The City of White Rock has approved a Human Resources policy that publicly acknowledges the existence of racism and commits to taking action to ensure an inclusive, respectful and welcoming environment.
City Council on Nov. 23 approved the Anti-Racial Discrimination and Anti-Racism policy that applies to everyone who works for, volunteers for, does business with and generally interacts with the City of White Rock.
Here is the purpose of the new policy:
The Anti-Racial Discrimination and Anti-Racism policy recognizes the existence of racism in all of its forms, recognizes the racial diversity of the White Rock community, commits to respecting the fundamental rights, personal worth and dignity of People of Colour and Indigenous Peoples, and commits to the day-to-day operations and governance of local government in a manner that is free of racism and racial discrimination.
This policy is intended to supplement and support British Columbia’s Human Rights Code and related White Rock Council policies such as the Respectful Workplace policy.
The policy commits to training members of City Council after they are elected and training employees within their first year with the City and providing refresher courses after that initial training.
The Anti-Racial Discrimination and Anti-Racism policy links closely with the City’s Respectful Workplace policy.
The policy states that employees may not be discriminated against for race, criminal convictions unrelated to their employment, colour, physical disability, ancestry, mental disability, birthplace, gender, age, gender identity or expression, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or political belief.
The COVID-19 Recovery Task Force, a committee formed to respond to the social and economic needs of White Rock related to the global pandemic, recommended to Council that the City “explore an approach of outreach for the community in relation to racism and to ensure that all people feel comfortable and valued in White Rock.” That was endorsed by City Council on Sept. 14.
Darryl WalkerMayor, City of White Rock
“In White Rock, we are proud of our community’s culture of respect and inclusion. But there is still more for us to do. Each of us has a responsibility to think every day about how our words and our actions may be expressing bias, even without our intent. Racist attitudes translate into racist acts.
By publicly coming forward and committing to ensure an inclusive, respectful and welcoming environment, we are demonstrating an important step forward—a step I hope will inspire others.”