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Montreal to overhaul complaint process amid racism allegations from workers


The City of Montreal says it's overhauling its complaint process to make it easier for those experiencing racism and discrimination at work.

It also plans to create a committee to accompany victims through the process.

"We believe them, we have heard them, we have seen them. And we think that they deserve justice and that's what we're going to do, the fastest that we can," said Montreal executive committee chairperson Dominique Ollivier on Tuesday.

The city says the fastest it can be done is this summer.

That's a problem for those suffering right now, says union representative Gino Clyford Luberisse.

"What are you telling the people who have to go back to work, who have to be in the same environment with the same employees that work there but didn't say nothing? What do you tell them?" he said.

Earlier in March, Le Devoir reported 30 city workers, including firefighters and police officers, said they experienced racism on the job.

For weeks following the report, the opposition has demanded an independent investigation into the issue, and Tuesday was no exception.

"What we read in Le Devoir is just the tip of the iceberg. You know why? Because a lot of people decide to not put a complaint because they don't trust the process," said Abdelhaq Sari, the opposition's critic for the fight against racism.

The city maintains action is needed, not another investigation.

"Give us a chance to implement that plan before throwing it out," said Ollivier.

The Center for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR) is optimistic about the city's plans.

"It's about how to be a good employer and how to set an example being a public administration with tax payers dollars," said Fo Niemi, CRARR's executive director, who has helped employees file a complaint.

"The city has to make sure it lives up to its commitment and responsibility to be an inclusive and equitable administration," he said. Top Stories

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