President and Director General, Passerelle-I.DE (Canada)
Founder and Director (CEO) of La Passerelle-I.D.E Toronto and Paris, ex-Chief of the Ontarian Commision for Human Rights, Co-President of the Advisory Committee for the Call to Action Against Racism, Léonie Tchatat has played a key role in the development of initiatives defined by innovation and anchored in a profound knowledge of issues of importance regarding the inclusion of the growing diversity in Canadian and Ontarian society. Ms. Tchatat has received numerous awards in recognition of her accomplishments: in 2009, she was named Chevalier à l’ordre de la francophonie et du dialogue des cultures de la Pléiade; in 2002, she was named a member of the Passages to Canada Speakers Bureau. She was a member of the Director’s Committee for Citizenship and Immigration Canada – Francophone Minority Communities in 2005. She was given a position in the Administrative Council for the Public Education Channel for the French Language TFO for 2 mandates. A strategist and an activist, she has founded a training programme in Cultural Competencies, renowned as an exemplary practice for the promotion of immigrant integration in Canada by the Canadian government, and has launched 2 large public awareness-raising campaigns on Francophone immigrant contributions in Ontario, titled ‘Immigrant means: a stronger Ontarian francophonie!’ and ‘Immigrant means: a prosperous French Ontario!’. It is recognised that, thanks to Ms. Tchatat, thousands of immigrants have found a way of integrating into Canadian society. Ms. Tchatat has been named representative of the Canada-France Seminar for young people and diversity integration, organised by the Canadian Ambassador in France and the National Council for Cities.
Do you have any specific hopes or predictions for the future of urban security? (What will urban security look like in 30 years? What will be the main opportunities and risks?)
The word ‘policy’ means organising a city. My hope for urban security is to see a concrete policy-orientated commitment to young people, without distinctions of race, religion or colour, so that they can contribute to the vitality of everyday democracy by showing trust on their behalf.
Regarding social and political transformations that we experience on a global scale, my vision for urban security in 30 years time is to continue to fight against societies stratified by systemic racism, which resembles genocide among marginalise people, and is well on its way to resembling global terrorism.
My hope is to continue to facilitate cooperation and exchanges on an international level, now is the time more than ever for politicians and institutions to ‘pull their socks up’. We cannot tolerate intolerance. In order for us to discover the true meaning of liberty, a voluntary acceptance of reasonable constraints must be made. In Canada, for example, the Charter is our model of citizenship, and our law on citizenship. The Charter speaks of equality, respect and justice. Article 1 directly refers to that which is reasonable and just in a democratic society.
Why do you think it is so important to involve citizens in urban security practice?
It is important to include citizens in the production of policies because they are direct representatives of the City. Policy production makes no sense if citizens do not contribute to the development of these policies, and if their role is not taken into account. For example, many polls and surveys demonstrate a strong lack of voter-participation, particularly among young citizens and citizens marginalised due to their race or religion, which is due to a lack of representation of their needs reflected in policies. What’s more, citizen involvement in the production of policies contributes to the development of urbain, economic and social security.