The following are proclamations for the current term of Council.
WHEREAS Toronto became the first municipality in Canada to proclaim Black History Month in 1979 to honour the legacy of Black Canadians. The month provides an opportunity to celebrate and commemorate the legacy, history and achievements that Black Canadians have made and continue to make to our city and country. This is also a time to recognize our shared responsibility to fight anti-Black racism, and reaffirm our commitment to equal rights, opportunity and freedom from discrimination in Toronto and across Canada.
Black History Month is an opportunity to learn about the history of Black Canadians, to recognize the role they have played in building our city and to understand the vital need to combat racism, discrimination and inequity in our communities, partially through gaining a greater understanding of the discrimination and marginalization often faced by Black Canadians.
The City of Toronto’s Confronting Anti-Black Racism unit (CABR) has developed the Toronto Action Plan to eliminate barriers and to ensure systemic changes are made to eradicate anti-Black racism and help create a culture that values inclusion, opposes racism and discrimination of all kinds and prioritizes the well-being and advancement of Black Torontonians.
This effort coincides with United Nations’ declaration of the International Decade for People of African Descent from 2015 – 2024. This International Decade encourages Canada and other countries to take action to protect and promote the human rights of people of African descent, and to recognize the invaluable contributions that people of African descent or origin have made.
Black History is foundational to Toronto’s history and this month gives us an opportunity to learn about the ongoing contributions made by Black Canadians to build our city, and learn of the systemic barriers that continue to face Black communities, both of which are important for all of us to understand. That understanding will make us stronger and better as a city.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor John Tory, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim February 2023 as “Black History Month” in the City of Toronto.
WHEREAS the United Nations observes World Interfaith Harmony Week in the first week of February, to raise awareness of the need for dialogue between people of different faiths and religions.
It is also an opportunity to enhance mutual understanding and tolerance, in an effort to promote a culture of peace and harmony among all people regardless of their faith.
The City of Toronto acknowledges the valued contributions that the interfaith communities contribute to strengthening communities across Toronto and contribute to our city’s motto “Diversity Our Strength“.
Toronto is one of the most diverse cities in the world, where people of all religions, faiths and beliefs reside, but there is work to be done to ensure the equity and safety of our diverse residents. Our city is committed to doing the hard work that needs to be done to foster inclusivity in this city now, and in the future.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor John Tory, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim February 1 – 7, 2023 as “World Interfaith Harmony Week” in the City of Toronto.
WHEREAS since 1984, Crime Stoppers has partnered with community leaders, the media and police to encourage the public to leave tips and anonymously report crimes in our city, to keep our communities safe.
Toronto Crime Stoppers focuses on safety. Their efforts support crime prevention through community engagement working towards a crime-free Toronto. Crime Stoppers also channels much-needed resources and money back into the communities that they serve.
The City of Toronto is committed to community safety and strengthening the wellbeing of all residents by investing in crime prevention through social development, community partnerships and programs, which are all key components for maintaining safe and healthy neighbourhoods.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor John Tory, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim January 2023 as “Crime Stoppers Month” in the City of Toronto.
WHEREAS Canada is thankful to be home to one of the largest Tamil Diasporas in the world, many of whom call Toronto home. Throughout the month of January, we acknowledge the many accomplishments and contributions that Tamil Canadians have made to the social, economic and cultural fabric of our city.
Tamil Heritage Month provides an opportunity to recognize the vibrant and diverse Tamil community, and celebrate its rich culture, heritage and history. For more than 80 years, Tamil Canadians have made significant contributions to the growth and diversity of our city.
The City of Toronto acknowledges the valued contributions that the diverse communities of Toronto have made to strengthen our society and contribute to our city’s overall well-being.
The many contributions Tamil Canadians make to Toronto strengthen us socially, politically, culturally and economically. Toronto is one of the most diverse cities in the world, but there is work to be done to ensure the equity and safety of our diverse residents. Our city is committed to doing the hard work that needs to be done to foster inclusivity in this city now, and in the future.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor John Tory, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim January 2023 as “Tamil Heritage Month” in the City of Toronto.
