MONTREAL – The coroner who investigated the death of Joyce Echaquan says the Quebec government should recognize the existence of systemic racism and make a commitment to rooting it out of institutions.
Coroner Gehane Kamel’s report into the death of Echaquan, released today, finds that while the death was accidental, the racism and prejudice the Atikamekw woman was subjected to contributed to her death.
The report makes several recommendations to various bodies, but the first one is for the government to acknowledge systemic racism, something Quebec Premier Francois Legault’s government has repeatedly refused to do.
Echaquan, a 37-year-old mother of seven, filmed herself on Facebook Live as a nurse and an orderly were heard making derogatory comments toward her shortly before her death last September at a hospital northeast of Montreal.
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The video of her treatment went viral and drew outrage and condemnation across the province and the country.
Tuesday was the one-year anniversary of Echaquan’s death.