Man who called his co-worker “nigger” gets promoted

“The city of Montreal unequivocally rejects all forms of racism and discrimination,” states a recent consultation document for hearings on systemic racism.

Bienné Blémur

But to Bienné Blémur, those words sound like empty talk.

For three years, the 63-year-old stage technician has been fighting for justice, after he was publicly called a “f***ing n*****” and reassigned without explanation while working at Parc Jean-Drapeau.

Blémur says the Société du Parc Jean-Drapeau, a paramunicipal agency, has not implemented a mediation agreement confirming that he was the victim of a racist slur and discriminatory treatment and promising a discrimination-free workplace. Instead, he says, the SPJD promoted the person who made the comment as his supervisor. As a result, he says, he was forced to go on stress leave and has been using up his savings since his employment insurance ran out last December.

He’s still waiting for an answer from Mayor Valérie Plante, after the Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations wrote to her on his behalf in March.

Opposition leader asks Mayor Valérie Plante to show leadership in case of Parc Jean Drapeau worker who was the victim of a racist slur.

The municipal opposition is calling on Mayor Valérie Plante and Jean-Drapeau Park to reinstate an employee who was the victim of racism in the workplace and ensure him a discrimination-free environment.

“The Société du Parc Jean Drapeau is simply burying its head in the sand and is not living up to its legal obligations, and it’s not an example to follow as to how to deal with discrimination issues,” Ensemble Montréal leader Lionel Perez said last Monday. He called on Plante to show leadership on the issue.

Perez was responding on Monday about chief theatre rigger Bienné Blémur, who was publicly called a “f—ing n—er” and reassigned to menial work without explanation in 2016, after working at music festivals there for 15 years. As a result, Blémur was forced to go on stress leave and now has no income.

Blémur says the SPJD, a paramunicipal agency, failed to implement parts of a mediation agreement confirming that he was the victim of racism and discrimination. Instead, he says, it promoted the person who made the racist slur as his supervisor.

“This should have been resolved from the outset and I fear that it is an example of systemic racism,” Perez said.