Council ratifies its priorities for 2023 to 2026

A graphic with Ottawa City Hall is in the background. A vertical grey stripe and a horizontal turquoise stripe are in the foreground with " City Council update" in the centre.

Council approved its 2023-2026 Term of Council Priorities – a clear vision that will direct the focus of City staff for the next four years. The four priorities look to create an Ottawa that: 

  •  Has affordable housing and is more livable for all 
  •  Is more connected with reliable, safe and accessible mobility options
  • Is green and resilient 
  • Has a diversified and prosperous economy

In approving the 2023-2026 Term of Council Priorities, the City strives for meaningful reconciliation and works together with the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation and Urban Indigenous communities to collaboratively address emerging and systemic issues and needs, support Indigenous-led approaches, and improve City services for First Nations, Métis and Inuit people.

The new priorities align with the City’s budget process and will be advanced throughout the 2023-2026 Term of Council alongside work on key strategies and long-term master plans already underway. Council will be updated twice during the term on staff’s progress.

Along with the priorities, Council identified three long-term goals it has targeted over the next 10 years to provide a vision for the future of Ottawa as a national capital that is prosperous, sustainable, inclusive and resilient. The goals will help create a city:

  • Where residents experience a good quality of life and live in neighborhoods that are diverse, inclusive, safe, connected, accessible and affordable
  • Where residents benefit from a healthy, sustainable and equitable built environment that supports efforts to address climate change
  • That is economically diversified and prosperous, attracting people to Ottawa to live, work, play, invest, learn and visit.

Council received an update on the progress of the Community Safety and Well-Being Plan. The City advanced ongoing work in its six priority areas, including integrating services and simplifying access for residents, funding 19 community agencies to build capacity in priority areas, and helping develop the safer alternative response for mental health and substance use crises. Next steps include developing a poverty reduction strategy, collaborating with community partners to reduce intimate partner violence, and piloting trauma-informed and anti-stigma training for staff who provide front-line and support services. 

 Council approved a strategy for the first phase of a safer alternative response for mental health and substance use crises. The program will initially run for three years in one geographic location, starting in 2024, and use a non-9-1-1 phone number to triage calls and dispatch responses. A 24/7 mobile service would respond to calls, led by civilian professionals with expertise in mental health and substance use crises. These non-uniformed responders will offer trauma-informed and culturally appropriate crisis response services.

Council approved changes to the City’s advisory bodies. They include redefining advisory committees as statutory and policy-based advisory bodies that are either required under legislation or that have direct ties to legislation. This establishes four advisory committees:

  • The Accessibility Advisory Committee, required under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
  • The Community Safety and Well-being Advisory Committee, required under the Police Services Act
  • The French Language Services Advisory Committee, required under the City’s Bilingualism Policy and tied to both the Bilingualism By-law and the City of Ottawa Act
  • The Planning Advisory Committee, required under the Planning Act

A Transit Working Group will be created to provide advice to Transit Services. Working group members could raise matters for discussion, including those related to the transit customer experience.

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