Submitted by Standing Together Against Racism
On January 18, 2021, Laurie Munro, a director of the Muskoka Lakes Association (MLA), made some deeply hurtful and insensitive racial comments in his presentation during the District of Muskoka’s Municipal Modernization Committee hearing. We applaud Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith who immediately took anti-racist action in question period.
Mr. Munro’s remarks at the meeting are reflective of white privilege and show a blatant disregard for the struggles of Black, Indigenous, and all People of Colour. His remarks are further inflammatory because the MLA mainly represents the class of people who have most materially benefited from the same system of power and economics that put George Floyd on the pavement. Mr. Munro wrongly took this real material difference and turned it around to create an analogy where both he and his association are the victims. This is unacceptable and deeply troubling.
Standing Together Against Racism (STAR), a community group with members throughout Muskoka, calls on the District of Muskoka to take action based on these remarks to ensure that all of its meetings have clear guidelines and procedures to immediately deal with inappropriate and racist comments ensuring that all citizens have an equal and fair environment in which to exercise their civic rights. We also ask that Mr. Munro undergo an anti-racist training course, that the MLA reconsider their choice of representative and that the District of Muskoka consider offering anti-racist training courses to all officials that work regularly with the District.
STAR invites all interested members of the community to stand in solidarity together with us the first Sunday of every month from 2-3 pm in front of the Town of Huntsville town hall office to help raise awareness of ongoing social justice issues in Muskoka. Please join the STAR Facebook page at facebook.com/STARHuntsville for further information.
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