Long Term Recovery

Suburbs

Kitchener’s reopening framework is just one component of the city’s overall Recovery Plan. While moving forward with the important work outlined in this framework, the City of Kitchener will also take steps with external partners to position the community for long-term economic, socio-cultural and emotional recovery. Critical to our success will be an ongoing partnership with the Provincial and Federal Governments as well as an internal commitment to innovation and continuous improvement. 

Economic Recovery

With the initial focus of minimizing job losses and business closures, the City of Kitchener will support local business
 retention, recovery, adaptation, development and attraction by:

  • actively engaging in the work of BESTWR – the Business and Economic Support Team of Waterloo Region – a
 collaboration between Communitech, the Greater KW Chamber of Commerce, Cambridge Chamber of Commerce
 and Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation
  • implementing a framework for action in conjunction with other area Economic Development leads with a focus on industry consultation, joint advocacy, updated Economic Development strategies, PPE supports for local companies and financial supports for businesses
  • realigning the City’s economic development resources, both staff and financial, to support recovery efforts across
 all sectors with a focus on timely interventions (e.g. economic relief measures, streamlined patio approvals, modified Kitchener Market operating plans, new programming through the Small Business Centre, etc.)

Socio-Cultural and Emotional Recovery

The City of Kitchener will support our citizens with celebrating their survival, mourning those we lost and getting back to life in the new norm by: 

  • participating in the development of the Region of Waterloo’s Community Safety and Wellbeing Plan and identifying
 opportunities for the municipality to take a leadership role where appropriate
  • reinforcing the multi-cultural strengths of the community with a focus on restarting and enhancing various
 cultural activities that were cancelled due to the pandemic
  • focusing on the social, emotional and mental health needs by supporting agencies and associations, encouraging
community-building activities and implementing mental health strategies to mitigate the acute and long-term psychological consequences of disaster
  • working with the Region to ensure that social supports are in place for Kitchener’s most vulnerable residents, which includes advancing work on Kitchener’s Housing Strategy in 2020

The Role of Provincial and Federal Governments

With declining revenues, rising expenses and a legal proscription against running operating deficits, municipalities are at imminent risk of having to cut essential services to Canadians to remain solvent. In view of this fiscal crisis, the City of Kitchener has endorsed the request of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities for emergency operating 
funding. This would include the ability to transfer unused allocations to the federal Gas Tax Fund program for
capital expenditures as part of Canada’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan.

Innovation and Continuous Improvement

Recognizing the challenges and opportunities introduced by this unprecedented global pandemic, the City of Kitchener
 commits to:

  • conducting a comprehensive review of its emergency response and business continuity protocols to the pandemic to document lessons learned and identify potential improvements
  • leveraging a number of lessons learned through the City’s response to the pandemic to maintain new practices in workforce management and customer service (e.g. working from home policies, virtual meetings, electronic signatures, online services, etc.)
  • reviewing the priorities identified in its Strategic Plan to determine what, if any, changes should be made in-light of the impacts of COVID-19 on the community and the corporation

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