The Bedrock of Community

helping homeless youthBuilding a strong, stable structure requires a solid foundation. Social sustainability provides this bedrock to any community structure by ensuring that everyone in the community can meet their basic needs of food, shelter and safety. It is our duty as a city to provide for those who cannot meet these needs.

In 2016, City council received the Social Sustainability Plan report. Over the course of several months in 2015, hundreds of residents took part in consultations or completed surveys to capture sentiment, thoughts and ideas around social sustainability in the city. The resulting 88 page document is an excellent outline of the issues in the city as well as some very clear actions on how to address them.

For each of the eight focus areas identified in the plan, the opportunity is outlined, followed by strategies, actions and long term plans. After reading this document, it is clear that this should serve as the compass while we plot our course through dealing with the difficult issues of homelessness, domestic violence, youth supports, and other social challenges.

A common theme throughout many of the strategies is to leverage our excellent community organizations and agencies to help address these needs. What it does not specify is how the city should achieve this through guided coordination and communication between these groups. I will advocate for a resource responsible for coordinating relationships and programs with these various groups to ensure that they are collaborating to address these key issues. With FCSS as a city-funded group, there is also an opportunity for the city to directly engage and promote many of these social programs.

Another important part of the Social Sustainability Plan calls for updates to council and the public. The last report to council was made in 2018. It is important that council push for another update and that the information be shared with the public. I will advocate for this and ensure we stay focused on the areas identified.

Social sustainability is at the heart of a strong community. As your representative in council I will:

  • Re-focus the Social Sustainability Plan as a guiding document
  • Advocate for a city administration resource responsible for coordinating with community groups
  • Prioritize and emphasize opportunities for the city to engage and promote social programs through FCSS or other community groups
  • Encourage better communication of available resources as well as progress made on social initiatives

Overall, the city is heading in the right direction and has made solid progress on many social issues. We need to keep this momentum and ensure we follow an overarching plan as we continue to address these challenges. By ensuring we tackle these important issues, we can build the foundations for a stronger community.

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