WHEREAS today, we remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s incredible legacy of leadership in the Civil Rights movement and work towards ending legal segregation of People of African Descent.
Martin Luther King Jr. was a Baptist minister, who is globally recognized as one of the foremost leaders of the Civil Rights movement. His life’s work helped advance social justice for Black residents of the United States. By advocating for nonviolent intervention and acts of civil disobedience, Martin Luther King Jr. was instrumental in helping make racial discrimination illegal in public and professional settings.
He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, becoming the youngest man ever to receive the prestigious award. Martin Luther King Jr. also focused on the issues of labour rights, class division, poverty, capitalism and war. Although he was assassinated at the age of 39, his legacy continues to inspire many, and has set an example for all generations that have followed.
The City of Toronto remembers and honours the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. and is committed to the basic principles of human rights, equity and justice for all residents. The City remains focused on fighting anti-Black racism and discrimination in our communities.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor John Tory, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim January 16, 2023 as “Martin Luther King Jr. Day” in the City of Toronto.
WHEREAS today we celebrate the life and achievements of the late Honourable Lincoln Alexander, a Toronto-born pioneering politician and lawyer, and a Canadian trailblazer in the fight for racial equity.
Throughout his life and career, Lincoln Alexander was an outspoken leader, challenging and taking action against racial discrimination, while continually fighting for racial equity and civil rights. From his early school days to his well-established political career, Lincoln Alexander never shied away from advocacy for equity-deserving communities. As a young Black Canadian, he faced racism throughout his military service in the Second World War, during his studies at Osgoode Hall Law School, and in his pursuit of employment.
His political career began in 1968, when he was first elected to the House of Commons for Hamilton West, becoming Canada’s first Black Member of Parliament. He would go on to hold this office through four more elections, and in 1979, he became the first Black Canadian to serve in the Cabinet. After resigning his seat in 1980, he was appointed chair of the Ontario Workers’ Compensation Board, again, the first Black Canadian to do so.
On September 20, 1985, Lincoln Alexander was appointed the 24th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, becoming the first Black Canadian to serve in a vice-regal position in Canada. It was in this position that he took an active role in fighting racism, advancing youth issues, and advocating for seniors. A post he held with great respect and pride, he visited hundreds of communities and schools and attended thousands of events to solidify his mandate. Lincoln Alexander was one of the most highly respected and admired people to ever hold the position of Lieutenant Governor. He had great affection for the people of Ontario.
“Linc”, as he was fondly known to many, is honoured as a champion for equity and challenging oppression. Today, we commemorate his legacy and his immense contributions in the fight against racism and discrimination in our city, province and country.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor John Tory, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim January 21, 2023 as “Lincoln Alexander Day” in the City of Toronto.
WHEREAS during Toronto Design Week, we celebrate the annual DesignTO Festival, Canada’s largest annual design festival dedicated to promoting design as a multidisciplinary art form. It showcases the talents of designers and artists in Canada and those from around the world.
Since 2011, Toronto Design Week provides a platform for both new and established artists to engage with community members and with each other. Through the curation of numerous exhibitions, presentations and educational programming, this festival is an opportunity for all to appreciate and learn about the intricacies of design.
This year during its 13th edition, the DesignTO Festival will feature exhibits and speaker panels that tackle current events and issues, displayed in numerous locations across the city and online, allowing residents from all neighbourhoods to participate throughout the week.
For the past three years, the City of Toronto has partnered with DesignTO to support the DesignTO Youth project, a program which aims to provide equity-deserving and at-risk youth with access to creative disciplines and connect them with industry professionals, culminating in a public exhibition of their collaboration during Toronto Design Week.
The City of Toronto is committed to fostering a community where arts and creativity can thrive, making our city more sustainable, equitable, and accessible. The DesignTO Festival shares this vision. Toronto continues to invest in programs and initiatives that promote diverse and vibrant creativity, and ensures that residents have the opportunity to participate.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor John Tory, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim January 20 – 29, 2023 as “Toronto Design Week” in the City of Toronto.
