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Canada Probes Racism Claim Against Its Indigenous Citizens

Agency Report  
Updated June 20, 2020
 In this file photo Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference on January 9, 2020 in Ottawa, Canada. Dave Chan / AFP
In this file photo, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference on January 9, 2020, in Ottawa, Canada. Dave Chan / AFP

 

Canadian authorities are probing claims that doctors and nurses placed bets on the blood alcohol level of indigenous patients who sought emergency treatment at a British Columbia hospital.

Hospital staff would try to guess the blood alcohol level of patients they thought were indigenous, said rights group Metis Nation BC.

The game was called “Price is Right”, a reference to a game show where contestants guess the price of merchandise.

“If true, it is intolerable, unacceptable and racist,” said provincial health minister Adrian Dix on Friday, adding that an investigation had been launched.

A 2019 report said racism against indigenous people was widespread in the province’s health system, Metis Nation BC president Daniel Fontaine told public broadcaster CBC.

“First Nations, Metis and Inuit patients seeking emergency medical services in British Columbia are often assumed to be intoxicated and denied medical assessments,” the group said in a statement.

This contributes “to worsening health conditions resulting in unnecessary harm or death,” it added.