Cape Breton Post

CBRM struggles to fill diversity committee

Lack of applicatio­ns ‘an anomaly'

- IAN NATHANSON ian.nathanson@cbpost.com @CBPost_Ian

SYDNEY — Diversity committee: Anyone? Anyone?

Finding citizen representa­tives to fill two positions on a 12-person diversity committee is proving to be a challenge for a municipal nominating committee.

In a June 18 memo to the Cape Breton Regional Municipali­ty's six-member committee, municipal clerk Deborah Campbell-Ryan wrote that there have been three attempts to seek out individual­s to fill the positions. One would come from Cape Breton University, while the second would be from the Cape Breton-Victoria Centre for Education, the memo read.

Dist. 7 Coun. Steve Parsons “did contact CBVRCE and there was one name submitted by them. The clerk's office did contact that individual requesting a formal applicatio­n be submitted; however, none was received,” the memo said.

“Further, (CBRM Mayor Amanda) McDougall was in contact with the student union at Cape Breton University and they indicated that a name would be put forward to represent CBU on this committee; however, no applicatio­ns were received.”

Interested committee members had until June 7 to submit applicatio­ns.

FOURTH GO

During the nominating committee's virtual meeting Wednesday, Campbell-Ryan suggested reaching out to CBU and centre for education for a fourth go, advertisin­g via social media only, and that both the university and school board “be contacted directly requesting volunteer representa­tives for a two-year term.”

But Dist. 4 Coun. Steve Gillespie wondered if that avenue had been exhausted. “Are we beating a dead horse here?” Gillespie asked, noting that he had contacted the office of CBU president David Dingwall, as well the students union's incoming president, Madlyn O'Brien. “If there is no want or desire to be part of this committee, how many times do we have to go back to the well?”

Campbell-Ryan considered this lack of applicatio­ns for the diversity committee “an anomaly. We don't usually go out this many times.”

Gillespie also expressed concern that “if we have to go out and twist somebody's arm, to coin a phrase, and ask them to be on the committee, and they agree, how many times are they going to show up? Are we really going to have their commitment?”

McDougall suggested that because of the difficulty experience­d in recruiting these representa­tives, “perhaps there could be a change” in the diversity committee's articles of associatio­n.

RECRUITMEN­T RECOMMENDA­TION

“We've had some success with citizens at large (in the past),” she said. “And I know the intent of having folks represent different organizati­ons and expertise in the community is really good and valuable, but if it causes this much difficulty in getting members...”

The nominating committee decided to accept CampbellRy­an's recruitmen­t recommenda­tion from Wednesday.

The diversity committee comprises community representa­tives that include Indigenous, LGBTQ+, persons with disabiliti­es, immigrants to the CBRM, educators and women.

Meanwhile, the nominating committee had an easier time selecting the three applicants to represent the Cape Breton Island Housing Authority Board.

In seeking interested persons to sit on the Port of Sydney Developmen­t Corporatio­n Board, committee members found one applicant with business and commerce experience, but were split on another with marketing expertise — leaving it to deputy chief administra­tive officer John MacKinnon to draw a number from a cup to decide the winner.

Campbell-Ryan also mentioned she received a late entrant to represent the port board, one with a profession­al engineerin­g designatio­n. The committee recommende­d that the potential candidate be contacted and, if that person isn't interested, then go to social media or through Engineers Nova Scotia for recruitmen­t.

 ?? CONTRIBUTE­D ?? Councillor Steve Parsons attempted to reach out to the Cape Breton-Victoria Centre for Education in search of a potential candidate to fill one position on the CBRM's diversity committee.
CONTRIBUTE­D Councillor Steve Parsons attempted to reach out to the Cape Breton-Victoria Centre for Education in search of a potential candidate to fill one position on the CBRM's diversity committee.
 ?? CONTRIBUTE­D ?? CBRM Mayor Amanda McDougall tried seeking out a represenat­ive from Cape Breton University to fill a post on the municipali­ty's diversity committee.
CONTRIBUTE­D CBRM Mayor Amanda McDougall tried seeking out a represenat­ive from Cape Breton University to fill a post on the municipali­ty's diversity committee.

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