July 29, 2020; Liverpool, NS: Region of Queens Municipality took a big step forward yesterday adopting a Municipal Government for All Vision Framework that sets the stage for the creation of a community-led Diversity and Inclusion Action Team and the hiring of a Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator. While the Framework was not unanimously approved, Mayor David Dagley is pleased with its adoption by a clear majority of Council, “Today, we recognize that as a local government closest to the people, that we need to do better to serve all of our residents fairly. This document begins that process by accepting responsibility for our faults and committing to correcting them going forward. Without a recognition of a problem, we cannot bring forward solutions.”
The Framework has been in development since last fall and outlines changes that are required at the municipal level with programs, services, and infrastructure. It also recognizes that those marginalized in our community by racism and discrimination need to be part of the team that provides advice to Council and the community on ways to be more diverse and inclusive.
“Queens County is known as a welcoming community, but Council acknowledges that we still have room to improve to ensure that all in our communities are treated equitably, as we work towards eliminating systemic racism and discrimination,” said David Dagley, Mayor of Region of Queens Municipality. “Queens is not immune to discrimination, and it is our vision to move forward, working with our residents, Council and staff to change the way we think about daily interactions, policies and procedures, and strive to remove barriers and create positive connections for all.”
The Framework will begin to be implemented immediately with advertising for interested members of the community to become involved with the Diversity and Inclusion Action Team, consisting of local residents, once its Terms of Reference are approved. The Action Team will engage with the community to identify needs and supports to ensure inclusion and equality for all, regardless of race, religion, gender identity, gender expression, ability, and those feeling unheard, with a feeling of individual and community belonging, as well as a sense of pride, person and dignity.
“Queens County is known for thinking proactively, and being an open-minded, resilient community. We are pleased to move forward as an inclusive community accepting of all, and know our residents will be supportive of today’s positive changes,” said Dagley.
A motion earlier in the meeting to refer the matter to the new Council after the October 2020 election was later withdrawn.