Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee

This committee provides support to staff in the drafting and implementation of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan and shall provide recommendations, advice, and information to Council and staff on matters pertaining to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee

Background

The Town of Penetanguishene Council affirmed their support for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion when they passed a motion to join the Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities on October 14, 2020. The objectives of the coalition are to improve municipal practices for social inclusion, establish policies to eradicate racism and discrimination, and promote human rights and diversity.

There are ten common commitments to guide municipalities in developing policies and programs, which focus on challenging racism and discrimination and providing opportunities for community members from all backgrounds to have a voice and participate in decision making in areas including housing, police, education, employment, and the labour market.

Mandate

The Town of Penetanguishene Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Ad-hoc Committee is an advisory body established by Town of Penetanguishene in accordance with the following terms of reference. The committee will provide support to staff in the drafting and implementation of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan and shall provide recommendations, advice, and information to Council and staff on matters pertaining to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Membership

A member of Council shall be appointed to the Ad Hoc Committee to serve as Chair and seven (7) residents of the Town representing the following affiliations:

  • 1 Representative of Council
  • 2 Representatives of Advisory Committees
  • 5 additional Community Members

The members shall represent the diversity of the Town and broad cross-section of residents, including geographical and gender balance. An intersectional approach should be taken to ensure representation by community members with lived experience or service in agencies related to one or more of the following areas:

  • Ethnocultural and linguistic diversity
  • Racialized communities or People of Colour
  • Francophone
  • New immigrants
  • Indigenous communities
  • LGBTQ2S+ individuals
  • Individuals with disabilities, including mental health disabilities
  • Seniors / older adults
  • Individuals living with low income / homeless
  • Post-secondary students / youth
  • Faith-based diversity

All attempts will be made to stay within the guideline composition; however, if the applications received or the qualifications of applicants do not fully address the guideline composition criteria, the most capable and qualified applicants will be recommended for appointment to fulfill the membership composition.

All members shall live in the Town of Penetanguishene and employees are not eligible to apply.

One designated staff member shall serve as staff liaison as appointed by the Chief Administrative Officer. Other staff may be requested to join meetings or support the work of this committee as need arises.

Goals and purpose

The goal of the committee is to:

  • Address bias and discrimination and its negative impacts on quality of life, safety, health, and inclusion for the diverse communities in Niagara
  • Provide a safe place for all people to voice their opinions in order to work together to promote and foster understanding and inclusion in Penetanguishene.

The purpose of the committee is to:

  • Advise and provide recommendations on the development and review of policies and procedures to ensure they reflect Town of Penetanguishene's commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion within the organization, and within the community
  • Engage and facilitate discussions with community groups to achieve a greater understanding of the strengths and needs of residents of diverse backgrounds and abilities to identify opportunities for collaboration and support between groups, recognizing that each diverse group will require unique approaches and solutions
  • Collaborate with other civic agencies and local community groups and partners including the initiation and development of relevant programs, services, events and projects identifying opportunities for education, collaboration, support, and engagement to promote equity, inclusion, and the elimination of discrimination.

Term of Appointment

Members to the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee shall be appointed for the remainder of the Council Term.  Members are volunteers and serve without remuneration.

Chair and Vice Chair

The appointed member of Council shall serve as Chair of the Committee.  The Chair acts as the Presiding Officer at the meetings and presents any reports or recommendations flowing from the Committee at the respective section of the Committee of the Whole meeting. In the absence of the Chair at the Committee of the Whole or Council meetings, the Section Chair presents and speaks to the matters. The Vice Chair shall be elected by the Committee membership and serves as Chair at the meetings in the absence of the Chair. 

Meetings

The Committee shall meet at least four times per year and may meet more frequently if required. Should a time sensitive matter arise requiring immediate attention, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee may meet at the discretion of the chair.  Members who miss three unauthorized consecutive meetings shall be deemed to have resigned from the committee and will be notified of this in writing by the committee chair.

Responsibilities of Committee Members

All Committee members, including the chair and vice chair, have the responsibility to help achieve the committee's mandate and purposes. Committee members are also responsible for:

  • Reviewing meeting materials before the meetings and arriving prepared to provide a broad perspective on the issues under consideration
  • Contributing to the creation of an annual work plan
  • Working diligently to complete assigned activities
  • Participating on working groups, as appropriate
  • Agreeing to describe, process, and resolve issues in a professional and respectful manner
  • Providing input to help identify future projects or strategic priorities for future years' work
  • Communicating activities of the committee to groups represented or those who may have an interest and offer information back to the committee

Delegated Authority

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Ad-hoc Committee has no delegated authority and is an advisory body only.  The Committee shall fulfil its mandate through reports and recommendations to Council via the Finance and Corporate Services Section portion of the Committee of the Whole.

Meeting Schedule and Location

Meetings will be held at the call of the Chair. The Meetings will be held electronically via Zoom or in the Committee Room or Council Chambers in Townhall or other such location as may be designated from time to time.

Meeting Agendas

Agendas shall be made available a minimum of twenty-four hours in advance of the meeting to the Members and on the Town’s website.

Code of Conduct and Conflict of Interest

Members of the Committee work in partnership with the Town of Penetanguishene and for the citizens of Penetanguishene. Members must respect confidential information and declare a conflict of interest when required.  Members of the Ad Hoc Committee are expected to support and contribute to a safe, respectful, transparent and accountable environment. The Town of Penetanguishene has zero tolerance for any form of violence, vandalism, or inappropriate behavior in its facilities or properties.

Glossary of terms

Discrimination: The treatment or consideration based on class or category rather than individual merit and that can be used to privilege (special treatment in favour of) as well as disadvantage (special treatment against) a particular group or individual.

Diversity: The presence of differences in the lived experiences and perspectives of people that may include race, ethnicity, colour, ancestry, place of origin, political belief, religion, marital status, family status, physical ability, mental disability, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, class, education, and / or socio-economic situations. Individuals affiliate with multiple identities.

 

Equity: The fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people. It involves striving to identify and eliminate unfair biases, stereotypes, or barriers that may limit the full participation of individuals or groups in society.

Inclusion: An active, intentional, and continuous process to address inequities in power and privilege and build a respectful and diverse community that ensures welcoming spaces and opportunities for all to fully participate and flourish.

Racialization: The process where society creates differences between races as real, different, and unequal in ways that affect areas of economic, political, and social life. People can be racialized not only based on skin colour, but also according to other perceived characteristics such as their culture, language, customs, ancestry, country or place of origin, or religion, as in the case of Islamophobia or antisemitism.

Joining a Committee 

The Town of Penetanguishene relies on its citizens to volunteer their time and expertise by serving on various boards and committees. If you are interested in applying to be a part of a committee, please fill out the application form below, and submit it to the Municipal Clerk. 

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