- Posted October 19, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Everyday racism: Your stories
City of Brampton in Ontario - Canada.
Brampton a city located in Southern Ontario, Canada. It also is a suburb of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). As the last complied census report of 2011 states that Brampton's population to be 523,911. Total visible minority population of the City (as per published data) is 246,150 which make up for 57% of the population, and the largest of that group is South Asians the count is 136,750 which makes it a whopping 31.7% of the total population.
The 2011 census also says that English is the most spoken language and i.e. by 51.7% of the population. The other next most common languages are Punjabi, spoken by 17.5% of the population, followed by Urdu at 2.8%, with Portuguese and Gujarati both at 2.1% each.
With Brampton’s population approaching 550,000, two thirds of which are members of visible minorities, and with a significantly younger face than most of the country, a place most outsiders might still consider a sleepy little suburb just west of Toronto is suddenly the nation’s ninth-largest city, not far behind Vancouver.
Now the question is, are all minorities treated fairly and squarely by the City of Brampton?
If you ask the grass roots on a one on one base the answer is a big “NO”.
Let’s try and discuss some of the possible reasons. City of Brampton still has to publish a detailed report of city halls employees, with clearly indicating percentage of visible minorities? One seldom expects a straight answer but still I gathered up courage to ask our Honorable Mayor this question and her answer only took me around in circles (as expected).
Seldom day to day hard working Brampton families are consulted or even provided direct updates on city affairs (as city data clearly states that a reasonable majority perhaps might not have adequate English speaking/reading skills) , and if at any time there is interaction it usually is perhaps just for cameras - (Recent controversial town houses debate is a prime example), where the city council flip flopped first rejecting then approving the project of course to builders delight and residents dismay.
Another example is that the city decided to raise residents property taxes to come up with committed levy dollars for the construction of Brampton’s – much overdue second hospital (yet again the residents objected but to no avail), once again the respected Mayor of the city was asked by me why the city council and city hall employees (majority of who don’t even live in Brampton) won’t chip in as well as usual no clear answer.
Respected Mayor’s and city council attention was drawn towards some arrogance reported by some media and public members, couple of months have passed and we still wait on for a proper answer.
My humble suggestion to our respected city council is that just photo op’s with ethnic minorities which is the norm won’t help in the long run. Let’s talk real issues and try and bridge the widening gap between “the real” masses and the municipal government. It’s about time we got more serious and discuss issues to the point rather than just beating around the bush.
As this famous maxim tells us that “a stitch in time saves nine”.
Photo & write-up Akbar Warris