Tag Archives: Mayor and Council

Council passes bylaw establishing guidelines to address racism, discrimination and harassment.

At the July 7 meeting, Council took the very strong step to pass a bylaw that states our commitment to upholding the human rights of individuals, empowering vulnerable communities and fostering a civil society that is committed to the elimination of racism, discrimination, marginalization, and poverty and also in empowering individuals to stand up against intolerance wherever it occurs. The passing of this public policy bylaw is the first step, the laying of a cornerstone.  There is much to do for staff and council to implement the strategies and I look forward to the involvement of the public as we move forward.

I encourage you to contact me or any member of Council to share your thoughts and suggestions in relation to the approved strategies.


BY-LAW 2020-35


WHEREAS the Canadian Human Rights Act of 1977 protects people in Canada from discrimination when they are employed by or receive services from the federal government, First Nations governments or private companies that are regulated by the federal government such as banks, trucking companies, broadcasters and telecommunications companies. People can turn to the Canadian Human Rights Act to protect themselves against harassment or discrimination when based on one or more grounds of discrimination such as race, age and sexual orientation.

AND WHEREAS the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms of 1982 is part of Canada’s Constitution. The Charter protects every Canadian’s right to be treated equally under the law. The Charter guarantees broad equality rights and other fundamental rights such as the freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion. It only applies to governments, and not to private individuals, businesses or other organizations. This means that for the most part, a person cannot mount a Charter challenge against a private business, a private organization, or a person who is not acting on behalf of the government. The Charter also protects the rights of all Canadians from infringements by laws, policies or actions of governments, including authorities such as the police.

AND WHEREAS the United Nations General Assembly adopted unanimously the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948.  The Declaration recognizes the fundamental rights and freedoms of all people and holds that only when the dignity, worth and equal rights of humankind are respected can we obtain freedom, justice and peace

AND WHEREAS the Ontario’s Human Rights Code is a provincial law that gives everyone equal rights and opportunities without discrimination in specific social areas such as jobs, housing, services, facilities, and contracts or agreements. The Code’s goal is to prevent discrimination and harassment because of race, sex, disability, and age, to name a few of the 17 grounds. All other Ontario laws must agree with the Code.  This includes municipal by-laws.

AND WHEREAS the Village of Westport is committed to embracing the spirit of the United Nations Declaration and the Ontario Human Rights Code by upholding the human rights of individuals, empowering vulnerable communities and fostering a civil society that is committed to the elimination of racism, discrimination, marginalization, and poverty and also in empowering individuals to stand up against intolerance wherever it occurs. 

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Council of the Village of Westport shall:

  1. acknowledge that racism, discrimination and harassment exist.
  1. commit to using equity, diversity and inclusive lenses on all future decisions,
  1. provide education to inform Council and Staff about implicit and explicit bias.
  1. direct staff to review all existing Westport public policies for systemic barriers to accessing government programs and services. 
  1. raise awareness and assist in community collaboration to identify strategies and actions to combat racism, discrimination and harassment.
  1. direct that the Corporate Strategic Plan be amended to include the goals of this by-law as described in items 1 through 5 above.

ENACTED AND PASSED this 7th day of July 2020.

Update on COVID-19 to Westport Residents and Business Owners

April 8, 2020

Dear Westport Residents and Business Owners

Currently, there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 in the Village.  I want to thank each of you for doing your part by staying home and self isolating and by keeping physical distance of 6ft between you and another when you must go out. 

On April 1 @ 4:10 p.m. in my role as head of council of Westport, I declared an emergency.  The authority to do so comes from the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) S. 4(1) that states “The head of council of a municipality may declare that an emergency exists in the municipality or in any part thereof and may take such action and make such orders as he or she considers necessary and are not contrary to law to implement the emergency plan of the municipality and to protect property and the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the emergency area.” 

The declaration was made to provide the Mayor the authority to take actions or make orders, which are not contrary to law, in order to protect the inhabitants in the area of the emergency.  I want to be proactive and the declaration of an emergency gives me real time decision making authority.  The declaration is also required to provide volunteers supporting the municipal emergency efforts with WSIB protection. Finally, the declaration sends a clear message that the municipality is taking the current situation seriously and is taking every step that we can to protect them from the threat. 

That being said, the emergency declaration does not provide the Mayor nor anyone else in a municipality, with any extraordinary authorities that are not otherwise provided for in law. For example, the Mayor will not have the authority to order a private business or service to cease operations or to close by virtue of having declared an emergency. The closures of businesses, the harbour and boat launches are due to the Provincial Emergency orders.

Orders have been given under the Municipal Emergency to close Town Hall, suspend the use of Westport garbage bags/tags and the free WiFi – all to be reviewed at the end of April.  Town Hall staff can be contacted at 613-273-2191 for assistance with municipal government matters.  Using the Town Hall debit machine to pay Rideau St Lawrence Distribution bills is suspended.  Payment by cheque or cash with payment stub can be made by using an envelope through the mail slot at Town Hall. Cash payments continue to be accepted at BMO in Westport.  To pay by debit, please contact your financial institution to set up an online option.  Pre-authorized payment plans are available- call 1-866-381-1841

Kudrinko’s, Village Pharmacy, Home Hardware, Circle K, BMO and the Post office continue their efforts to provide you with support by remaining open for business.  Country Roads Community Health Centre remains open, however they ask you to call first.  There are several restaurants providing take out food, these include Tangled Gardens, Steve’s Restaurant, Cottage Coffee and the Dancing Moon Tea Room.  Each has put screening in place before you enter the business and has made adjustments for physical distancing once inside. Many, many thanks to these businesses and services who are our front line workers here in Westport.

If you need some help with deliveries of food or other support, there are volunteers available.  Pastor Paul Millar is leading the charge for volunteers. You can email westportcare@gmail.com and if you don’t have email, call town hall and they will put you in touch with the group.

I know these are anxious times for everyone – residents and businesses.  My words of encouragement come from the heart,  We are stronger together – each of us performing our role to the best of our ability.  This is a point in time when we need to believe in our strengths, support each other and remember to be kind.  

As always, call anytime .. 273-9195

Mayor Robin Jones and Council

Village of Westport