Winnipeg — It has been one year since an article labeling Winnipeg as the most racist city in Canada was published in Maclean’s.
At an event that kicked off shortly after 10 a.m. Friday at City Hall, Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman gathered many people together to outline his further plans for reconciliation and declare 2016 as the ‘Year of Reconciliation’ for the city. The World Gospel Choir started the event with a rendition of Oh Canada.
Many commitments were made by the mayor as part of the announcement including the development of an Urban Aboriginal Accord for Winnipeg, Supporting the extension of the Winnipeg Private Refugee Sponsorship Assurance Program, and to visit all Winnipeg high schools over the next two years.
“I promised I wouldn’t get emotional today,” Bowman said when he took to the podium for the first time near the end of the event.
Well known broadcaster Charles Adler was emceeing the event and was interrupted at one point near the beginning of the event by a Canadian woman who claimed to be from Somalia and wanted to draw attention to the plight of her family. She and another man were escorted out of the room by the police chief, Devon Clunis six minutes after the interruption began.
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Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson walked out during the event tweeting “Had to leave because there are people there that don’t acknowledge racism and others who do, that aren’t there.”
The author of the Maclean’s article that labeled Winnipeg as the most racist city in Canada was in attendance Friday morning.
Global News streamed the event live on this page.