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Race Relations: City Policy

Race Relations

An external audit of the City of Saskatoon's "Race Relations Program" took place in May 2001 stating in part that "the City's Race Relations Program which includes activities carried out by both the Race Relations Committee, and Office, is at a strategic point in its evolution." The result of the audit lead to extensive consultation with the community of Saskatoon throughout 2002 to engage the public in a long-term "race relations" plan that would promote racial harmony and minimize racial tension. The community consultation ultimately culminated in the development of a Cultural Diversity & Race Relations Policy, effective February 9, 2004.

This policy will be reviewed and evaluated periodically to determine its success.

The City of Saskatoon recognizes that Saskatoon has always been a society composed of people from many different backgrounds and this diversity will continue. The participation  and contribution of all citizens in the development of our community is vital to meeting the challenges of the future.

The Vision Statement

The City of Saskatoon will work with community organizations, business and labour, all orders of government, and other stakeholders to create an inclusive community, where ethno-cultural diversity is welcomed and valued, and where everyone can live with dignity and to their full potential, without facing racism or discrimination.

Outcome Statements and Indicators of Success:

The community will work together to achieve the following outcomes:

The workforce will be representative of the population of Saskatoon.

Indicators of success:

  • The ethno-cultural groups represented in  the  workforce in  Saskatoon and within the Corporation of the City of Saskatoon will reach levels that represent the demographics of the city.

Monitor: (Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, Federation of Canadian Municipalities)

  • Rates of employment by ethno-cultural groups.
  • Underemployment by ethno-cultural groups in regards to work in jobs below skills and training.
  • Retention of ethno-cultural groups by employers over the long term.

There will be zero tolerance for racism or discrimination in Saskatoon.

Indicators of success:

  • Reported incidents of racial discrimination in the community have decreased.

Monitor:

  • Police statistics and other organizations, such as the Human Rights Commission, of reported incidents of racism.

Coordinated systems of reporting may need to be developed with a variety of organizations. The City of Saskatoon develop and publicize a system that is user friendly and non-intimidating to people wishing to report incidents of perceived racism as they apply to civic programs and workplace. Non- confidential aspects of tracking, actions taken, and reporting on results of investigations should be a part of the process.

Community decision-making bodies will be representative of the whole community of Saskatoon.

Indicators of success:

  • The number of people from a variety of ethno-cultural backgrounds who are participating in local government, such as  City  Council, committees advising Council, Community Associations, School Boards, etc. has increased.

Monitor:

  • Composition of Council and committees by ethno-cultural background.
  • Monitor increase in participation on decision-making  bodies based on the demographics in neighbourhood profiles.
  • Monitor and report the extent to which the City has become a leader in achieving the outcomes of the policy within its own organization.

There will be awareness and understanding in the community regarding the issues, and acceptance of the various cultures that make up Saskatoon.

Indicators of success:

  • Awareness and understanding regarding the issues of various cultures has increased both within the community and within the Corporation of the City of Saskatoon.
  • Organizations  and the  City  are working together to  create greater awareness and understanding.

Monitor:

  • Monitor public awareness and understanding through perception surveys.
  • Monitor and evaluate the effect of City of Saskatoon cross-cultural awareness programs.
  • Monitor best practices research from agencies and other cities.

The City’s Role and Strategies in Achieving the Outcomes

The City of Saskatoon has had a role in employment equity and anti-racism in the past and will continue to have a role in the future. In order to fulfill its Strategic Plan and meet the needs of the citizens of Saskatoon, the City will be an important player in fostering good race relations and racial harmony in the community. It will be crucial that other stakeholders be involved in defining their roles as well so that the vision and outcomes can be achieved.

The City of Saskatoon will be:

A leader in the community by communicating the City’s vision and role in regards to the issues.

Strategy: Inclusive Communication  – The City  of Saskatoon will review its methods of communication to ensure that information is provided in a variety of ways to make it easily accessible to our diverse population.

A leader in the community by achieving the outcomes within its own organization.

Strategy: Employment Equity – The City of Saskatoon is an Employment Equity employer and commits itself to the development  and promotion of policies and practices designed to eliminate discriminatory barriers in the workplace consistent with the Employment Equity Plan approved by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission. The Workplace Harassment Policy has been established to provide a supportive  environment for all employees. The City of Saskatoon will encourage and facilitate greater participation and greater access to employment by members of designated groups.

Strategy: Work-Place Training – The City of Saskatoon will provide cross cultural and cultural sensitivity training throughout the Corporation, so that both management and other employees can work towards eliminating systemic barriers and creating a welcoming and supportive environment for employees of all cultural backgrounds. As well, there is a need for education for potential employees on hiring processes, in order to assist them in accessing available jobs.

A facilitator to bring other agencies together to work jointly towards the outcomes.

Strategy: Collaboration and Partnerships – The City of Saskatoon will encourage and facilitate partnerships and collaboration among agencies to  work towards jointly achieving the community outcomes. A first step will be to form an ongoing committee or coalition of agencies to work together on strategies and action plans.

A coordinator or clearing house for information sharing.

Strategy: Cultural Awareness and Anti-Discrimination Education – The City of Saskatoon will work with other agencies to share resources and develop joint public education programs to increase cross cultural understanding and to decrease incidents of discrimination.

A granting agency through existing grant programs.

Strategy: Analysis and Communication – The City of Saskatoon will review its existing grant program, modify them if  required to  include funding for  race relations activities, and communicate about the grant programs to agencies in an inclusive manner.

A number of existing strategies and action plans that the City has already committed to, supplement this Policy. The City of Saskatoon has an employment equity plan, monitored and approved by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission. The City is also developing the “Saskatoon Community Plan for Homelessness and Housing” and has in place the Innovative Housing Incentives Policy (C09-002). These should be cross-referenced in regard to cultural diversity and anti-discrimination strategies and initiatives.

 

Cultural Diversity and Race Relations Committee Co-Sponsorship Program

The Cultural Diversity and Race Relations Committee provides co-sponsorships of up to  $1,000 to groups in the community who are planning events or initiatives which fall under the Committee’s mandate and relate to the City of Saskatoon Cultural Diversity and Race Relations Policy.

The purpose of this program is to:

  • help the Committee connect with groups that are undertaking cultural diversity and race relations education and awareness initiatives;
  • promote a greater understanding of the diverse communities in Saskatoon; and
  • help those groups promote their events to a wider audience.

Deadlines for co-sponsorship applications are:

  1. September 30 (for events to be held between January and June)
  2. March 15 (for events to be held between July and December)

 Co-Sponsorship Application Form
 Co-Sponsorship Follow-Up Report Form

Forward the completed form by mail, fax, or email to:

Ms. Joyce Fast, Committee Assistant
City Clerk’s Office, City Hall
Saskatoon, SK, S7K 0J5
Tel: (306) 975-3240
Fax: (306) 975-2784
 Email

All applicants will be contacted once the Committee makes its decision.

Payment:  After the event, a follow up report must be submitted to the Committee before a cheque will be issued.

For more information about Co-Sponsorships, please contact Ms. Fast at (306) 975-3240.