.

"So far we have not seen enough attention about this during the campaign."

The borough, located along the Rivière des Prairies in the northeastern part of the island, is one of the city's most ethnically diverse.

It also has one of the highest reported crime rates on the island, according to statistics provided by Montreal police. 

Nearly 30 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line, according to a recent report by Centraide.

Four candidates are in the running to become the next mayor of Montreal North, including:

  • Christine Black, Équipe Denis Coderre pour Montréal 
  • Kerlande Mibel, Projet Montréal 
  • Jacques Massicotte, Independent
  • Rached Teffaha, Independent

The position became available when Gilles DeGuire stepped down in January after being charged with sexual assault against a minor.

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