Vernon councillors reaffirmed their stance against racism with a motion pitched and passed in Monday’s meeting.
Coun. Scott Anderson raised the motion to reaffirm the city’s “unequivocal rejection of racism,” which was passed unanimously by council Aug. 17.
“The City of Vernon, including council and administration, firmly rejects racist acts of all types and supports each individual who chooses to make Vernon home, regardless of race, gender, sexuality, creed or socioeconomic condition,” the motion reads.
A recent motion to put in place an anti-racism policy was defeated by councillors, including Anderson, during the July 20 meeting.
Put forward by Coun. Kelly Fehr, he proposed the city draft an Anti-Racial Discrimination and Anti-Racism Policy, complementing the city’s Bullying and Harassment Policy.
Fehr’s motion also called for the mayor to send a letter to the Canadian Commission for UNESCO expressing the city’s interest in joining its coalition against racism.
Several of Fehr’s councillor colleagues said the motion, albeit important, was redundant as the city already has policies in place against bullying and harassment, and to draft policies that were anti-racist would be too time-consuming for city administration.
City staff reminded councillors its legal counsel, Lidstone and Company, provided an Anti-Racial Discrimination and Anti-Racism Policy to all of its clients ahead of the meeting — which council accepted as information. The 11-page document came prepared and ready to tailor for specific municipalities.