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Statement from Mayor Peckford and Council re: Supporting an Inclusive Community

February 3, 2020

On behalf of myself and my Council colleagues Deputy Mayor Jim McManaman, Councillors Kristin Strackerjan, John Barclay, and Doreen O'Sullivan, we are deeply saddened by any act of prejudice in our community. We appreciate that there is still much progress to be made before we are a fully inclusive society.

However, North Grenville is also widely known for its caring, generosity and compassion. It is in this context that a recent incident involving an act of racism in North Grenville has re-ignited our collective sense of responsibility to ensure that we are always an inclusive and vibrant place for people of all ages and backgrounds to live, work and play.

As a high growth community in eastern Ontario, the texture and composition of our community is changing, a reality that we embrace. Consequently, North Grenville, which comprises the town of Kemptville and six rural hamlets, strives to be a welcoming and dynamic municipality where the diversity of residents and visitors alike is recognized, respected and celebrated.

With this in mind, Council is calling on all members of our community to do their part to responsibly address any act of prejudice that does not reflect an inclusive community. This must be done in a timely, sensitive and appropriate manner that treats everyone with respect - and makes the most of any learning opportunity. We also hope that schools and other leadership organizations in our area seize the opportunity to create the space for constructive conversations to occur as we evolve.

These conversations are not always easy or comfortable, but they are very much worth the effort.

Alongside our community partners, Council will seek to foster opportunities so that those who need to learn and grow can join us in the belief that we are stronger together as a community, not despite but because of our many differences - all of which have brought us to North Grenville in one way or another.

We are proud of our caring and compassionate community and we are confident that as a community, we will continue to foster empathy, kindness and appreciation for each other in the months and years ahead.

Mayor Nancy Peckford