Priorities 2015-2018

Priorities for Ongoing Local Community Work

  • Strong Neighbourhoods
  • Poverty Elimination
  • Access to Information 

Leading up to the 2014 municipal election, we identified eight topic areas from the work we have done over many years: community social planning, inclusion, access to information, poverty elimination, strong neighbourhoods, digital inclusion, civic engagement and environment protection. We reviewed research and notes from community forums and discussions with thousands of community members. Background papers were drafted and round table discussions were held to engage citizens and municipal election candidates and municipal council members. Many resource people with expertise joined in with lived experience dealing with issues such as poverty and disabilities and assisted us in formulating our goals. 

Resident Survey on Social Issues 

In addition, in late fall 2014, we sponsored an independent region wide survey of 752 residents to find out whether these issues were important to the broader community. Conducted for us by PMG Intelligence, the most important social issues in the community were seen to be homelessness and poverty; growing income inequality, citizen participation in decision-making and access to information.  The survey also validated the importance of having an independent community organization play a role in addressing these issues by doing the very work we do in providing information and supporting community discussions and action planning. 

Meetings With Elected Officials 

Since the fall, we have met with local elected officials to validate the list of local priorities and to get their input on what is important to them as decision makers. 

Priority Topics for the Coming Years 

With all input to date, we have determined priority topics to guide our work over the next four years: 

  • Strong Neighbourhoods
  • Poverty Elimination
  • Access to Information 

We know there is significant overlap across these topics and that 'inclusion' and 'diversity' are key elements in all three.  We need to hear all voices to be sure we understand the challenges that must be addressed and to find workable solutions that will support people now and in the future. 

Community Social Planning Approach  

We are committed to applying community based social planning and practice in how we approach these issues. We will work with existing partners and invite new partnerships as we strive to include the full range of stakeholders in our community. This will include municipal staff and councils, local and provincial agencies and networks, businesses and business leaders, community groups and community members. You can stay informed and involved through:

  • Community conversations, kitchen table talks & public forums
  • All-candidates sessions for Federal Election 2015
  • Join one or more of our action groups or communication networks like Poverty Free KW and Disabilities and Human Rights Group
  • Taking part in our on-going community or neighbourhood projects and initiatives
  • Becoming a member.