LONDON, ONT. -- Organizations seeking official proclamations from city council may soon need to show a stronger link to London.

In January 2020, city council launched a pilot project resuming the issuance of proclamations that acknowledge a wide range of community initiatives and events.

Twenty-nine proclamations have been approved to date, including Black History Month, Respiratory Therapy Week, and World Migratory Bird Day.

Organizations must apply to the city clerk’s office six weeks prior to the intended proclamation date, explain the significance of the event, and its connection to London.

On Monday, the Corporate Services Committee (CSC) recommended continuing the proclamation process on a permanent basis, but with several modifications:

  • proclamations include acknowledgement on city hall’s official social media accounts
  • organizations be permitted to apply for more than one proclamation each year so long as they focus on separate events or issues
  • a local sponsor be identified as part of the application process

Deputy Mayor Josh Morgan said having a local individual back the application will ensure the proclamation has ties to London.

“This is anybody in the city, whether they’re a client, or someone who benefits, or who believes in this organization and would like to see their city council issue a proclamation,” Morgan said at committee.

Meanwhile, Councillor Michael Van Holst told the committee he hopes to see proclamations with a local focus.

“Who we want to help are those groups that have been established in the city,” said Van Holst.

City hall stopped issuing proclamations in 1997 after the Ontario Human Rights Commission ruled against then-Mayor Dianne Haskett and city council who refused to proclaim the 1995 Pride festival in London.

Council will consider updating and extending the Issuance of Proclamations Policy at its meeting on July 6.