Stephanie Villers, Lincoln, Ward 2

Stephanie Villers

If elected I plan to champion Lincoln’s membership in and adherence to the principles of the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination. UNESCO defines ‘systemic discrimination’ as “[t]he institutionalization of discrimination through policies and practices which may appear neutral on the surface but which have an exclusionary impact on particular groups.”

The Town’s constant need to revisit sexual harassment policies suggests systemic discrimination against women. The lack of affordable rental housing or adequate public transit suggests systemic class discrimination. Despite the fact that nearly a quarter of Lincoln residents are over the age of 65yrs, new property development in Lincoln seemingly discriminates against the elderly as well as those with mobility issues. Subdivision approval for only multi-level townhouses, with zero bungalow towns, maximizes land-use and minimizes building costs at the expense of community diversity.

Rubber-stamping development of lands zoned Environmental Conservation, systemically discriminates against First Nations’ land connection and absconds obligations to future generations.

Online mechanisms for gauging ‘public opinion’ are both ageist and socio-economically exclusive, and social media forums largely resulting in self-selection bias. Representing the public interest is an act of altruism that necessitates a broad and inclusive mindset.

The mere fact that the incumbents in my Ward were the only acclaimed candidates in Niagara during the 2014 municipal election is demonstrative of a need for Lincoln to engage in policies and practices that have a more inclusionary impact on our community. It’s time for change!

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