Today, the City of Ottawa officially launched its first phase of the five-year implementation plan of its first Anti-Racism Strategy – acknowledging the negative impacts of colonialism and racism in Canada.
This strategy is the City’s commitment to repair relationships with Indigenous, African, Caribbean, Black and other racialized communities through truth, reconciliation and community healing.
The strategy was developed through an extensive community consultation process and approved by Council on June 22, 2022. This five-year Anti-Racism Strategy is a first step to ensuring Ottawa is a city where everyone feels safe and has the ability to access resources and opportunities to realize their full potential regardless of their ethnic or racial background.
This strategy will be implemented in two phases over five years. In this first phase, the City will focus on raising awareness of the barriers that Indigenous, Black and other racialized staff and communities experience. The Anti-Racism Secretariat will work closely with City departments and the community to develop an accountability framework for the first phase, which will include detailed strategic actions, annual targets and key performance indicators.
In the second phase, the City will continue with the implementation of the seven priority areas listed below. With the voices of Indigenous, Black and other racialized communities at its centre, the Strategy will be implemented through collaborations with community leaders and organizations.
The City has committed to implement 28 recommendations and 132 actions to identify and remove systemic racism in all City policies, practices, programs and services, focusing on these priority areas:
- economic development
- health outcomes
- child and youth development
- racial equity in the workplace
- institutional practices
To learn more and read the Anti-Racism Strategy, visit ottawa.ca/antiracism.
The internal work of developing the Anti-Racism Strategy has already made an impact to the City’s governance. The December 2022 ‘Diversity on Boards’ campaign encouraged racialized residents to learn more about public openings on the City’s agencies, boards and commissions. The campaign used inclusive language, created ads in five non-official languages and placed ads in media outlets that serve racialized communities. Also, in March, 2023, the City was recognized as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers.
“Through truth, reconciliation and community healing, our goal is to ensure that racism is no longer a barrier to an individual’s safety, resources and opportunity.”
Mayor Mark Sutcliffe
“Being part of a city is more than just living in the community. It’s feeling secure, engaged and involved. Everyone needs equal access to resources, opportunities to develop and realize their full potential and actively contribute to Ottawa’s present and future.”
Councillor Rawlson King, Council Liaison for Anti-Racism and Ethnocultural Relations Initiatives