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CSRD adopts policy against racism within organization

Training on the topic of racism encouraged for elected officials and staff
The Columbia Shuswap Regional District board voted unanimously in support of a policy against racism within the organization. (File photo)

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) will be affirming its stance against racism in policy.

Though regional district policies adhere to the B.C. Human Rights Code, and it already had in place respectful workplace, bullying and harassment and complaint resolution policies, there was nothing in place firming a position against racism.

But has changed.

At the request of Electoral Area E Director (Rural Sicamous-Malakwa) Rhona Martin, a seven page Anti-Racial Discrimination and Anti-Racism Policy was brought to the CSRD board’s regular meeting of Jan. 21, 2021 for approval. Martin wanted the CSRD to affirm its stance against racism in light of racial incidents taking place in Canada and around the world. The board gave its unanimous support.

“I’m very happy to see this. It is a great piece of policy and it was time we did this,” commented Electoral Area F Director Jay Simpson.

According to the CSRD, the policy applies to all elected officials, employees, contractors, volunteers and students working for the CSRD, or providing services to it. They will be required to sign a document acknowledging they have read the policy and will abide by its provisions. Martin also encouraged training on the topic for elected officials and staff, suggesting it might be an excellent topic for educational sessions at the Southern Interior Local Government Association or Union of BC Municipalities conventions.

According to the policy, individuals employed by the CSRD found to have engaged in, or to have known about but took no action to report or stop racial discrimination or racist behaviour contrary to the policy, may be subject to appropriate action depending on the severity of the misconduct.

Read more: Survey hopes to shine light on racism in the South Okanagan

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