May 23, 2022

This Monday, the city of Kitchener will be voting on establishing a team dedicated to addressing social justice issues, equity, anti-racism, poverty and indigenous initiatives.

This is Kitchener’s response to Black Lives Matter protests, the housing crisis and the Land Back Camp initiative that has been occupying the Victoria Park in Kitchener since June 21.

Shawn Johnston, one of the founders of the Land Back Camp, says that Kitchener’s plan is quite a novelty in Ontario.

“If this gets passed, Kitchener will be one of the very few, if any, municipalities in South Western Ontario, or Ontario, that actually has a team like this,” Johnston told Spoke Online.

Kitchener wants to employ five people: two advisors, one for indigenous and one for anti-racism issues, one analyst, one social planning associate and the director who will oversee the entire team.

If the motion gets through, the Kitchener council hopes the team can start working on resolving social issues in the city in early 2021.

Update: Kitchener City Council provided funding to create the anti-racism team on October 19.

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