Regional Council: Making decisions that matter December 15, 2021

Posted on Thursday December 16, 2021

With input from the community, Regional Council sets the direction for the Region as an organization and makes decisions that affect Waterloo Region residents every day. Here is a summary of the major decisions made by Council on December 15, 2021. Please refer to the minutes for an official record of the meeting. 

Region invests in a more equitable future for all

Regional Council has approved the 2022 budget to build a more equitable future for residents. The Plan and Budget supports Council’s vision to build a world-class community through a historic investment that improves the lives of all 630,000 residents in Waterloo Region. It includes building affordable housing, improving the health and wellbeing of Indigenous, Black, African, Caribbean, racialized and other marginalized communities, researching and developing alternative service delivery models to improve social determinants of health, implementing the recommendations of the Anti-Racism Advisory Working Group, as well as investing in sustainable transportation, climate action and more.

Region permanently waives space rental fees for First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities

Regional Council has passed a Fees and Charges By-law that will increase access to culturally safe spaces for First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities. The new bylaw will reflect the permanent waiving of fees for community groups and organizations to book spaces for cultural and ceremonial use. The Region continues to address action items outlined in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, which set a clear direction for governments to close the gaps in outcomes for Indigenous peoples and recognize the role of Indigenous communities and organizations in effecting positive change.

Library removing barriers to service by eliminating fines

The Region of Waterloo Library will ring in the new year fine free. Members of the Region of Waterloo’s Library Committee voted in favour of the proposed policy change at its committee meeting on Wednesday, December 8; a decision that was ratified at Regional Council yesterday. The Region’s libraries are part of a growing movement of libraries eliminating overdue fines. Over 270 libraries across North America have transitioned to fine free. Overall, results have been positive, with increases in cardholders, circulation and public support.

 

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