Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
Racism charge not justified
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 9 Jun 2006, p. 6

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Racism charge not justified

There are many things residents of Halton Hills have accused the Town (and by extension its councillors) of over the years. Council-- and not just the current one-- has been deemed wasteful when it comes to spending taxpayers' money and greedy when it comes to tax increases. From time to time our municipal leaders have been vilified for "poor planning", not listening to residents' concerns and being nothing short of inept. All of this may be true-- or absolutely none of it-- depending on who is doing the talking. However, throwing out an accusation of racism is something that shouldn't be done willy-nilly as it appears was the case last week when Halton Pride representative Domenic Padula appeared before council. Padula was upset the Town refused to fly the Halton Pride flag promoting the gay group's annual picnic, which celebrates gay, lesbian, bisexual and other lifestyles. He claimed the Town was "hiding" behind a bylaw (policy) which states the town flies only municipal, provincial or federal flags in front of the Civic Centre. Padula added the Town in the past year has has flown flags commemorating the Terry Fox Run and the flag of Ermelo, The Netherlands, which enjoys a twin association with Halton Hills. (Mayor Rick Bonnette later offered an explanation as to why those flags were flown-- the Fox run was celebrating its 25th anniversary and the aforementioned association with Ermelo). Padula also referred to swastika graffiti on public property that he claims took months to clean up and said that, in itself, was a form of acceptance of racism. Hogwash! At worst it only indicates a tardiness on the part of the Town's works department. Slovenly cleanup efforts should not be construed as racist behaviour. (For the record, Town Director of Recreation Terry Alyman said he was unaware of any reports of racist graffiti.) Charges of racism are serious and if they are to be levelled against any person or group, they must carry substantially more weight than what Padula brought to council last week.

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Date of Publication:
9 Jun 2006
Personal Name(s):
Padula, Domenic ; Bonnette, Rick
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Halton Pride ; Civic Centre ; Town Council ; Ermelo, The Netherlands ; Terry Fox Run
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Racism charge not justified