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Community & Race Relations

1. DEFINITIONS

2. MISSION/POLICY STATEMENT

3. GOALS OF THE POLICY

1. DEFINITIONS

Halifax Regional Municipality is otherwise referred to in the Policy as the Municipality.

Community is broadly defined as individuals and groups who reside, work or have occasion to be in the Municipality.

Race Relations is broadly defined to include, but not limited to:

Promoting the development of the full potential of individuals from all Aboriginal, racial, ethnic, linguistic, cultural and religious groups residing in the Municipality as well as principles and programs that foster the understanding and sharing of this diversity.

Promoting equality and understanding among all residents in the economic, political, social and cultural life of the Municipality, and is, therefore opposed to any form of discrimination on the basis of any prohibited ground covered by the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act (R.S.N.S., 1989, C. 214 as amended) and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1982).

Diverse Communities is broadly defined as including, but not limited to:

Individuals from all communities including Aboriginal, racial, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, religious groups and persons with disabilities residing within the Municipality.

Discrimination is broadly defined to include:

Action, speech or behaviour by individuals, organizations or groups which may bring about or have the effect of producing, directly or indirectly, hatred, intolerance and/or prejudice against other individuals or groups on the basis of any prohibited ground covered by the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Illegal and/or arbitrary denial of the rights guaranteed to individuals or groups under the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, with a view to exclude or limit the exercise of these rights in equal participation in the economic, political, social and cultural life of society.

Racism is broadly defined to include:

Action, speech or behaviour by individuals or groups that may bring about or have the effect of producing hatred, intolerance, prejudice, physical harm and/or discrimination against other individuals or groups on the basis of racial background or skin colour.

2. MISSION/POLICY STATEMENT

Halifax Regional Municipality recognizes the diversity of its communities including, but not limited to the multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-linguistic, multi-cultural and multi-religious communities composed of individuals from many parts of the world. The Municipality recognizes the historical contributions of all citizens from its Diverse Communities, from the Aboriginal peoples, indigenous African Nova Scotians, early settlers through to modern day immigrants to the overall development of the Municipality and acknowledges the special and cherished relationship between it and residents from its Diverse Communities.

The Municipality affirms and endorses the distinct character of the Municipality by:

Recognizing the equality of rights and privileges of residents from all its Diverse Communities.

Promoting zero tolerance of discrimination based on racism and/or any previously referred to grounds.

The Municipality recognizes the diverse needs of its communities . Through the development and implementation of a diversity plan, the Municipality will fully realize this diversity in all of its by-laws, policies, procedures and programs as well as in the implementation of the Municipality's policies, procedures, promotion, delivery of municipal services, and the composition of the civic workforce and civic Boards, Commissions and Committees. The Municipality acknowledges an Advisory Committee as a necessary source of advice and input on issues affecting its Diverse Communities and supports its work, activities and initiatives.

3. GOALS OF THE POLICY

To ensure that residents from all of the Municipality's Diverse Communities have an equitable opportunity to develop their individual potential, the Community and Race Relations Policy has four objectives:

3.1 Equality of Opportunity - Assisting in the participation of all residents in civic and community affairs

3.2 Education and Sensitization - Increasing civic and community awareness about the Municipality's Diverse Communities

3.3 Anti-Racism - Working to eliminate racism and promote understanding and acceptance between the Diverse Communities residing in the Municipality

3.4 Cultural Diversity - Promoting greater knowledge, understanding, acceptance and celebration of diversity

3.1 Equality of Opportunity

The Municipality will:

i) Institute and modify where necessary current and future policies and procedures to ensure the reflection of the needs of its diverse communities.

ii) Seek advice and where possible implement ideas from all its Diverse Communities.

iii) Address equal opportunity in the provision of services and programs.

iv) Institute such positive policies and practices as will ensure that its diverse communities achieve appropriate representation on Boards, Commissions, Committees, civic workforce and all similar bodies.

v) Plan and deliver services to its Diverse Communities in a manner reflective of their needs.

vi) Actively work towards participation representative of its Diverse Communities in civic and community affairs.

vii) Communicate information about Municipal programs and activities to its Diverse Communities.

3.2 Education and Sensitization

The Municipality will:

i) Promote the Community and Race Relations Policy to all its civic employees and elected officials.

ii) Promote the Community and Race Relations Policy to the Community at large.

iii) Promote Municipal services and programs to its Diverse Communities.

3.3 Anti-Racism

The Municipality will:

i) Not tolerate racism

ii) Integrate anti-racism and multi-cultural content into existing, ongoing and future training sessions for staff and elected representatives.

iii) Prohibit the use of all municipal facilities from individuals and groups that may violate or promote the violations of the rights that are guaranteed to other individuals and groups under the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom.

iv) Encourage and support the development of programs and projects that promote harmony among its Diverse Communities.

3.4 Cultural Diversity

The Municipality will:

i) Participate in the preservation, integration and celebration of the heritage, cultural and artistic values of all its Diverse Communities

ii) Encourage its Diverse Communities to share their customs, values and traditions with one another.

(August 19/97)