Trudeau shouldn't take a knee, but 'take a stand' against racism, NDP leader says
VANCOUVER -- NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says he hopes to see more action to combat racism from Canada's prime minister.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau knelt with protesters at an anti-racism rally in Ottawa.
But Singh said the action "doesn't make sense."
"Who is he protesting? He is the one who calls the shots. He doesn't have to take a knee, he should take a stand, actually," Singh said on CTV Morning Live Wednesday.
Singh called on Trudeau to implement policy changes including police reform, putting an end to racial profiling and setting aside more funding for health-care workers to respond to mental health crises.
"Let's make some real concrete policy changes," Singh said, adding that white privilege also needs to be acknowledged inside government and across Canadian society.
"The more we acknowledge that it's real, we can actually work towards addressing the problems that result, which is people, based on the colour of their skin, are denied opportunities."
CERB extension doesn't go far enough: Singh
Singh also had critical words for the federal government's extension of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which he says came "at the eleventh hour" and called it "the bare minimum."
The eight-week extension on the benefit was announced in Ottawa on Tuesday.
Singh says the NDP certainly wanted the extension, but said a plan is also needed before it expires.
"Come the end of August, when this extension ends, it can't just be that we scramble at the last minute, the government needs a plan in place," Singh said.
Some businesses have struggled to hire back employees who are on CERB, because they say they're making about the same as they would on their regular wage.
Singh says it's a "serious problem" if $2,000 each month is on par or more than what an employee regularly makes.
"If that's more than what they're earning at work, that means that they're living in poverty," he said. "It's not enough to be able to build a life."
Singh said he believes people will be eager to return to work if they have paid sick leave and childcare available to them.