“respect. is a human right” – Thunder Bay Mayor Hobbs

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respect.THUNDER BAY – The message of learning from each other, respecting each other, and building a better city is coming along in Thunder Bay. This morning, at City Hall, The City of Thunder Bay has embraced and is promoting respect., an initiative developed and practised by students and staff at Confederation College. This initiative is being extended to Thunder Bay through the City’s Anti-Racism Advisory Committee and Crime Prevention Council.

“respect. reminds each one of us to treat each other with dignity,” shared Mayor Keith Hobbs. “respect. is a human right. We hope this initiative encourages residents and businesses to create a more positive community that celebrates our differences and builds respect. in all aspects of city life.”

Last night at Lakehead University, Mayor Hobbs was a speaker at a forum on Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal cultures. At that event, the Mayor made a personal apology for comments he had made in the past toward Aboriginal people, during his career as a police officer in the city. During the question and answer period after the speakers, Charlotte Neckaway came forward to share that as an Aboriginal person she wanted to accept Mayor Hobb’s apology.

respect. heightens awareness of how we must treat each other to be good friends, family members, co-workers and neighbours. These organizations have already committed to the respect. initiative: Fort William First Nation, the United Way Quality of Life Network, the Thunder Bay Police Service, the Thunder Bay & District Labour Council, the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce, the Thunder Bay Youth Strategy and Métis Nation of Ontario.

“respect. challenges attitudes, beliefs and behaviours that ignore human dignity,” said Ann Magiskan, Chair of the Anti-Racism Advisory Committee. “That’s why we feel this initiative is a good fit with the goals of the Committee.”

respect. was created in 2006 by staff and students from Confederation College. The Student Union of Confederation College Inc. (SUCCI) and the Oshki Anishnawbeg Student Association have supported and fostered this initiative since its introduction.

“respect. was born from a desire to address negative behaviours and empower the College community to pay attention to how we treat each other,” said Thomas Russell, SUCCI’s Administrator of Wellness and Diversity and co-creator of respect. “We are extremely pleased to see the principles we uphold relayed to our community, making it a more respectful place to live, work and play.”

“Everyone deserves respect.,” said Wendy Landry, Chair of the Crime Prevention Council. “Building respect. can provide a basis to help address the serious issues we face in the community. This is a call to action to create more respect. in Thunder Bay and it starts with you and me.”

Visit www.thunderbay.ca/respect for more information.

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