Calgary Just Passed A Groundbreaking Anti-Racism Motion Thanks To Petitions & Protests
Council will be required to take anti-racism training.
Calgary is making moves to target racism in the city. As of Monday, June 15, an anti-racism motion in Calgary has passed. City council unanimously voted on the motion that will now take several steps towards addressing systemic racism. Included in the steps will be mandatory anti-racism training for all council members.
A petition posted on Change.org asked that the hold a public consultation on systemic racism.
Under the petition's description, it states that the city has yet to address the discrimination that over 30% of its population faces.
The petition's goal was to get the city to host a public consultation for all Calgarians in order to develop “concrete solutions to improve economic, social, cultural, and political conditions of Calgary residents."
Two weeks ago the petition was started and it has now reached 72,559 supporters. Originally the goal was to have at least 20,000 signatures.
Following the petition, countless, and a massive outcry online, the city as now passed a motion to take several steps in addressing systemic racism.
According to CTV News, this motion was voted upon on Monday, June 15, and was approved by all 14 council members and Mayor Naheed Nenshi.
The motion, which was posted online, references the Black Lives Matter movement and how protests have demonstrated a clear reason to “achieve structural adjustments to existing inequalities” in Calgary.
Included in the motion are many actions such as the requirement for council members and senior administration to taketraining. This training will be done at least every four years.
Calgary police will also be required to report to council to provide an update on its anti-racism work.
A public consultation on systemic racism, much like the one the petition called for, will be held by the council and an expert panel will be in attendance
The motion does not give any information as to when this public discussion would be.
The motion also calls for the development of an anti-racism action committee.
The already developed community-based public safety task force will now be asked to consider issues of systemic racism in its work.
The last of the six actions includes the city reevaluating its internal practices through an inclusion and diversion framework.
In the motion, it's acknowledged that despite the city having a wide range of policies and programs, structural inequalities are still happening to further marginalize many residents.
It mentions that this is particularly true for Black, Indigenous, and people of colour “who find themselves unable to live lives of full potential and dignity.”
Noting that people around the world are demanding more accountability from policing organizations and public safety programs, the council believes that Calgarians would benefit from a more transparent discussion about the efforts put in place.