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Bradford West Gwillimbury

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PRESS RELEASE​

Town-commissioned report provides clear solutions to support equity and inclusiveness in Town of BWG facilities and programs

Council received report on May 4 and endorsed the implementation of 27 recommendations

Bradford West Gwillimbury, ON (May 5, 2021) – A report commissioned by the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury provides 27 specific recommendations to guide the Town and the BWG Leisure Centre in its efforts to create more equitable policies and to better support staff to create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for racialized youth.

The Town contracted Turner Consulting Group in December of 2019 to undertake a comprehensive study and provide recommendations for how to eliminate barriers to a welcoming and inclusive environment for racialized youth, particularly at the Leisure Centre, and to support consistent practice in response to problem behaviours. The study was prompted by a ruling by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal that said the Town’s response to a physical altercation among racialized youth at the Leisure Centre in 2017 was influenced by unconscious racial bias.

“I would like to thank Tana Turner and her team for providing us with this very clear set of recommendations,” said CAO Geoff McKnight. “Our staff are fully committed to embracing the changes that will be realized through these critical initiatives, and to engaging with racialized youth on an ongoing basis to ensure that programs and services are offered that meet their needs.”

Following last summer’s demonstrations after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Mayor Rob Keffer engaged with the local Black community to discuss how Council can take a leadership role in the effort to end discrimination and racism. One of the results was a 21-step BWG Diversity & Inclusiveness Action Plan.

“It is very good to see that there is a lot of overlap between the recommendations of this report and those of the Action Plan devised by the Mayor’s Anti-Racism Advisory Group,” said Mayor Keffer. “It assures us that we have already started to take the necessary actions, and that we are moving in the right direction to address the primary concerns of Black and racialized people in our community.”

Next steps include the creation of a roadmap for implementing both the BWG Diversity & Inclusiveness Action Plan and the recommendations of the Turner report, including identifying expected outcomes, timeframes and necessary resources. Staff will provide council with regular status reports, and these check-ins will include an opportunity to add new initiatives, reflect on priorities and adjust schedules.

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The complete report, including staff report to Council, is available here.​