Responding to Racism and Hate – Dufferin County Council Statement

Jun 10th, 2021
By rwhelan

Today, right now, this period in time is a crossroads for us. It’s time for us to determine our direction for the future. Do we let hate take hold, or do we stand for something better? What type of country do we want to live in? One of hate, or one of peace?

Leadership starts with us. We have the ability to set a course to a better way through our actions. It’s not an easy task, but it is a necessary one, and one we can do.

We must continually strive to re-commit ourselves to the tenants of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in all that we do. Whether we are talking about issues of a planning nature, for example the Cayuga Snipe Chief’s announcement of a moratorium on development in the Haldimand deed lands, or about the 215 innocent children who were found at a residential school site in Kamloops. There is no room for contradiction in our policy or our direction. We cannot demand righteousness on one hand while stonewalling on the other.

There is a learning curve here. A steep one in some respects and one that some will struggle with more than others. I know there has been much to learn from my perspective and I know that there is still so much that is still to come. I suspect many of you feel the same. While the onus is on us to actively participate in that learning, it's so important that we realize what we really need to do more of is listen.

If we as leaders cannot commit at the very least to this, perhaps we should consider if we deserve to hold the seats we have at all.

To our Muslim Brothers and Sisters, we offer this:

We were all so very saddened to learn of the terrorist attack in London, ON that took the life of four members of a family and left a nine-year-old boy injured.

We mourn with you and share in your grief, and can only hope that we can help soothe some of your pain.

Please know that for every one person who would strike out in anger and hate, those who stand with you in peace and love and understanding number in the hundreds

Please don’t despair, together we are better than the hatred of one.

It’s time for us to speak up, so that ignorance is not the loudest voice of all.

Sincerely,
Warden White and Members of County Council

Click here for a full copy of the statement including a motion made in response to this statement at the regular meeting of the County of Dufferin Council held on June 10, 2021.