Brampton man appointed to Peel police board after repeated calls for Black representation

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Published April 13, 2023 at 3:06 pm

Anthony Urciuoli/hamilton.insauga.com photo

After repeated calls for Black representation on the Region of Peel Police board, a new person has been selected.

Len Carby, a Brampton resident and financial advisor who has volunteered with many community organizations and served as co-chair on the Peel Regional Police Anti-Racism Advisory Committee, was appointed to the police board at the Region of Peel council meeting today (April 13).

Three people came forward today to call on the Region of Peel Council to appoint Carby, a Black representative, in the citizen appointee position.

Ahmad Attia was appointed to the Peel Police Service Board by the Regional Council of Peel on May 23, 2019, for a term ending in November 2022. Council had the task to appoint a representative this year.

After appointing Carby, council asked that the province consider appointing Attia to the board. The province abruptly removed Peel Regional Police board chair Ron Chatha yesterday.

The Peel Police Board has seven members: the head of Regional Council, currently Nando Iannicca; two other members of Regional council, appointed by the council, currently Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, and Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown; one citizen appointed by Region of Peel Council (now Carby); and three people appointed by the Province of Ontario.

The Region of Peel Council selection process is supposed to be private but community members indicated they knew Carby was up for the job.

Annette Power, a Brampton resident who has been hired by Peel Regional Police to facilitate conversations surrounding the relationship between police and diverse communities, asked council to appoint Carby.

“Communities across Peel have been speaking out for decades about how Black people experience policing in Canada, I have heard time and time again, how important it is to build trust and to have qualified Black representation at every level of policing, including the police services board,” Power said.

Delegates indicated that Black community member has rarely if ever been on the board.

“What does it take for qualified Black person to be named to the police services board?” Power asked.

She noted that police service boards have the power and responsibility to make meaningful and institutional change.

“They create policies to ensure compliance with human rights obligations, including anti-racism policies, they oversee the police budget, their decisions can reinforce and alter attitudes around what is effective and bias-free policing,” she said.

Black people are underrepresented historically and currently on the board, said David Bosveld, Brampton resident during his delegation to council.

Bosveld also asked council to appoint Carby.

“Black people are overrepresented in all of the data, including use of force, that indicates unacceptable and racist policing practices here in Peel,” Bosveld added.

Sophia Jackson, a child and youth counsellor who has worked with the Peel District School Board, called for council to move away from the status quo and appoint Carby.

“There’s a difference between equality and equity,” Jackson said. “Sometimes ensuring equity is uncomfortable and inconvenient. But of course, it’s the right thing to do.”

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