Inclusion & Equity
Inclusion in Municipal Processes
Guelph has existing volunteer, appointed equity committees that they need to consult on projects and developments by provincial law. However they are not required to incorporate the feedback. Valuing the expert advice and lived experience of these groups is step one to a more inclusive city. One way to elevate their voices would be to give equity groups a chance to submit their own reports to council on topics similar to the heritage reports, rather than it being distilled through the staff report. A lot gets lost in a game of telephone, and we can’t expect people who already volunteer their time to constantly delegate when their needs aren’t being met. This would also lessen the burden on staff. As a member of the Accessibility Advisory Committee, I have witnessed these communication snafu’s first hand.
Councillors should sit in on equity groups meeting at least once. I would be available to do that and let members know they can contact me directly with any questions or their concerns. You don’t just represent your ward as a city councillor, you represent Guelph.
I would also encourage the city to collaborate with non-profit groups like Guelph Pride, The Black Heritage Society, Anishnabeg Outreach, and others to see what the city can do to support their work. You can’t create a plan for a group you are not a part of. You have to design it with them leading the conversation and valuing their input. We are a team and it’s important we all have a say. The community members being impacted by the experiences and consequences of the issue being discussed needs to have a seat at the head of the table when decisions are being made.
My Clean Campaign Statement
I have always appreciated that we have a code of conduct for council. When elected I will motion for an official provision in Guelph’s municipal elections that calls for a similar code of conduct for candidates.
All people deserve to feel safe in their communities and should feel comfortable talking to their elected officials. Respect for Human Rights must be upheld by all levels of government.
My beliefs are that:
Bullying, misinformation, intimidation and doxing (giving out personal private information about a candidate such as their address) are not tolerable.
Racism, sexism/misogyny, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, ageism, religious discrimination, body shaming and bigotry against economic disparity are abhorrent. They should be called out, and never used.
I pledge for a #CleanCampaign.