By Dr. Clarence S. Bayne
This is an open communique to the present Administration at the City of Montreal from the Black Community Forum.
The content and tone capture decisions made at a series of meetings of the Forum and Ad hoc Black community Committees on arts, culture, diversity and rights and freedoms, over the years 2016 and 2017.
With respect to general priorities, the Black Community Forum (BCF) expects all levels of Government to give particular attention and support to Black community priorities as a conscious part of their planning and policy determination. Key priorities are
• Support for the Black Family
• General Health and Mental Health
• Rights and Freedoms: Anti- Racism Strategies
• Economic development
• Reinforcement of Community Structures and organizations
• Youth, Education, Employment and Employability
• Support for Arts/Culture
• Support for Black Community Libraries, Archives and Communication centers
Problems left on the Table of the City-BCF Committee, November 5, 2017
With respect to the City of Montreal Cabinet de la Mairesse, the Black Community Forum expects that the Plante Administration will return in good faith to the table to resume discourse according to the principles and protocols agreed to at the May 18, 2017 Meeting with Mr. Dimitrios (Jim) Beis, representing the Cabinet du Maire.
1. A return to the 2004 City Task Force Model for building and sustaining relationships with the Black Community, agreed and signed to under the Tremblay Administration.
2. Continued discussion with the City on protocols for the negotiating and or discontinuation of agreements with organizations in the Black Community: a case in point being the Quebec Board of Black Educators vs. the BINAM.
3. Resolution of BCF request to City for support for core funding for a central communication and information system linking key community development agencies in the Black English community. This includes operations funding for the Pan-Black Events Website, Semaji BCRC News Letter, BSC Black community digitized archive services, and the administration of a common data base.
4. Support for the development and implementation of a plan for creating a Black creative tourism sector based on the arts and culture of the diverse Black communities and as a part of the tourism plan for Montreal as a metropolis of arts, culture, natural beauty, festivals, and diversity.
Besides making our art and culture an indelible and productive part of the history and life of the City, it is intended to generate small businesses and employment in the Black communities. As part of the Montreal tourism Sector, special attention must be given to the English speaking Black communities.
As a first and experimental stage, City support is being discussed for the Union United Church for the development of its Walking Tour Project, with the Church as an Historic creative center on the Tour.