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City creates anti-racism committee

By Tyler Renaud [1]

BELLEVILLE – Belleville city council established a new Citizens against Racism and Discrimination committee at last week’s council meeting.

Karen Poste [2], the city’s manager of economic and strategic initiative, says that the committee was not created as a result of any incidents or tendencies within the city, but as part of a much bigger initiative.

“We have joined the Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination [3] last year,” Poste said. “It’s a municipal movement – it’s certainly not something we are doing in isolation. Belleville considers itself ‘The Friendly City.’ We have called ourselves that for many years. This is just one more step towards making sure our community remains welcoming and inclusive.”

Poste is part of the team that will appoint individuals from various organizations to the committee. These individuals will be chosen from organizations that include the Belleville Police [4], the Hastings and Prince Edward Counties Health Unit [5] and Quinte Immigration Services [6].

“We really want (the appointed individuals) to get together to figure out and make recommendations to council on how can we be more welcoming and inclusive. We want them to suggest projects and initiatives that we could do that would further that objective,” she said.

The first meeting of the committee is scheduled for Oct. 16.