Po­lice board hul­la­baloo is overblown

The Hamilton Spectator - - OPINION -

RE: Po­lice board sta­tus quo hold­ing us back

Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion by skin colour, reli­gion, sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion, etc., is very su­per­fi­cial and likely en­cour­ages in­di­vid­u­als from iden­ti­fied mi­nor­ity groups to rep­re­sent pri­mar­ily the in­ter­ests of their group.

What we want on our im­por­tant boards and com­mit­tees are in­di­vid­u­als who rep­re­sent us all: yes, the woman in the hi­jab, peo­ple of colour, LGBTQ mem­bers; but also chil­dren, the in­firm, the old, the men­tally ill, i.e. all Cana­di­ans.

On a small board, such as the po­lice board, the process for se­lec­tion of in­di­vid­u­als by lo­cal and pro­vin­cial elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives is prob­a­bly the best way to pop­u­late the board with in­di­vid­u­als who have the ap­pro­pri­ate ex­pe­ri­ence and ca­pa­bil­ity, and who will take into ac­count the di­ver­sity of the pop­u­la­tion that they serve.

Note that in­di­vid­u­als from iden­ti­fied mi­nor­ity groups are not ex­cluded from this process.

I am not aware of any egre­gious er­rors made by the board. All of this hul­la­baloo came from the re­port of a private com­ment by one board mem­ber over­heard by an­other, and is now be­ing used to stir up dis­con­tent and dishar­mony. Mar­i­anne Wal­ters, An­caster

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