WHEREAS this week we raise awareness and acknowledge the importance of data privacy and protection. As we continue to navigate the digital age, the City of Toronto prioritizes cybersecurity and data privacy in order to instill public confidence in its programs and services.
International Data Privacy Day takes place each year on January 28, an international effort by data protection authorities to raise public awareness and promote privacy and data protection rights and best practices. Data Privacy Week is observed in countries around the world and is recognized by the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario and Canada’s Privacy Commissioner.
As the use of digital infrastructure by the City including its use in public spaces has grown, it is crucial to preserve trust in municipal government by building public awareness of how the City safeguards the personal data of residents, by building a culture of privacy and securing critical infrastructure.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor John Tory, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim January 22 – 28, 2023 as “Data Privacy Week” in the City of Toronto.
WHEREAS this week is an opportunity to honour the dedication and commitment of emergency shelter workers and homelessness service workers who serve Toronto’s homeless residents. One of the City’s most important responsibilities and top priorities is providing supports to the city’s most vulnerable residents—work done with great care and compassion by emergency shelter and homelessness service workers.
Thousands of dedicated workers deliver services to homeless residents around the clock, seven days a week, every day of the year, at more than 100 emergency shelter programs across Toronto and to individuals living outside. They are focused on establishing supportive relationships as a first step in addressing an individual’s immediate health and safety needs. The program workers connect residents with street outreach, shelters, 24-hour respite sites, warming centres and temporary shelters opened as part of the City’s COVID-19 response, as well as drop-in services, wraparound supports, and long-term housing opportunities.
I want to thank all of the emergency shelter workers and homelessness service workers for the important, lifesaving work they do each and every day. Their work makes our city a more compassionate place in which to live.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor John Tory, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim January 23 – 29, 2023 as “Emergency Shelter and Homelessness Service Worker Appreciation Week” in the City of Toronto.
WHEREAS today on the anniversary of the 1945 liberation of the Nazi Extermination Camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, we honour the memory and pay tribute to all victims of the Holocaust who were persecuted and killed by Nazi occupiers, and we continue to pay our respect to those who survived.
As we remember and reflect on the terrible crimes and legacy of the Holocaust, we recognize the lasting effects of inter-generational trauma that survivors have had to bare, many of whom live and have lived in Toronto. We also recognize the unacceptable antisemitism Jewish communities in our city and around the world continue to face, and the collective responsibility all residents share in denouncing and combating antisemitism in all of its forms.
The City of Toronto recognizes the need for collective action against the ongoing prevalence of antisemitism and hate crimes, with the hope of working towards peace and harmony among all of our residents. This commitment is at the forefront of efforts to eliminate acts of antisemitism and other hate crimes against Jewish peoples, while supporting all individuals and communities to stand up against hatred, intolerance and discrimination.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor John Tory, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim January 27, 2023 as “International Holocaust Remembrance Day” in the City of Toronto.
WHEREAS we honour all those who were killed and those who were injured, when worshippers at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec were attacked in 2017 after evening prayers. Six members of the Muslim community lost their lives and eight others were injured in this violent attack by a gunman – a terror attack fuelled by Islamophobia, racism and hatred.
The City of Toronto takes a firm stand against any form of Islamophobia, hatred, violence and harassment directed against Muslims in our city and in our country. We join Canadians across the country in commemorating the victims, survivors and families of the attack, while reflecting on this tragic event.
The City of Toronto is one of the most diverse cities in the world and Muslim Torontonians continue to contribute immensely to the social, cultural, and economic fabric of our city. By focusing on our residents’ well-being in addition to working collaboratively with community leaders and organizations, the City strives to create an environment that respects the livelihood, dignity and safety of all residents.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor John Tory, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim January 29, 2023 as “Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia” in the City of Toronto.