Vancouver commits to work with 39 other Canadian municipalities united to fight racism and discrimination.
Vancouver (5 October 2010) – The City of Vancouver is joining a network of Canadian municipalities committed to taking action to combat racism and discrimination.
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson signed a declaration and announced the City’s decision to become a member of the Coalition of Canadian Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination (CMARD) and to work with 39 other Canadian municipalities united to fight racism and discrimination.
Coalition signatories also undertake to share best practices in developing policies and programs related to issues such as housing, employment, and non-violence.
“We are fortunate to live in a city as richly diverse and cosmopolitan as Vancouver,” said Mayor Robertson. “Over the years, the City has implemented a number of anti-discrimination, diversity and inclusion initiatives to welcome people from all over the world. Our ability to recognize and celebrate our differences is part of what defines Vancouver, and makes us a model for cultural acceptance.”
By signing the declaration, the City of Vancouver commits to developing and implementing an action plan to be approved by City council, collaborating with diverse communities and other key stakeholders, and sharing best practices with other signatory municipalities.
Lorene Oikawa, Vice-President of the B. C. Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) was present at the signing of the declaration with a number of community leaders and human rights activists. Oikawa says, “It is great to see Vancouver city council commit to an action plan to fight against racism and discrimination. The key piece will be the collaboration with diverse communities.”
The initiative is supported by the Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, various provincial associations of municipalities, and the National Association of Friendship Centres. CMARD encourages partnerships with and inclusion of various local partners and interested stakeholders, including educators, police, Aboriginal populations, representatives from various ethnocultural communities, and youth.
The Canadian Coalition of Municipalities against Racism and Discrimination is part of the International Coalition of Cities against Racism, launched in March 2004 by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) in response to recommendations adopted at the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (Durban, 2001).
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE