The chair of the city’s Anti-Racism Advisory Council is calling the raising of the respect flag a milestone for the campaign.
The flag raising event at city hall Monday morning marked the one year anniversary of the city’s Respect campaign. The initiative was designed to challenge attitudes, beliefs and behaviours that fail to tolerate other community members. The city’s campaign is based on a Confederation College initiative.
Ann Magiskan, chair of the city’s Anti-Racism Advisory Council, said they’ve had more organizations and companies asking to participate, which shows the city is heading in a positive direction.
“I think being raised in Thunder Bay and having faced racism at a young age and learning how to come to terms with it in a respectful and positive manner has really encouraged me to move forward with our campaign here,” Magiskan said.
Wendy Landry, chair of the Thunder Bay Crime Prevention Council, said she’s already noticed changes since the city took on the initiative.
She said the buttons and signs give everyone a reminder to have the conversation about being respectful.
Mayor Keith Hobbs said the city has handed out about 15,000 of those buttons.
Hobbs added that in order to be respectful, people need to be tolerant.
“We’ve all made racist comments, I’ve admitted that weeks and weeks ago,” he said. “We just have to think before we speak. If you go up to the northern communities and have seen the conditions, it’s like third-world conditions. The kids that are coming here aren’t used to the big city life. We just have to be tolerant of that.”
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