Racialized groups

Ethnic groups that are the victims of discrimination supposedly warranted by biological traits. Related notion: racial profiling.

Racial profiling

Defined as any action taken by persons in authority in respect of a person or group of persons for reasons of safety, security or public protection. It is based on factors such as colour, national or ethnic origin or religion, without real reason or without reasonable suspicion, which expose the individual to examination or differential treatment.

Profiling is based on various stereotypes, for example, that people of a particular group are more likely to be delinquent or criminal, or that they are all poor, which makes them appear suspect when driving a luxury car. Specifically, racial profiling results in heightened supervision and more frequent checks of persons belonging to visible minorities. These young people, who sometimes live in disadvantaged neighbourhoods, are greatly affected, because these repetitive checks and supervision produce an effect of harassment.


A community considered as a lineage, with a set of characteristics perpetuated over generations. For scientists, human races do not exist, despite obvious physical diversity among humans. The fact is that in humans, race would be defined as a group of individuals with a significant portion of genes in common and who, on the basis of these genes, could be distinguished from other races. For a new race of humans to be created, it would be necessary to isolate a group of people on a desert island for thousands of years and wait for a significant mutation to occur.

When the term "race" is misused, it usually refers to skin colour, ethnic origin or religion.


The belief that certain people are superior or inferior to others due to belonging to a particular “race.” Literally the term designates all forms of discrimination due to ethnic origin or skin colour, or the rejection of anything considered “foreign.”

Reasonable Accommodation

Reasonable accommodation has to do with freedoms of conscience and religion in a secular society. Reasonable accommodation is in fact an obligation stemming from the Canadian and Quebec charters of human rights.

Accommodation (to accommodate) is a duty which, under law, is the responsibility of managers of institutions and public and private organizations; it aims at ensuring that discrimination is avoided through implementing measures to relax or harmonize the application of certain laws and regulations.

By virtue of this obligation, the institution must take, unless doing so would cause excessive constraints to its operations—with respect to the adjustments that would remedy the difficulties that institutional requirements pose to freedom of religion—reasonable steps to agree with the person to whom it offers services.

This adaptation and these exceptions to the general rule seek to meet the specific needs of certain individuals or groups in respect of their right to equality.

Reasonable accommodation applies especially in the workplace but also at school and in leisure activities through the respect of dietary laws, religious symbols, etc.

Representative (or parliamentary) democracy

A political regime in which the people are represented by individuals elected to exercise power. Canada is a parliamentary democracy.