Toronto Police Service’s diversity directly reflects the city and citizens its members are sworn to serve, Chief Mark Saunders said at the International Francophonie Day celebration at police headquarters on March 18.
“Since diversity is our identity, we have made sincere efforts to create diversity within our Service to make our organization stronger and to better serve our communities,” he said. “We are committed to a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives.”
The Service employs nearly 640 French-speaking members and has a French Consultative Committee made up of members of the Service and the public.
In the keynote address, Moroccan Ambassador to Canada Nouzha Cherkrouni thanked the organizers for choosing to highlight Morocco during this year’s celebration, which included a performance from Hassan El Hadi and his band, who performed their own unique style of Quebecois-Moroccan music.
“The fact that you showcased our country during your event has a lot of significance with respect to recognizing the diversity of the French-speaking community,” said the diplomat.
The theme of this year’s event was “Diversity, Duality and Dynamics.”
Toronto Police Services Board Chair Andy Pringle said the Service is committed to ensuring that the organization reflects and fully incorporates all of the groups that make up the diverse City of Toronto.
“Our lives here have been enriched by the contributions of the French-speaking peoples of the world in so many spheres – politics, philosophy, culture, music, art and food,” he pointed out. “If the world today is more democratic, freer and more equal, it’s due, to a great degree, to the ideals enunciated by the French-speaking world.”
Observed annually since 1988, International Francophonie Day celebrates the French language and diversity in French-speaking countries, including Canada.
The Service’s French Community Consultative Committee is one of the original six consultative committees and its membership reflects the diversity of the French culture.