[PETERBOROUGH] The results of the Diversity and Tolerance report were presented at tonight’s Creative Cocktail hosted by Flying Colours Corp. The report was prepared by Trent University Student, Melanie Grant in partnership with the Greater Peterborough Area Economic Development Corporation (GPA EDC) and the Peterborough Partnership Council on Immigrant Integration (PPCII).
The Diversity and Tolerance report explores the challenges facing communities and the social and economic environment surrounding diversity in Canada – Peterborough in particular. Tolerance for diversity, along with technology and talent are indicators of a Creative Class Community, which consists of a group of people employed in numerous sectors who are paid to think creatively. This sector of the labour force generally search for regions to work and live in that include, accept and welcome diversity and advance those regions towards further tolerance simultaneously.
“Tolerance for diversity in our community is a key aspect for economic growth and success,” says Dan Taylor, President & CEO of the GPA EDC. “The benefits of which the Creative Class Community brings to an area will create jobs, attract investment and aid Peterborough in reaching its potential.”
In summary, the Peterborough region was ranked third overall. The individual indicators were: Integration (2nd) and Bohemian (2nd), followed by the Gay and Lesbian Index (8th), Mosaic (10th) and Visible Minorities (15th). In addition to exploring the challenges and gaps Peterborough and other regions face, the report includes the various strengths Peterborough has (see summary report). It was shown that there has been an increasing knowledge about these areas and that the community has become more tolerant over recent years.
Recommendations of how Peterborough can handle diversity and move towards being more tolerant are explained though multiple techniques throughout the report.
As a central theme of the creative class, tolerance for diversity makes way for new ideas and innovative growth while creating job opportunities and local investment.
The mission of the GPA EDC is to assist the City and County of Peterborough with the development of an environment that facilitates the creation of wealth and expanded employment in a manner that increases our citizens’ standard of living and improves quality of life.
DIVERSITY AND TOLERANCE REPORT SUMMARY
The Diversity and Tolerance report explores the challenges facing communities and the social and economic environment surrounding diversity in Canada – Peterborough in particular. As a central theme of the creative class, tolerance for diversity makes way for a tolerance of new ideas and innovative growth while creating job opportunities and local investment.
Tolerance & the Creative Class
- The Creative Class is a group of people employed in numerous areas, who are paid to think creatively.
- Tolerance for diversity, along with Technology and Talent are indicators of a welcoming Creative Class Community, positioned for growth.
- They are drivers of innovation, and their presence in a community is an essential element for future economic success and higher wages.
Diversity & the Benefits of Tolerance
- People are made up of many traits which combined make us unique. People in general are not absolutely tolerant or completely intolerant – there are varying degrees of tolerance.
- The highest level of tolerance is to be able to accept, both emotionally and intellectually, the common humanity that ties all of us together.
- Once a community has a tolerance for diversity, it will lead to a community tolerance for new ideas.
- The transfer of knowledge between different sectors as people get involved in different activities is a benefit of innovative thinking.
Diversity, Tolerance & Intolerance
- Many issues are deep rooted in society’s systems and structures, and racism, discrimination and unconscious biases are still present. Canada has a reputation for being tolerant, however intolerance is still very prevalent.
- Various organizations and individuals within communities have their own objectives, preconceived beliefs and values and stay within their own groups.
- Knowledge that can be gained through interaction is limited by the “silo” effect, where the different sections of the community group together and interact little with other silos.
Included in the report, research done by Richard Florida and the Martin Prosperity Institute provides a unique analysis of the region’s current level of tolerance and a comparison to a number of small-sized regions from both Canada and the United States. The measures used include:
- The Gay Index – looking at the number of a community’s same-sex marriages against the North American Average
- The Bohemian Index – looking at the number of artistic jobs, such as musicians, painters, actors, dancers, in a community compared to the North American average.
- The Mosaic Index – the percentage of the population that is foreign born.
- The Integration Index – looking at how racially mixed the community is in relation to its peer regions
- The Visible Minority Index – not used in the overall Tolerance ranking, but is included because it is an important component
In summary, the Peterborough region was ranked third overall. The individual indicators were: Integration (2nd) and Bohemian (2nd), followed by the Gay and Lesbian Index (8th), Mosaic (10th) and Visible Minorities (15th). From these results, several positive observations and gaps can be identified through multiple themes. Themes include Increasing Tolerance in Peterborough, a Focus on Immigration and Cultural Diversity, and the Presence of Fleming College and Trent University.
Community has become more tolerant in recent years
Becoming more tolerant out of fear of consequences (economic/legal) will not create a sustainable tolerant system
Increasing knowledge about these areas- More reports being done and plans being created
The strategy and vision must be formed by the desires of the community, not dictated by the environment
Immigrants are crucial to the population and economic growth of the region
“Silo” effect between organizations that deal with different areas of diversity
Post-secondary institutions generators of inventions and innovative ideas
Gap between tolerance levels desired by students and reality
From the Strengths and Gaps throughout these themes, various interconnecting recommendations with sub-categories are included in the report. These recommendations comprise of:
- Creation of New Communication Channels
- An Increased Interaction Between the Community, Trent and Fleming (Increase Collaboration and Promotion of Volunteerism)
- Create more Opportunities for Diversity Training
- Focus on Accessibility (Public Transportation, Establishment of a Bike Rental System)
- Actively learn from other Regions and Organizations within the Community
Tolerance is a requirement for those that want to stay competitive, relevant and prosperous, and to be able to effectively mobilize resources and knowledge.
A special thank-you has been given to the following for their support and commitment:
Dawn Berry Merriam - Peterborough Social Planning Council, Karolyn Givogue – Community Race and Relations Committee, Beverly Lomosad – Newcomer Bulletin, Maryam Monsef – New Canadians Centre, Brian Mehlenbacher – Trent University, Dr. Tom Phillips – Trent University, Becky Rogers – Arts, Culture and Heritage Division, Jason Stabler – Peterborough Partnership Council on Immigrant Integration, Kevin Stolarick – Martin Prosperity Institute, Carmela Valles – Carmela Valles Immigration Consulting, Dan Taylor and Kate Young – GPA EDC.
For additional information please contact Kate Young, Communications Officer
705.743.0777 Ext. 2134, firstname.lastname@example.org @youngk8e @PtboEcDev