Town to form new subcommittee to support marginalized voices

MINTO – A subcommittee will be formed here to seek ways to provide support for “marginalized voices” within the community.

Council authorized a motion to create a subcommittee of the Town of Minto Cultural Roundtable at the June 16 meeting after receiving correspondence from local resident Andrew Gowan.

Citing “witting and unwitting discrimination against BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour)” Gowan believes there is legitimate pressure to take action at this time.

“I’ve been thinking about what we can do in Minto to affect real change to increase representation, amplify marginalized voices, and enact policy reviews and revisions – both while the momentum and will exists, and in perpetuity,” states Gowan, a former member of the town’s Cultural Roundtable committee.

“Does the town have any plans in place to increase its supports for minority voices? If so, people will want to hear them. How does the town plan to provide resources and education for residents seeking to help or who want to be better allies?” he added.

“Our region doesn’t have a particularly long and colourful history of multiculturalism,” the letter continues.

“Are there lessons that we can learn from regions that have more established communities and relationships with BIPOC? Perhaps a permanent committee should be formed, composed of traditionally marginalized voices, that is tasked with assessing existing systems and advising on new measures going forward.”

Councillor Judy Dirksen suggested Gowan’s ideas merit discussion, “given the state of the world these days.”

“I think Judy hit the nail on the head there. I think it’s time to look at this,” agreed Mayor George Bridge.

“We’ve kind of done this with our Filipino outreach and some things we do through economic development, but I think it’s time to put a focus on it and I would like to propose that we sort of set up a subcommittee from the cultural roundtable.”

A motion to form a subcommittee passed unopposed.