WEB - Philippine Canadian News - National, 19/06/2020 - EDITORIAL, English
Image Source: Philippine Canadian News website
Summary: Ted Alcuitas - Why white-privilege training can't fix Vancouver politics - or many other broken institutions. The Vancouver City Council recently put forward a dizzying spread of anti-racism measures. This equity-infused smorgasbord of actionable items includes: piloting anti-Black-racism and white-privilege awareness training, declaring a new Day of Action Against Racism and developing an “Equity Framework” to implement a race-forward equity and intersectional lens on city decision-making. However the same anti-racism measures, are also intended to preserve the systemic racism deeply rooted in Vancouver municipal politics. Yes, they are the same set of measures. Fixing institutional racism doesn’t need more sensitivity training, it requires real measures, such as electoral reforms that end exclusion. These types of in-case-of-fire-break-glass boilerplate solutions — issuing pro-diversity statements or recommending anti-racism training — are not a new tactic. They are used frequently by all range of companies, politicians and sports team owners, often when scrambling to respond (or deflect attention from) some form of crisis. And while these gestures sparkle with the right PR optics, they are little more than an illusion when it comes to actual progress. To wit, an International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination already exists on March 21. Vancouver residents don’t need another calendar date to fix this city’s broken political system, which has one big, fat, root systemic issue: representation. Every elected Vancouver city councilor or mayor, almost without exception, is white. This despite Vancouver being a city where half the population is not. This core problem will not be resolved by numbing city staff with more diversity workshops. It can and will, however, be resolved by the mayor and council committing to the only efficacious diversity measure at their disposal: upgrading the current at-large based election system to a ward-based version. The implementation of a standard ward system — one used in cities such as Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton and others — would finally allow Vancouver residents from all racial backgrounds much greater access to real power in the city.
Link to original article: https://philippinecanadiannews.com/canada/why-is-the-city-of-vancouver-council-too-white/