A proposed diversity committee is being put on pause after there were concerns raised about how the committee would look.
Speaking at Regina’s Executive Committee meeting Wednesday, members of Black in Saskatchewan said the committee’s mandate doesn’t explicitly address racism or discrimination.
Mayor Sandra Masters says the city’s plan was to try to inclusive as possible, but unfortunately the idea ended up being too broad.
“I think we’re administration was coming from was let’s put a broad terms of reference forward, let’s strike the committee, and then the committee itself could determine the terms of reference. I think that was the intent, and it was not unreasonable,” said Masters. “But clearly, council was saying let’s refer it back, we’ll do the consultation, and we’ll develop the terms of reference, and get a feel for what the community is feeling before a committee is struck.”
Masters says when trying to include all ten visible minority communities and the LGTBQ2S+ community, it’s important this committee is done right.
She adds if the city didn’t address Black in Saskatchewan’s concerns, the committee wouldn’t be living up to its name.
“Ultimately, to be diverse, equitable, and inclusive, they’re one of ten visible minorities, so they would have input, as would the other organizations,” said Masters. “Again, some of the other groups we’re talking about in terms of the inclusion factor.”
Masters says having representatives from all visible minorities is the chance of them representing religious minorities as well.
“If the focus is on anti-discrimination and anti-racism, then it would kind of start there knowing that there are multiple faiths represented within those organizations themselves,” said Masters.
City administration is set to consult with visible minority groups, gender and sexually diverse community members, and persons with disabilities, then bring a report back to council in the fall.