Greg Hill

Employers celebrated for encouraging inclusiveness

Luncheon celebrates employers in the Campbell River community who make inclusion a priority

You probably hear about employee appreciation luncheons all the time, but it’s far more rare to hear about an employer appreciation one.

That’s exactly what the Campbell River and District Association for Community Living (CRADACL), in cooperation with the North Island Employment Foundation Society (NIEFS) put on last Friday in the Quadra Room of the Coast Discovery Inn, however, where employers from the community gathered to be thanked for including within their organizations those with disabilities and other difficulties.

“We all know that Campbell River is a beautiful and wonderful place to live,” Val Meany, Executive Director of NIEFS said in her opening address to those gathered. “It’s a a generous community, and, because of all of you, it is also an inclusive community. So today we want to say thank you for making us that  inclusive community. To those in the room who are business owners, we want to say thank you for embracing being inclusive in your business practices.

“To those of you who are managers and supervisors, we want to say thank you for making your workplace a place where all staff are welcome and included and for being open to new ideas and new ways of doing things.

“To those of you who are front-line staff, we want to say a huge thank you for welcoming and including and adapting to people’s needs in your workplace every day.

“You’re the reason that Campbell River is held up in this province as a model for being an inclusive community, and for working with people with disabilities in unique and creative ways.”

Executive Director of CRADACL Greg Hill also praised the relationship between CRADACL and NIEFS, as well as the businesses in town who incorporate people with disabilities into their business. “This is about supporting and celebrating diversity. Campbell River has always been a model to the rest of the province, and probably federally,” he said.

“Inclusion is not conditional,” he said, “It is a right. It is a right within the sphere of basic human rights. This places the onus on all of us to see that this right has not been transgressed. Well, you people have certainly not transgressed this right, you have progressed it. I can’t say enough to thank you for that.”