On June 7 the Finance and Economic Development Committee (FEDCO) approved the City’s first Anti-Racism Strategy. It’s a five-year plan to proactively identify and remove systemic barriers in City policies, programs and services, and to realize its vision of racial equity.
The strategy provides 28 recommendations and 132 actions to address racial inequity in governance, housing, economic development, health, child and youth development, racial equity in the workplace and institutional practices. It aims to create programs and services that meet the diverse needs of Ottawa, and to grow an equitable and inclusive workforce.
Phase one would start next year and run until 2025, with a focus on building internal capacity and awareness, collecting race-disaggregated data, continuing engagement and relationship building and implementing recommendations and actions from the strategy. Following a mid-term review, phase two would run from 2025 to 2028, incorporating feedback, data and lessons learned from phase one while continuing to implement actions outlined in the plan.
The Committee also approved the City of Ottawa Municipal Accessibility Plan update. It details the City’s progress in 2021, including a revised process for consulting with the Accessibility Advisory Committee and amendments to the Accessibility Policy. The approval includes an updated procedure for providing accessible formats and communication supports and the instructions for Accessibility Impact Statements in Committee reports, along with an extension of a pilot permitting Members of Council to access the Council Administration budget to provide accessible formats and communication supports to residents.
The Committee received an update on the City’s Q1 budget status. The first quarter of 2022 ended with a $13.1-million surplus for property-tax-supported programs, while rate-supported services, such as water, sewer and storm water, had a deficit of $5.4 million.
The Committee also approved a land swap with Provence Orleans Realty Investments Inc for approximately 4.5 hectares of Nantes Wood. The acquisition would protect important urban greenspace, increase Ottawa’s tree canopy and ensure residents can continue to access this quality outdoor recreational space.
Recommendations from the FEDCO meeting will rise to Council on Wednesday, June 22.