Regional Councillor

Brampton Wards 1 & 5

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Regional Councillor Brampton Wards 1 & 5

Harassment of Elected Municipal Officials

A growing number of elected municipal officials are resigning due to harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence. This disproportionately affects women, Black and racialized officials, and 2SLGBTQIA+ representatives. This trend discourages underrepresented groups from entering politics, hindering diversity and healthy democracy.

  • Municipal councils are becoming more diverse, with an increase in women holding elected positions.
  • However, harassment is rising alongside this positive shift.
  • Data on Indigenous, Black, and racialized representation is less complete but shows some progress.
  • Harassment deters qualified individuals from serving, weakening representation and democratic participation.
  • It sends a message that certain voices are unwelcome, particularly those from marginalized groups.
  • Municipalities are the closest level of government to citizens, and harassment undermines their ability to function effectively.
  • A diverse council allows for better representation of the community’s needs and perspectives.
  • Laws governing elected officials are provincial, but the federal government can still collaborate.
  • The federal government faces similar harassment issues with Members of Parliament.
  • Bill C-65 strengthens workplace harassment regulations for federally regulated workplaces.
  • FCM advocates for solutions and has programs like CanWILL to increase women’s participation in local leadership.
  • Bill C-63 (Online Harms Act) tackles online violence but doesn’t address challenges specific to elected officials.
  • Suggested Solutions
    • The federal government can work with provinces and territories on several options:
      • Develop national guidelines for combating harassment against elected officials.
      • Provide targeted funding for safety training and public awareness campaigns.
      • Consider new legislation to deter harassment and protect elected officials.
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