F.-P. Champagne, head of Canadian diplomacy: “Canada also has systemic racism”

In an interview with France 24 and RFI from Quebec, François-Philippe Champagne, Secretary of State for Canada, returns to the world shock wave of the George Floyd affair in the US and condemns “systemic” racism, which continues in Canada. He also talks about his country’s tensions with China and asks to strengthen multilateralism, at half mast since the health crisis.

In an interview with France 24 and RFI, Canadian Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne explains that his country was “frightened” by the images of the murder of George Floyd in the United States. He welcomes the fact that this has caused global power.

“Canadians were horrified to see the images of George Floyd on the ground with this police lap. I think these images have galvanized the world,” said François-Philippe Champagne of France 24 et RFI. “There is systemic racism even in Canada (…), a multicultural, very inclusive country, where diversity is one of Canada’s great riches. We realize that there is still systemic racism here. And I think the big message is that we not only must deceive racism but also act. “

According to him, the prime minister Justin Trudeau is convinced of the need not only to condemn racism but also to act. The latter, had participated in a demonstration in Ottawa on Friday, June 5 and put a knee on the ground for the 8 minutes 46 seconds that lasted by George Floyd.

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Regarding tensions with China, following the arrest in Canada by a Huawei company leader demanded by the US, François-Philippe Champagne confirms that the extradition proceeding continues and respects the separation of powers. He also denies the “arbitrary” treatment that has been granted to two Canadian nationals detained in China for more than 500 days, in violation of the rule of law, and urges “not to draw a parallel between the two cases”.

“Reinventing multilateralism”

Regarding the decision to grant a 5G license to Huawei, the Canadian diplomat said that the government is actively working on it and that the first criterion must be security. He says he hopes for a “quick and thought provoking” decision.

While the coronavirus pandemic has all countries gradually turned to themselves, he believes that we must “reinvent multilateralism, which is part of Canada’s DNA”, so that it responds in particular to young people’s ambitions.

Finally, François-Philippe Champagne explains that his country, which is a candidate for a post of non-permanent member of the UN Security Council this month, has many benefits for starting multilateralism by being particularly concerned about the consequences of health and economic crisis in the poorest countries, especially in Africa.