A new project is being launched to create a more inclusive Muskoka.

On Thursday, the District of Muskoka announced its IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Anti-Racism) project to promote and celebrate diversity, create opportunities for dialogue, strengthen relationships and help combat systemic racism in the community.

The project was started after a resolution was passed by District Council back in June.

A key priority is to engage in conversations and to hear different perspectives. 

The District says all perspectives are encouraged and welcomed.   

“We want to hear from our communities to better understand the scope and nature of these challenges in Muskoka,” District Chair John Klinck said.  “The District has undertaken important work in the areas of inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility in recent years, but District Council knows that now is a time for even greater action, to work together to expand our efforts, to take additional steps to do more, and to connect with and learn from community members.”

You can also sign up for project updates and participate in focus groups or one-on-one discussions to ensure everyone can let their voice be heard.    

You are also encouraged to share opinions and experiences through a confidential survey available until November 30th.

Those who complete it will be entered into a draw for one of four $100 gift cards.

“In addition to the community survey, District staff members will also be engaged to better understand their workplace experiences,”  District CAO Julie Stevens said.   “This will help us identify strategies to ensure the District truly is a workplace free from discrimination, and an employer and service provider that embraces and celebrates diversity.”

There are also plans to create a community-focused group – featuring community members, service providers and other stakeholders – to act as an advisory body for the District Council.   

The next steps include developing an IDEA Action Plan outlining future initiatives, supports and services to support the goals of the project in the workplace and the community. 

More information on the IDEA project can be found here.