The conversation does not end when the crowds disperse today

Recent events across the border and, once again, close to home continue to emphasize the work which needs to be done in addressing underlying and systematic racism in our own society. These difficult conversations are long overdue. I pledge to continue listening, learning, and re-learning! I pledge to become a better ally to those I work with in our community and with those I haven’t worked with yet, whose lived experience continues to educate and inspire me to do better. 

I pledge to continue working with Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly who has shown great empathy and ambition to change the system since he took his position late last year. 

I would like to reiterate my absolute support for my colleague, Councillor King, recently appointed as Council Liaison for Anti-Racism and Ethnocultural Relations. He was correct when he stated that Ottawa has its own history of racism and hate. I stand with him and my Council colleagues against both. 

To those attending the rally today, I emphatically support you as well. Know that this conversation does not end when the crowds disperse today. Connect with me to continue this important discussion about how we can continue working to fight discrimination, hate and racism in our society. As a white male I have a level of privilege and comfort not afforded to all. Please tell me how I can help create or support safer spaces for us to have these vital conversations.  

I have decided not to attend the rally this afternoon. The decision was a difficult one.   Please be safe while you are demonstrating today. Recognize your comfort levels and respect the choices of those around you. We are still living in a pandemic. 

Please listen to the organizers and those who are speaking their truths.  There is a lot of work ahead of us to do together.