Summerland council passes resolution to start ‘difficult’ discussions on racism

A Summerland family had their house vandalized earlier this month, and now town council says it will be starting community discussions about racism. Global News

The District of Summerland, B.C., says it’ll soon be starting ‘difficult’ community-wide discussions on racism.

On Wednesday, town council issued a signed statement, saying there’s no place for racism or discrimination in Summerland.

The statement follows an incident earlier this month in which a local Indo-Canadian family had their house vandalized with graffiti. A support parade for the family was then marred when a man waved a Confederate bandana outside his truck during the event.

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“Summerland came together to show that when one of our own is negatively impacted by racism, we rally together against those that wish to cause harm,” said the statement.

Signing the statement were Mayor Toni Boot plus councilors Richard Barkwill, Erin Carlson, Doug Holmes, Doug Patan, Erin Trainer and Marty Van Alphen.

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Council says it passed two resolutions on July 20: That it stands with the Lehki family and the community against racism, and that town staff look into working with the library board or other organizations to start a community conversation on racism.

Click to play video: 'Summerland, B.C., mayor claims to have received threats over Confederate flag incident'
Summerland, B.C., mayor claims to have received threats over Confederate flag incident

“These will be difficult conversations,” said the statement. “We must acknowledge our differences. We must listen. We must learn. We must move forward together.

“We must continue to build a strong community—one that is healthy, inclusive, and welcoming to all. One that we can all be proud to call home.”

It continued, saying council is “united in leading the community conversations against racism and hate. We will work with the community alongside our partner organizations to build a better, more welcoming, and stronger Summerland.”

Click to play video: 'Summerland residents welcome discussion around racism in the community'
Summerland residents welcome discussion around racism in the community

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