The Anti-racism Advisory Council mandate is to provide advice to the City of Edmonton regarding community perspectives on issues relating to racism, including, but not limited to diversity; discrimination; hate and extremism; racial equity; xenophobia; islamophobia; antisemitism; and the lived experience of persons of colour. In a city of a million people, this council made up of 13 members have a job to do narrating the ‘lived experience’ of people of colour. Are all experiences the same?
The Council’s job is to provide advice to the city on matters pertaining to diversity and discrimination. It remains unclear if the City of Edmonton is bound to take on the counsel provided. Everyone would be looking to see the impact of this high profile council. The appointment is for an initial two-year term and then it can be renewed up to three times. This Council must be able to work in cohesion and a semblance of harmony would be crucial to the success of this high profile council.
The work ahead this Council in amidst of a very vibrant and multicultural city is enormous. The job of representing many groups who have endured the repression of not having a voice at the City is one that we must monitor. Questions will be asked as to how flexible the City of Edmonton is in changing some of their own practices such that the City becomes an icon of multiculturalism. We must ask tough questions: is the City of Edmonton really ready to change? Can the City of Edmonton ever become diverse? Is this Council at the end of the day going to be a waste of taxpayers money? Its perhaps too early to be pessimistic, but how do we measure the success of this Council? Is the public going to be privy to the counsel it lends the City?
It is unclear if this is a genuine process at the diversification of the City of Edmonton, but what is clear is that we have a Council that may begin the arduous process of moving the City of Edmonton in the right direction.
The Anti-racism Advisory Committee has just appointed Trent Daley, Vice President of Integration and Program Development, Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council as one of its members. He joins us now to talk about his appointment.