There is a renewed engagement with the role planners should take in the pursuit of social justice and social equity. Planners are privileged compared to marginalized communities. On the one hand, they can decide to use their privilege to their benefit by wielding power, status and knowledge and yet on the other hand assume positions of superiority during struggles for equality, Furthermore, they potentially sideline segments of marginalized communities with different concepts of social justice or how it should be achieved. Planners therefore hold power over theoretical and substantive knowledge that enables them to see what others cannot. Planners are privileged compared to marginalized communities.
Social equity was not taught in urban planning school back in day and has not been reflected in the planning, and let alone in the transit profession. All the while, I began to observe through readings and lived experiences. It is something that has frustrated me for quite some time.
Shin-pei Tsay was on the latest TransLoc Movement podcast episode where she recanted her lived experience growing up and what she visualized within the transportation world and in public spaces. One point with the podcast triggered my thoughts. While social metrics have not been part of the discussion regarding metrics, I look to the evaluation of transit projects and moreover performance metrics. In the transit world, these are service standards and guidelines.
The Ottawa media bubble has had it all wrong. They are deflecting from the real issues that Canadians want to hear about. The bullying and opining that took place over the last two months on social and mainstream media regarding Jody Wilson-Raybould and SNC-Lavalin affair, and by extension, Jane Philpott and Celina Caesar Chavannes were unheard of. Amateurish at best.
Simply put, this was a human resources issue, tied into race and gender. More so, an investigation of the centralized power of the Prime Minister’s Office and the separation of duties between the Attorney General and Minister of Justice are required. Now that the bullies got their wish, the focus of a real crisis should be addressed.