Coun. Rawlson King calls for anti-racism office at city hall

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Author of the article:

Bruce Deachman

Publishing date:

Aug 15, 2019  •  August 15, 2019  •  4 minute read  •  Join the conversation Rideau-Rockcliffe Coun. Rawlson King talks with Dr. Xaviere Kuate last May, after Kuate’s garage door was spray-painted with a racist message. King is proposing the city establish an anti-racism secretariat. Photo by Julie Oliver /Postmedia

Article content

The opening sentence of the city’s Equity and Diversity Policy states “The City of Ottawa is committed to providing quality services by establishing a qualified workforce that reflects the diverse population it serves.” The city reports that 9.5 per cent of middle and senior City of Ottawa managers self-identify as a visible minority.

So Rideau-Rockcliffe Coun. Rawlson King can’t help but wonder why, when the city’s top managers appear before him at council, none of them look like him. If the city is going to talk the talk, he says, it should also walk the walk.

King, the first black councillor in Ottawa, is calling for the city to create an anti-racism secretariat, similar to ones that currently exist at the federal and provincial levels of government, as well as at some municipalities, including Toronto.

The office, he says, would examine equity policies implemented by the city with an eye to measuring their efficacy and finding ways to break down systemic barriers to reaching representative…

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