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.

Survey results drive next steps in development of City's 2023-2026 Strategic Plan

During a special session of Council, members of Council were presented with the results from a recent public phone survey, which sought input from over 1,000 residents across Kitchener. The City of Kitchener retained Environics to undertake the survey as the first step in a public engagement process that will inform the City's 2023 - 2026 Strategic Plan. Affordable housing, homelessness, roads and climate change topped the list of issues that Kitchener residents said are most important to them. Results also show that most Kitchener residents want to see the City balance supports for existing businesses and the creation of new jobs. Satisfaction with the City of Kitchener government is high at 78 per cent, with results remaining stable since the last community survey in 2018. Survey results reported that 60 per cent of residents say they receive good value for their tax dollars, with 26 per cent of residents favouring a tax increase to improve services and one-third preferring service cuts over tax increases. The results from the survey will be used to inform a meaningful and inclusive public engagement process to identify community priorities and create a new 20-year community vision for the City. City staff will collaborate with Compass Kitchener, a 12-member committee of community volunteers who play a key role in the public engagement that informs the City's strategic plan.

Council approves actions to extend the Digital Service Squad Program

Council approved entering into an agreement with the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association to continue the Digital Main Street - Digital Service Squad Program for an additional two years. The Waterloo Region Small Business Centre applied for funding from the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA) to continue the program, which helps small businesses implement digital marketing, e-commerce, and web development tools. As part of this funding agreement, the City will receive $440,000 in provincial funding to support the continued delivery of the program from April 1, 2022, to March 31, 2024. Since it launched in 2018, the program has provided one-to-one support for 2,200 local businesses, including small businesses recovering from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program's continuation would provide services for up to 1,400 small businesses, supporting the City's strategic goal to build a vibrant economy.

Members of Council and City's leadership team attend Black Presence in Berlin walking tour

On April 25, members of Council, the City's corporate leadership team and Equity staff participated in the Black Presence in Berlin walking tour. During this shared educational experience, participants learned about Kitchener's connection to the early Black settlers of the Queens Bush settlement and visited former sites where Black residents lived, ran businesses and taught in schools in the 19th century. The tour provided valuable learnings about the lives of early Black settlers and their meaningful contributions to our community.