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Sunday, January 29, 2023
Letter: Some questions about NOTL’s inclusivity committee

Dear editor:

I would like to make a number of comments concerning the subject of inclusivity which at the present time in NOTL appears to be one of widespread discussion and varied opinion.

In the opinion piece by the NOTL inclusivity committee, published in The Lake Report on Sept. 23 (“NOTL’s inclusivity committee reflects on discrimination, diversity and equity“), the subject of inclusivity was discussed. 

The discussion referenced a recent survey carried out by the committee. The survey had a response rate of less than 1 per cent of the population of NOTL.

This is not a reflection of public attitude or opinion but is instead a failure and hardly worth mentioning.

The inclusivity committee indicates that it was formed by council as an advisory group made up of volunteers. The existence of this group and the statements made give rise to a number of questions that I believe are important and need to be answered in the interest of all residents.

1. What is the precise mandate for the group and has this ever received public input or been seen as a public issue?

2. Do they represent or consider in any way the attitudes or opinions of the NOTL resident and taxpayer?

3. What are the credentials of each individual that enables them to advise council and how are they vetted against possible bias in their recommendations?

4. In my opinion, the veracity and accuracy of the statements should be examined for verification. Is this actually done and, if so, by whom?

While reference to disadvantaged groups is made in passing, the emphasis is clearly on one group with the recommendation that public property be used (without any public agreement) in an effort to endorse and advance a specific agenda.

This has very much the appearance of bias to me as well as being based on the failed 1 per cent survey and at the same time giving no thought to the majority of NOTL residents whose opinions are important and may differ.

To understand inclusivity the meaning of exclusivity must also be understood. For example, who claims to be excluded and what is their definition of exclusion? What are they excluded from?

To claim credibility the committee must also be seen to have given thought and consideration to the majority in its recommendations. This does not appear to be the case so far.

Derek Collins


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