Cities Deepening Community Policy Digest - October

Posted on October 17, 2018
By Adam Vasey

This is the October edition of the Cities Deepening Community Policy Digest. The Digest provides timely policy updates from across Canada that support the work of Cities Deepening Community.

Local Policies & Initiatives | Emergency Preparedness | Community Safety & Wellbeing

  • On September 12, Edmonton City Council adopted an Access to Municipal Services Without Fear policy. The policy will ensure municipal services and programs are available and accessible to all residents of Edmonton, regardless of immigration status.
  • On September 13, roughly 4000 people in BC took part in 350 events through On the Table, a Vancouver Foundation initiative to combat social isolation and loneliness. 
  • Montreal, QC is the first Canadian city to launch a Resilient City Strategy. The strategy is organized around four pillars: a safe, unified community; environmental protection; economic innovation and diversification; and integrated governance.
  • The Region of Peel, ON has released its 2017 Community for Life Dashboard which tracks progress toward outcomes for each of its services.
  • The Greater Victoria, BC region now has 200 Little Free Libraries (LFL), making it the highest density area for LFLs in Canada. Check out an interactive map of the LFLs. The Frances Morrison Central
  • Library in Saskatoon, SK is hiring outreach workers to better meet the social needs of its visitors. Read the CBC news article.
  • The City of Fredericton, NB has created its first ‘living wall’. The Union Street addition is expected to help absorb any water that could rise in the event of another flood.

Public & Democratic Engagement | Social Inclusion | Data & Technology

  • In the Ontario municipal elections to be held on October 22, the cities of Cambridge and Kingston will vote on whether to use ranked ballots in future municipal elections. Go to Unlock Democracy for all the latest on electoral reform initiatives in Canada.
  • The City of Welland, ON has received the highest level of open data certification from the World Council on City Data (WCCD). The WCCD hosts a network of cities committed to using open data to improve services and quality of life. 
Government Investments and Announcements
  • A new Ontario pilot project, funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, aims to tackle social isolation and loneliness among older adults. The program, which is being piloted at 11 Community Health Centres, will involve doctors suggesting patients participate in group activities. Read the CBC news article.
  • The Halifax Regional Municipality’s Mobile Food Market, currently operating in 12 sites, received $250,000 to expand the program. The travelling food market brings healthy, high-quality, affordable food to those facing barriers to accessing fresh food. Read the Government of Nova Scotia’s news release.
  • Applications are being accepted until November 2 for the Age-friendly Communities program in BC. Read more.
  • The Government of Canada, through Status of Women Canada, is providing Equal Voice with $3.8 million for Daughters of the Vote, a 3-year project to increase young women’s participation in formal political arenas. 
  • Prince Albert Catholic Family Services in Prince Albert, SK has received nearly $1.19 million over 5 years through the National Crime Prevention Strategy. The funding supports the Strengthening Families Program, which focuses on youth and family skill-building. 
Further Reading
  • Engage: End Isolation, a new campaign from the RTO/ERO Foundation, names October as Social Isolation Awareness Month. Learn more.
  • The Canadian Mental Health Association has found that 53% of Canadians consider anxiety and depression to be an ‘epidemic’. Read more.
  • The Angus Reid Institute has released reports from two public opinion polls. One report finds that New Canadians are more likely than other Canadians to turn to Canadian religious communities for support. The other finds that 49% of Canadians believe Canada’s 2018 target of accepting 310,000 immigrants is too high (up from 36% who felt Canada’s immigration targets were too high in 2014).
  • The Public Policy Forum has released a report on news coverage in Canada, which finds that the last decade has seen a one-third decline in coverage of democratic institutions and civic affairs. Read the report.
  • In case you missed it, University of British Columbia researchers released a study in June on the happiest and least happy places in Canada. Read more at UBC News

policy clearing house, Cities Deepening Community

Adam Vasey

By Adam Vasey

Adam is Director of Policy, Learning & Evaluation with the Tamarack Institute's Vibrant Communities team. He is passionate about reducing poverty and building equitable, inclusive communities through policy and systems change. Prior to joining Tamarack, Adam spent eight years as Director of Pathway to Potential, the Windsor-Essex poverty reduction strategy.

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