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May 22, 2008
Mayor receives award for support from Toronto Interfaith Council
Mayor David Miller met with faith and spiritual leaders today to explore the role of the faith sector in making Toronto safer, stronger and more inclusive, and to accept an award on behalf of the City of Toronto for its ongoing support of the Toronto Area Interfaith Council (TAIC) community safety projects.

The theme for the 2nd annual Interfaith Breakfast was “Faith and Community Safety.” In his opening remarks, Mayor Miller appealed directly to the faith communities for ongoing support of grass-root community safety projects. The Mayor recognized the strong role that faith communities play in the lives of Toronto residents.

“Toronto’s Interfaith Dialogue presents an opportunity for Toronto to show the world how people can live in harmony, peace and embrace the ideals of social justice. I am particularly heartened by their strong support for and their efforts to make our safe city safer,” said Mayor Miller.

More than 240 people attended the breakfast with representatives from more than 60 faith communities, interfaith organizations and community-based organizations. Also in attendance were Councillor Joe Mihevc, Chair, Community Development and Recreation Committee; a number of Toronto councillors; Dr. Alok Mukherjee, Chair, Police Services Board; staff from various City divisions; religious and spiritual leaders; and representatives from police, government, public, private, and not-for-profit who gathered to explore options for developing neighbourhood-based partnerships among stakeholders to strengthen community safety initiatives.

Councillor Mihevc spoke about the unique value of Toronto’s religious diversity and concluded his remarks by saying “The city needs you. The city wants your inspiration, your guidance, and your wisdom. By city I do not necessarily mean City Hall. I mean the people of Toronto whom we all seek to serve in some manner.”

The TAIC has already started discussions with the City of Toronto to help prepare faith communities to be able to support neighbourhoods experiencing violent and traumatic incidents, and will explore opportunities to include youth in leadership positions in future faith-led community safety initiatives.

Media contacts:
Michael Skaljin, Supervisor, City of Toronto, Community Safety Secretariat, 416-526-0588,
Liz Chappel Vice-President, Toronto Area Interfaith Council, 416-573-9536



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