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City to form inclusive hiring policy

Draft policy to come back to council by July 7

By: Victoria Paterson

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Feb 05, 2014 06:00 am

INCLUSION MOVER – Coun. Cathy Heron successfully moved that the city draft a policy to ensure persons with disabilities have access to employment opportunities with the City of St. Albert.
INCLUSION MOVER – Coun. Cathy Heron successfully moved that the city draft a policy to ensure persons with disabilities have access to employment opportunities with the City of St. Albert.
FILE PHOTO/St. Albert Gazette

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The city will begin to draft an inclusive hiring policy after a motion passed at Monday’s council meeting.

Coun. Cathy Heron moved the following: “Whereas the City of St. Albert values diversity and inclusion and strives to ensure persons with disabilities have access to employment opportunities within the city corporation, I move that city administration prepare a draft inclusive hiring policy for council’s consideration by July 7, 2014.”

Heron had indicated in an earlier interview with the Gazette she was planning on bringing such a motion forward, and noted during the Monday meeting since that article was published she has had positive responses from several corners.

The City of St. Albert has recognized local companies that employ people with disabilities, Heron said – it’s time for the city to commit to the same practice.

“I think it’s time we took a little bit more of an active role,” she said.

While the administrative policy that guides recruitment and selection of city employees does take a broad approach to inclusion, Heron suggested a “separate stand-alone strategy would really say a lot more.

“I think it’s time we put our money where our mouth is,” she said. Coun. Cam MacKay pointed out there might indeed be some money needed for infrastructure updates to accommodate some potential employees, which the mayor asked administration to look into.

Heron did note St. Albert wouldn’t be a leader in this, but said she thinks most communities will begin moving forward in a similar way.

“We will be a follower in this,” she said. “I think we need to jump on this.”

Mayor Nolan Crouse spoke about how having a person with a disability can change a workplace and said the benefits can be amazing.

“The challenge of course that many corporations are faced with is linking the proper need to the proper individual and I think a deliberate motion or a deliberate policy would force it in one way, and would nurture and encourage it in others,” Crouse said.

Heron’s motion was passed by a unanimous vote. Councillors Sheena Hughes and Wes Brodhead were absent for this vote as both had left the meeting earlier in the evening.


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