Provinces need to address racism in the health-care system: Trudeau


OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says provinces must do more to address racism in the health-care system, saying reconciliation with Indigenous people is not up to the federal government alone.

The issue of anti-Indigenous racism in health care gained new attention from outrage over the treatment of Joyce Echaquan, who used her phone to livestream hospital staff using racist slurs against her as she lay dying in a Quebec hospital last month.

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said Thursday the federal government is ready to use its financial leverage over the health system to fight anti-Indigenous racism there.

Trudeau says he is confident there will be significant improvements in how the health-care system treats First Nations, Métis and Inuit.

He says he does not want to leap to any conclusions about what Ottawa might do if that is not the case.

Miller and Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett are meeting hundreds of Indigenous leaders, health-care professionals and government officials today to discuss the issue.