On July 7, Council of the Village of Westport passed by-law 2020-35 to establish guidelines for the Village of Westport to address matters of discrimination and to identify strategies and actions to combat discrimination and harassment. 

Council further resolved to:

  1. acknowledge that racism, discrimination and harassment exist.
  2. commit to using equity, diversity and inclusive lenses on all future decisions.
  3. provide education to inform Council and Staff about implicit and explicit bias.
  4. direct staff to review all existing Westport public policies for systemic barriers to accessing government programs and services. 
  5. raise awareness and assist in community collaboration to identify strategies and actions to combat racism, discrimination and harassment.
  6. direct that the Corporate Strategic Plan be amended to include the goals of this by-law as described in items 1 through 5 above.

A Task Force will be appointed by Council to identify strategies and actions to combat discrimination and harassment.  A Task Force is a Committee of Council with a specific purpose and time limit.

Before the Task Force work can begin, three workshops will be held (virtually) to provide participants with a common understanding of some of the issues.  The workshops will be live streamed on the VILLAGE OF WESTPORT YOUTUBE channel .  People who wish to be considered for membership on the Task Force should attend the workshops.


Wednesday, November 25, 2020 @ 7:00 p.m.

The Legal Framework of Discrimination and Harassment in Canada, including the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Canadian and Ontario Human Rights Codes.  

PRESENTER: Senator Gwen Boniface, COM, joined the Ontario Provincial Police (O.P.P.) in 1977 as a Provincial Constable before being called to the bar in 1990.  She served in the Law Commission of Canada from 1997 to 2002. Gwen was appointed as the Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police (O.P.P.) from 1998 – 2006.  She was the first female President of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, and the first Canadian to hold the Chair of the Division of State and Provincial Police of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).  

In October 2006, Senator Boniface retired from the OPP and was selected to serve as the Deputy Chief-Inspector of the Garda Inspectorate, an organization established to reform and modernize Ireland’s national police service. From 2010 to 2012, she was the Transnational Crime Expert for the United Nations Police Division. In 2014, Gwen accepted the position of Deputy Executive Director with IACP.  Prime Minister Trudeau appointed Gwen to the Senate of Canada  on October 31, 2016, where she sits as an independent.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 @ 7:00 p.m.

Implicit & Explicit Bias: what are they and how do they effect our behaviour?  

PRESENTER: Ms Anna Laszlo MA is a Managing Partner and the National Training Director of Fair & Impartial Policing (FIP), LLC. With Dr. Lorie Fridell, she co-authored the Fair & Impartial Policing Training Programs. She directs new product development, such as FIP training curricula for law enforcement and civilian agency personnel, community leaders/members, and other criminal justice system audiences such as judges, probation officers, prosecutors and defense counsel. She continues to train the FIP curriculum throughout the U.S. and Canada. Ms. Laszlo oversees the recruitment, screening and monitoring of new FIP national instructors and manages FIP’s licensing agreements (with agencies) and contractor agreements (with instructors). She brings over 36 years’ experience designing and delivering national criminal justice and law enforcement training funded by Federal, state and local agencies.

She is extensively published in academic and professional journals, addressing criminal justice and police reform topics. Her article, addressing the development of the Fair & Impartial Policing Training Program, appears in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Journal—Special Issue: Policing Diverse Communities. Her work with Fair & Impartial Policing was highlighted by the Harvard Business Review (www.HBR.org) and she has been a featured speaker at MIT’s Sloan School of Management annual conference addressing implicit bias. She has been an adjunct professor of criminal justice at Buffalo State College, Boston College, and Seattle University.

In addition to her work with FIP, LLC, Ms. Laszlo’s consulting practice, which focuses on curriculum design and training implementation, includes such clients as the International Association of Chiefs of Police (Alexandria, VA), Phoenix House, Inc. (New York), Strategy Matters, Inc. (Boston), Polis-Solutions, Inc. (Seattle) and Cambridge University (London). Her domestic portfolio focuses on leadership training for women; her international portfolio includes working with the Indian, Moroccan, Haitian, Tunisian, Brazilian, Egyptian and Indian National Police Services to implement innovative police reform projects.

Ms. Laszlo and her husband, R. Gil Kerlikowske are based in Charleston (SC) and Martha’s Vineyard (MA).

Wednesday, February 24, 2021 @ 7:00 p.m.

Health Equity: is created when individuals have the fair opportunity to reach their fullest health potential.  Achieving health equity requires reducing unnecessary and avoidable differences that are unfair and unjust.  Many causes of health inequities relate to social and environment factors including: poverty, race and gender.

PRESENTER: Tanis Brown is a Registered Nurse in professional practice since May 2000.   She is a graduate from the Queen’s University Nursing Science and Athabasca University, Master of Nursing (teaching focus) program.  As a member of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, Tanis was the recipient of the 2016 President’s Award for Clinical Practice for demonstrating excellence in nursing leadership, and was recently featured in Registered Nurse Journal on inspired leadership.  Tanis has had the opportunity to practice nursing across multiple health care sectors. The diversity of professional practice from long-term care, acute care in maternal/newborn services, public health and nursing education has evolved and deepened her understanding of the social determinants of health and strengthens her work in her current role as the Health Equity Coordinator, at the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit.