Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility

In 2018, one of my campaign promises was to work on getting Niagara Region to join the Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities. I accomplished that and advocated for the work to be properly resourced with a staff person and an advisory committee, rather than just being a feel-good publicity stunt.

The motion (passed unanimously) for Niagara Region to join the Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities and begin the work on making Niagara more diverse, equitable, and inclusive

In September of 2020, Niagara Region, joined by all 12 local area municipalities, signed a declaration to join and support the ten commitments of the Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities.

Late in 2021, Niagara Region, through its first-ever Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee, began working on Niagara Region’s first-ever Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan.

Although the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan was unanimously approved at the September 14, 2022 Corporate Services Committee meeting and nearly unanimously* approved at the September 22, 2022 Council meeting, this work has only just begun, with the work to develop an Anti-Racism Advisory Committee and a 2SLGBTQQIA+ advisory committee still to be done.

What must not be forgotten is that, whilst there is an Accessibility Advisory Committee that I have chaired for the duration of the 2018 term, it is imperative that all work around diversity, equity, and inclusion also considers all facets of accessibility.

*Councillor Bylsma voted against the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan; Councillor Britton (who had not previously voted on the Action Plan) neglected to vote at Council.

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