Town of Sackville makes declaration of tolerance, diversity

‘Symbolic’ statement in response to recent acts of prejudice


Published on April 18, 2017

The Town of Sackville approved a motion last week publicly declaring it is committed to diversity and tolerance.

SACKVILLE, N.B. – Sackville wants to be seen as a welcoming and inclusive community – that’s why town council approved a motion last week publicly declaring its commitment to diversity and tolerance.

The declaration was made as a result of a request last month from the newly-formed Sackville Inclusion Network, with its members urging council to respond to recent expressions of hate and prejudice, both locally and globally, including the deadly attack on worshippers at a mosque in Quebec and the drawing of a swastika in the snow at the university football field right here in Sackville.

The motion, although only ‘symbolic’ in nature, is essentially a statement declaring Sackville is a town of welcome, safety and solidarity for all, said Coun. Bill Evans.

We want to make it clear we are not prepared to be silent on this issue.

Coun. Bill Evans

“This is not granting anyone anything special . . . this is simply a statement that says everybody deserve this sense of inclusion and acceptance and welcome,” he said.

Evans, who brought the motion forward during council’s monthly meeting April 10, said this type of motion should not be necessary but with incidents continuing to occur daily around the world, including “people in positions of authority who have been making less than welcoming commentary, some of it racist, xenophobic and all sorts of other concerns,” it’s a step he thinks will send a message.

“We want to make it clear we are not prepared to be silent on this issue,” he said.

The declaration states that the town welcomes people of all personal characteristics, and celebrates diversity and is dedicated to ensuring that “this is a safe space now and into the future.”

 

The declaration reads as follows:

“The Town of Sackville publicly declares that we are a town of welcome, safety and solidarity for those locally and around the world, that we value and celebrate diversity and deplore expressions of racism, prejudice and hate as we are dedicated to ensuring that this is a safe space now and into the future.

This declaration is an explicit statement of welcome to people of all personal characteristics, including but not limited to those protected by the New Brunswick Human Rights Act.

We offer our welcome and support to all people, regardless of age, socio-economic status, social condition, political belief or activity, immigration status, marital status, sexuality, sex, gender identity, physical ability, intellectual ability, mental health status, religion, race, ancestry, place of origin, cultural or ethnic identity.”