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Black Lives Matter Sudbury unveils list of ‘demands’ for city council

Group calls for a $6M cut to the police budget, funding for equity programing for BIPOC youth and mandatory inclusion of a people of colour on certain boards and committees
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Black Lives Matter Sudbury presents a list of demands to Greater Sudbury city council at the Sept. 22 meeting. (Keira Ferguson/ Sudbury.com)

Black Lives Matter Sudbury has issued the list of demands it plans on putting before Greater Sudbury city council on Tuesday evening.

The demands, the group said in a news release, are aimed at producing “meaningful and long-lasting change.”

“Greater Sudbury. As they are at the forefront of innovation in the field of human services - tailoring programs and services to the needs of individual communities,” Black Lives Matter Sudbury (BLMS) states in the release. “On September 22nd, BLMS will be presenting three of our demands to the City Council, with the goal of creating meaningful and long-lasting change for the marginalized communities who are often left silenced.”

BLMS is also hosting a Q&A session tomorrow evening with those presenting the list of demands to council, as well as holding a candlelight vigil and moment of silence outside the Sudbury Theatre Centre Building, where they are hosting a live watch party.

Below, Sudbury.com has included the three demands to be put before council Tuesday evening, as presented by BLMS.

The demands

Demand One: Black Lives Matter Sudbury calls upon the Greater City of Sudbury and Council to provide funding for the implementation of appropriate culturally sensitive programming for Black, Indigenous, and Youth of Colour. 

Funding for these programs equate to $50,000 per annum that will go towards the hiring appropriate counsellors and social workers, training volunteers, providing snacks/food during program hours, bus fare/transportation (taxi voucher) to ensure accessibility and low-cost  participation to and from the program, extra activities (excursions), and lastly, a program evaluation/program developer. Additionally, Black Lives Matter Sudbury demands the Greater City of Sudbury and Council to provide space/resources in the form of free access to The Greater Sudbury Area funded and run spaces such as but not limited to Community Centres. 

Demand Two: Black Lives Matter Sudbury calls upon the City of Greater Sudbury, Council, and all Arts and Culture organizations in the community for an appropriate level of inclusion of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour) representation in public spaces including, but not limited to, murals, galleries, festivals and performance venues.

We further call for the mandatory representation of BIPOC People within the Greater Sudbury Development Corporation and Sudbury Arts and Culture Grants Juries (Operating and Project). Additionally, we demand that within the Arts and Culture grant application there is the inclusion of a BIPOC equity and inclusivity mandate/work plan that will hold organizations accountable. Finally, we demand the creation of an additional grant stream within the Arts and Culture grant programs specifically to provide financial assistance to aspiring emerging BIPOC artists 

Demand Three: Black Lives Matter Sudbury demands that the City of Greater Sudbury and Council to immediately defund and redirect 10 per cent of the $62-million Sudbury taxpayer dollars utilized for the Greater Sudbury Police Service (GSPS) budget.

In doing so, we demand that these funds be re-allocated towards the necessary community-led programs and services, allowing them to perform at a higher capacity, and to actively assume operations that would otherwise fall under the purview of the GSPS. Funds shall also be allocated towards long-term housing for homeless communities, food security programs, public health services, and community-led anti-violence programs. Finally, we call upon the City of Greater Sudbury and Council for increased funding towards services supporting victims of sexual assault and gender-based violence, as well as the creation of a 24-hour sexual violence hotline, independent from the GSPS, that is properly equipped to support marginalized and 2SLGBTQ+ communities.**

As it has been forced to do multiple times with stories involving Black Lives Matter, Sudbury.com is closing comments preemptively on this story. The amount of hateful and racist comments BLMS receives means no meaningful discussion occurs and moderating the comments that are received becomes an impossible task.

**An earlier version of this story included the following demand, "Furthermore, we call upon the mandatory inclusion of BIPOC citizens on the Greater Sudbury Police Board, following the decline in representation that has recently occurred." After publicationn, BLM Sudbury requested the removal of the demand as "it reflects an outdated version of our demands." Sudbury.com has complied with that request and updated the story.