Region of Waterloo Council takes action against Racism

Posted on Tuesday June 16, 2020

Waterloo Region – Today, Regional Council unanimously confirmed their commitment to address racism by supporting policies and programs that address the inequities that members of the Black community continue to experience within Waterloo Region, including:

  • Engage in a conversation through the Chair’s Community Roundtable focused on Anti-Racism of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour, to listen to stories about community members’ lived experience and ideas to address racism in our region and integrate anti-racism approaches in Regional strategies and policies.
  • Ensure Black-led and social agencies serving Black, Indigenous and People of Colour are funded equitably through Regional funding mechanisms and breaking down barriers for Black and other marginalized groups to Regional funding.
  • Continue Council’s commitment to fund affordable housing, homelessness shelters, community outreach, employment support, and harm reduction programming to support marginalized groups through Regionally-funded programs. 

Council requested updates from Regional staff on the Five-Year Diversity & Inclusion Plan, the internal First Nations, Metis and Indigenous Working Group and training opportunities for Regional and area Councils and staff. They also requested options on the creation of an internal Anti-Racism Secretariat to deliver on Council’s strategic directions and develop an Anti-Racism Plan within the Region of Waterloo. 

Council also asked for a report back from the Police Services Board on their efforts and initiatives regarding Anti-Racism at the July 2020 Committee Meeting.

Opportunities for community input in the process will be shared publicly on




  • “Black Lives Matter and Racism in Canada and Waterloo Region is real and requires real action; not a political response. We acknowledge that we are not where we want and need to be. It is our duty as elected officials, as public servants, and as human beings to focus our efforts and work together to make meaningful progress in our fight against systematic racism.”
    - Karen Redman, Chair, Region of Waterloo


  • “Our Council has focused on making healthy, safe and inclusive communities a strategic priority. To achieve this, we heard from the community that we need to make meaningful changes in programs, services, and policies that address systematic racism and oppression. Today’s action items will inform a framework and the development of an Anti-Racism Plan.”
    - Elizabeth Clark, Chair, Community Services Committee


  • “The over-incarceration of Indigenous Peoples and People of Colour is a symptom of a society where systemic racism remains a barrier to justice. We have an obligation to speak out against this discrimination and marginalization and create meaningful change. Racism is a barrier to upstream approaches and prevention agendas. The Crime Prevention Council commits to working with our community in supporting and amplifying the voices of those who are actively engaged in anti-racism work as part of our quest to create a just and safe community for all.
    - Cathy Harrington, Chair, Crime Prevention Council Waterloo Region


  • “The Immigration Partnership knows that racism negatively affects immigrants and refugees in Waterloo Region. One of the goals of our new Community Action Plan is to support development of a regional Anti-Racism strategy. We will continue working with the Region, area municipalities, community organizations and the business community to do our part so immigrant and other racialized community members thrive.”
    - Pari Karem, Chair, Immigration Partnership Council


For more information, please contact:


Bryan Stortz, Director, Corporate Communications, 519-575-4408

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