Montreal, September 6th, 2018 – The leader of Ensemble Montréal, Mr. Lionel Perez, the borough mayor of Pierrefonds-Roxboro, Mr. Dimitrios (Jim) Beis, and the spokesperson for diversity, Ms. Mary Deros, introduced a motion seeking to improve the representativity of cultural diversity within the City’s paramunicipal, associate and independent organizations.
“In Montreal, one in three people is from a visible or cultural minority background. Despite this, very few are represented within paramunicipal and associated organizations. The Plante Administration, criticized for the low representation of visible minorities in its ranks, must take concrete action in favor of diversity“, Mr. Perez asserted.
The elected officials of Ensemble Montréal requested that paramunicipal and associate organizations with more than 30 employees implement a voluntary equal access to employment program and that an annual report on the evolution of the presence of visible minorities be made public.
“It’s about adopting best practices, then evaluating what can be improved based on the general overview. These guidelines would undoubtedly help to chart a path towards a better representation of visible minorities within City authorities”, Mr. Beis said.
Various studies confirm that visible and ethnocultural minorities are under-represented within the City’s paramunicipal, associate and independent organizations, particularly in high-level positions. At the very least, as far as Ensemble Montréal is concerned, the City should name administrators from diverse backgrounds whenever it has the responsibility to do so.
“Recent appointments to the Board of Directors of the Société du parc Jean-Drapeau, for which no one of diversity was chosen, demonstrate how unsatisfactory the process is. The City can and must do better”, Ms. Deros concluded.
This motion will be debated during the upcoming city council meeting on September 17th.
Motion to improve the representation of visible and ethnocultural minorities within paramunicipal, associate and independent organizations at the City of Montreal
Whereas the proportion of visible and ethnocultural minority inhabitants on the territory of the City of Montreal in 2016 was 33%;
Whereas article 2 of the Montreal Charter of Rights and Responsibilities condemns all forms of discrimination, notably those based on ethnic or national origin, skin colour, age, social status, civil status, language, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability;
Whereas the City of Montreal committed through article 16 of the Montreal Charter of Rights and Responsibilities to “promote representation by women of all origins, Aboriginals, visible minorities and members of ethnic and cultural communities and young people within consultative and decision-making forums”;
Whereas the 2015 study Portrait de la présence des jeunes au sein des instances décisionnelles et consultatives de la Ville de Montréal et de ses organismes associés, by the Montreal Youth Council, which included a component on ethnic background, revealed that the boards of directors of paramunicipal and associate organizations included respectively only 18% and 10% visible minority representatives ;
Whereas the 2015 study Diversité en tête, published by the Institut de la diversité and Concertation Montréal, revealed that only 7.6% of people from visible minority backgrounds held high-level positions in the public sector of the Montreal Metropolitan Area (a figure that goes down to 4.8% if elected officials, the public, private and non-profit sectors, government nominations and high-level education executives are accounted for);
Whereas the Montreal Intercultural Council tabled an opinion on civic participation by persons from diverse backgrounds at the municipal council meeting of August 20th, 2018, which noted that they were underrepresented on municipal bodies, more particularly in senior management positions, where they represented only 6% of people in 2015;
Whereas better representation of visible minorities within boards of administrators of paramunicipal, associate and independent organizations will allow for social equity and help promote innovation, efficiency and financial performance among various organizations;
Whereas many nominations to the board of directors of paramunicipal, associate and independent organizations are approved by the executive committee, the municipal council and/or the agglomeration council and are therefore linked to the City of Montreal;
Whereas currently established paramunicipal organizations do not take part in the voluntary equal access to employment programs;
It is moved by Dimitrios Jim Beis, Mayor of Pierrefonds-Roxboro
and seconded by Mary Deros, City Councillor for Parc-Extension
That the City of Montreal reaffirm its commitment to ensuring greater representativeness of visible minorities in the decision-making bodies of paramunicipal, associate and independent organizations and take advantage of every opportunity in which it is its responsibility to appoint directors to appoint people from visible and ethnocultural minorities;
That the City of Montreal raise awareness and support paramunicipal, associate and independent organizations in developing mechanisms to promote diversity in the composition of their board of directors;
That the City of Montreal request that paramunicipal corporations with more than 30 employees implement a voluntary program of access to employment equity based on the City’s program;
And That the Municipal Council mandate the Montreal Intercultural Council to carry out an annual study on the presence of ethnocultural and visible minorities on the boards of paramunicipal, associate and independent organizations of the City of Montreal and that this study be incorporated in its annual report.