More Amazing for Chestermere
City Council adopts new policies and proclamations to celebrate Diversity and inclusion
June 20, 2019
Chestermere, AB – There is a quote from Verna Myers that says “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.” In that spirit, Chestermere’s City Council made strides to ‘host the party’ this week by adopting some new inclusivity legislation and proclamations for the lakeside community.
“One of Council’s pathways to amazing is to foster social and cultural inclusion and diversity,” says Marshall Chalmers, Mayor of Chestermere. “I am proud to say that this week, we now have legislation to formally guide our actions, programs, community festivals and events.”
The components passed by Council this week include:
A Diversity & Inclusion Policy
The Diversity and Inclusion Policy will serve as a tool to help the City remove barriers and encourage active, equitable and full participation for the community as a whole.
“This policy is the start of several new initiatives to support diversity in Chestermere,” says Joanne Kinya Mugambi, Diversity and Inclusion Strategist for the City. “We hope to form a Welcoming and Inclusive Communities Committee and have the City join the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination (CCMARD).”
In May, City Council held a meeting at Our Lady of Wisdom Elementary School. At that meeting, they looked at the first draft of a bylaw that would provide additional measures to help address bullying in the community.
Currently, there is a gap in how to respond to complaints of bullying – schools offer education and the RCMP can lay criminal charges but there is little in between. The new bylaw equips Peace Officers with a variety of response options.
“The bylaw provides us with the ability to address bullying in a variety of ways including requiring a letter of apology, mandating anti-bullying training or imposing fines,” says Peace Officer Sergeant Trever Bowman. “These provisions will offer the offender an opportunity to learn about the impact their behavior has on others.”
Pride Week Proclamation
Earlier this week, Council proclaimed June 24 to 30 as Pride Week for the City of Chestermere.
Community events on June 28 include crosswalk painting at City Hall, an educational presentation by gender and sexuality expert James Demers as well as a film screening at the Centre for Community Leadership. On June 30, Pride in the Park will be held at the John Peake Park Gazebo and will feature food, music, and a family friendly drag show. For Pride Week event details, visit chestermere.ca/diversity.
Indigenous Awareness Week Proclamation
In the spirit of reconciliation, City Council raised the Treaty 7 flag last year and begins every meeting with a traditional lands acknowledgement. On Tuesday, they declared June 17-21 as Indigenous Awareness Week in Chestermere.
The City intends to increase awareness of its Indigenous history and will continue participating in acts of reconciliation in accordance with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action for municipalities.
“We hope to be able to set an example in Chestermere to build upon and strengthen our community relationships with diverse social and cultural groups,” adds Mayor Chalmers.
To view the presentations and proclamations, visit chestermere.ca/Agendas and select June 18 under past meetings.