Skip to content

County promoting diversity, inclusion during ITSTARTS Month

'Immigrants are key to Simcoe County’s success,' says warden
Simcoe County Warden Basil Clarke is flanked by #ITSTARTS flags at the county administration centre in Midhurst in this file photo.

This week, County of Simcoe Warden Basil Clarke joined with Deputy Warden Jennifer Coughlin and county council to proclaim #ITSTARTS Month for the month of March 2024.

This annual event kicks off #ITSTARTS Month to promote multiculturalism and support inclusion, acceptance, and equity across the region.

“Simcoe County is now home to more than 82,000 immigrants, and our communities continue to grow,” said Warden Basil Clarke. “Immigrants are key to Simcoe County’s success, and our community settlement strategy will help guarantee that we continue to build welcoming and supportive communities across our region.”

#ITSTARTS is a month-long campaign that supports settlement and integration while promoting welcoming communities in Simcoe County. The campaign has been running for eight years and is nationally recognized for its innovative approach. In January 2024, new Train the Trainer sessions were introduced, offering experienced ambassadors enhanced training.

Last year marked the inaugural raising of #ITSTARTS flags, which will once again fly across Simcoe County at various municipal offices and community buildings throughout March. Several community champions support the campaign, which also receives significant community engagement online, including:

  • Barrie Chamber of Commerce
  • Barrie Persian Association
  • Barrie Police Service
  • Barrie Public Library
  • Catholic Family Services of Simcoe County
  • Catulpa Community Services
  • City of Barrie
  • College Boreal
  • CONTACT Community Services
  • County of Simcoe economic development office
  • E3
  • Empower Simcoe
  • Ethnic Mosaic Alliance
  • Georgian Bay General Hospital
  • Georgian College
  • Huronia Transition Homes
  • Innisfil ideaLAB & Library
  • Lakehead University
  • Making Change
  • New Tecumseth Public Library
  • Ontario Provincial Police
  • Orillia Public Library
  • Seasons Centre for Grieving Children
  • Simcoe County District School Board
  • Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board
  • South Simcoe Police Service
  • YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka

To take part in this social movement, complete an #ITSTARTS card and share a photo or video through social media using the hashtag #ITSTARTS. Be sure to tag @simcoecounty (Twitter), @CountyofSimcoe (Facebook) and @CountyofSimcoe (Instagram).

To get your #ITSTARTS cards in English, French, or a number of other languages, visit The site also offers helpful resources, tips, and tools on taking safe and purposeful action against racism and discrimination.