Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, reaffirmed his commitment to address anti-Black racism an injustice. He spoke out on Tuesday May 25, on the anniversary of the death of George Floyd.

Speaking to reporters during a press conference, he said, “Mr. Floyd’s death was a tragedy”. 

“And it was a reminder that there are still too many people living with anti-Black racism and injustice, including here in Canada.”

“Our government is working with Black communities across the country to make sure nobody is left behind,” Trudeau said.

“We will continue to take real action to fight systemic racism and create more opportunities for Black Canadians, and for everyone.”

George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota one year ago. Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly 9 ½ minutes. Almost a year later, Chauvin was convicted of murder, while three other officers are awaiting their trials.

George Floyd

The weeks following Floyd’s murder shone a spotlight on systemic discrimination in Canada’s law enforcement institutions. It prompted many protesters and experts alike to call on the government to defund the police.

Where does ‘defund the police’ stand in Canada?

Julius Haag, a sociology professor at the University of Toronto, says that no Canadian cities have successfully defunded their police force to date. However, he says there continues to be some momentum to potentially do so in certain regions.

BLM protest

Supporters say defunding the police isn’t about eliminating police departments or gutting police budgets. It is about addressing systemic problems in policing and redistributing some of their funding to other areas of communities.

The idea of defunding the police is not a new one, but Floyd’s death gave it a focus and audience it had yet to see.

Since the tragic murder of George Floyd, systemic racism has been pointed out. The incident caused some major changes in society, but there’s still a long way to go.