Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has vowed to do more to end anti-black racism in Canada after days of massive street protests in US and Canadian cities against police brutality.
Trudeau admitted racism is not a uniquely American problem and more must be done in Canada to address systemic inequalities that have long plagued black and Indigenous communities.
"We need to be better in Canada. Even though we've made strides forward in the fight against racism and discrimination, racism still exists in Canada," he said. "To young black Canadians, I hear you when you say you are anxious and angry."
He said his government has funded black community groups, supported anti-racism programming and bolstered the collection of racial data at Statistics Canada to fight against discrimination, but he promised to do more.
Protests have erupted in major North American cities in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.
Floyd, 46, died last Monday after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes. His death was caught on video and swiftly went viral around the world.
All four responding officers were fired. The officer who pinned Floyd to the ground, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh called the video of George Floyd's death "chilling" and "painful" and called on Canadians to channel the anger they feel over his death into action against injustice here in Canada.
Singh said Canadian police need more "de-escalation" training so routine police stops don't turn deadly for racialized Canadians.
Singh started his political career in provincial politics and led a fight against the police policy of random street stops of minorities, known as 'carding'.
"We need to tackle the injustice in the criminal justice system — the over-policing of black bodies and black lives," he said.