“Senator, as you might imagine, given that I have two black children, that was very, very personal for my family,” Barrett told Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who had asked whether she had seen the video. The judge explained that while her husband had taken her sons on a camping trip that weekend, she and Vivian “wept together in my room” as outrage over Floyd’s death mushroomed and consumed the country.

Barrett noted that Floyd’s death and the ensuing unrest were also difficult for her 10-year-old daughter, Juliette, who is white.

“I had to try to explain some of this to them,” she told the committee. “I mean my children — to this point in their lives — have had the benefit of growing up in a cocoon where they have not yet experienced hatred or violence. And for Vivian to understand that there would be a risk to her brother or the son she might have one day of that kind of brutality has been an ongoing conversation.”

Floyd, who is Black and was unarmed, was killed when a police officer leaned with his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes while Floyd lay handcuffed in the street.

Barrett added that the resulting conversation has been “a difficult one for us like it is for Americans all over the country.”

Durbin followed up by asking whether Barrett believed systemic racism exists in the United States, a point that activists have sought to hammer home but which some, including President Donald Trump, reject.

“I think it is an entirely uncontroversial and obvious statement, given as we have just talked about the George Floyd video, that racism persists in our country,” Barrett replied, but added that addressing the issue was a matter of policy.

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For more than five years, Frank Hunt’s moving company has been a pillar of his community in Barrie, Ont., but he says his award-winning business is now on its knees — and he blames his insurance company. 

“They’re killing us. They’re literally shutting down the business,” he told CBC News. He says onerous demands from his insurer have led to a loss of about 75 per cent of his revenue.

Hunt, 73, says his company pays about $10,000 for commercial vehicle insurance each year. He says there have been no claims or accidents. “Not even a broken windshield,” he said.

His problems began in May, when his insurer suddenly demanded his drivers upgrade their licences to beyond what Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation requires. He and his drivers are legally allowed to drive the company’s five-ton moving trucks with a basic G licence.

“This year, the insurance company comes up with, ‘Oh, you’ve got to have a different licence, a D licence, or you can’t drive.’ I only have a G licence, so I can’t even drive my own vehicles anymore,” Hunt told CBC News.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada says if small business owners want to know why their policy requirements are getting tighter and their premiums are getting higher, they should look no further than COVID-19. The bureau says insurers “have been confronted with increased costs” due to the pandemic.

But that’s little consolation to Hunt and his wife Karina Shaak, 65. They tried to switch insurance companies. They were told they couldn’t, unless they agreed to pay much higher premiums — as much as $25,000, more than double what they previously paid.

So the couple hired new drivers with D licences, or higher. Their insurer refused to cover them, though, claiming the new hires didn’t have three years