Key Decisions of Council is a summary of major discussion items presented at Kitchener City Council meetings. It is circulated immediately following each meeting. Please refer to the minutes for an official record of the meeting.

Council calls on province to create consistent vaccine strategy for municipalities

Council approved a motion to request the Province of Ontario to provide a consistent vaccine strategy for municipal workers across the province. While some government bodies are introducing mandatory vaccine policies, a coordinated and consistent approach would allow Ontario’s 444 municipalities to protect employees and citizens while minimizing disruption to the economy and vital public services.

Council adopts equity, inclusion and anti-racism policy

Kitchener Council approved a new policy that serves to strengthen the City’s commitment to equity, inclusion and anti-racism. The policy outlines specific actions to address, mitigate and eliminate racism and oppression at the City of Kitchener, including:

  • Identifying and removing systemic barriers,
  • Striving for diverse representation of City staff,
  • Maintaining dedicated staff with lived experience in racism and oppression,
  • Providing ongoing, mandatory equity and anti-racism training, and
  • Ensuring ongoing data collection and public accountability.

This policy was developed in collaboration with a working group of the Mayor’s Task Force on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, which includes community members whose lived experiences and expertise in a wide variety of areas directly informed the direction, scope and contents of this policy. Further, Council approved amendments made to the existing Council Code of Conduct in accordance to the corporate commitment to equity, inclusion and anti-racism.

Equity & anti-racism committee will provide advice and recommendations to Council

Council approved the creation of an Equity and Anti-Racism Advisory Committee. The committee will provide advice and recommendations to Council on matters related to equity and antiracism to support and further the City’s strategic directions. The committee will ensure ongoing grassroots community involvement as work related to equity and anti-racism is developed and implemented at the City. Membership will include between eight and 12 citizen community members who live, work, attend school and/or own property in Kitchener. Priority will be given to voices who have been historically underrepresented or excluded, including Black, Indigenous, racialized, 2SLGBTQ+ identified, people with disabilities, religious minorities, and the intersections of these identities. Consideration will also be given to diversity of age, education, lived experience and expertise related to social issues. This committee will serve as a mechanism of community accountability for many of the recommendations and actions that have come out of the Mayor’s Task Force on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, which wrapped up in June 2021.

Council accepts digital sign variance request

Council approved a sign variance application that will allow for a digital sign to be placed on the Benton Street façade of the Crown Plaza Hotel, at the intersection of King Street. The approval was given with conditions including limiting hours of operation to ensure the sign does not operate between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., as well as adhering to acceptable daytime and evening brightness standards. The sign will not be permitted to display third-party advertising. In addition to meeting the above conditions, a sign permit will also be required from the Planning Division and an encroachment agreement with the Region will be part of a permit review process.

RBJ Schlegel Park to get courts, cricket netting, signage

RBJ Schlegel sponsorship funding for 2020 and 2021 has been allocated to support the development of new amenities at RBJ Schlegel Park, including cricket netting, entry signage and a sheltered gazebo. This will be alongside the Phase 2 projects awarded at Council which will see tennis courts, pickleball courts and basketball courts developed at this popular new park. Staff will recommend an approach for future allocations of RBJ Schlegel Sponsorship funding in 2023.

Kitchener Council weighs in on growth scenarios Council considered three Official Plan growth scenarios for planning to accommodate 924,000 people in Waterloo Region by 2051. Growth scenarios varied the amount of residential development planned to occur within already built-up areas of the region.

In their comments to the Region of Waterloo, Council stressed the importance of protecting farmland, planning for complete communities, supporting transit and active transportation, climate change, housing affordability and the financial implications of development. Council asked the Region to provide more information before supporting any growth scenario.