Welcoming Cities Task Force

Purpose

The purpose of the Welcoming Cities Task Force is to develop a Welcoming Cities Strategy and to provide advice and recommendations to City Council and staff.

Working with consultants, the Task Force members will draw from their own expertise and lived experience, and invite expertise and lived experience from the general public with the goal of assessing Victoria against Welcoming Standards and building a Welcoming Cities Strategy.  

About Welcoming Standards

Welcoming Standards are community-specific roadmaps that provide a guide with community-determined benchmarks to develop stronger, more inclusive communities and bridge the gaps between newcomers and long-time residents.

These standards help communities imagine the possibilities of what they could look like while also providing a framework of accountability to measure progress. In order to be effective, strategies around four key sectors must be in place:

  • Engage long-term residents
  • Set goals, monitor impact and adjust strategies as needed
  • Design for equity and inclusion
  • Implement in partnership

The Welcoming Standards, drawn from Welcoming America are organized according to the following framework categories:

  • Government Leadership
  • Civic Engagement
  • Equitable Access
  • Education
  • Connected Communities
  • Economic Development
  • Safe Communities

Task Force Members

The City of Victoria Welcoming Cities Task Force will be comprised of up to 20 members of the public appointed by Council, representing diverse perspectives and with balanced gender representation, including:

Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS) – 1 appointee
Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) – 1 appointee
Here Magazine – 1 appointee
La Société francophone de Victoria – 1 appointee
George Jay School Parent Advisory Council – 1 appointee
Chinese Community Services Society – 1 appointee
Bayanian Cultural Society – 1 appointee
Songhees Nation – 1 appointee
Esquimalt Nation – 1 appointee
Silver Threads – 1 appointee
Greater Victoria Public Library Board – 1 appointee
Members at large – 4 (must include a youth member and an international student)

Mayor Lisa Helps, Councillor Sharmarke Dubow and Councillor Charlayne Thornton-Joe are appointed to serve as non-voting liaisons to the Task Force and will co-chair meetings.

City staff will act as a resource to the Task Force as appropriate and at the direction of the City Manager.

Specialists from partner organizations may also act as resources to the Task Force, at the discretion of the co-chairs.

Recruitment

Please note that recruitment is postponed until further notice to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Role and Responsibilities

Task Force meetings will be co-chaired by Mayor Helps, Councillor Dubow and Councillor Thornton-Joe, and conducted in accordance with procedures adopted for other City of Victoria advisory committees.

The Task Force will meet as follows:

  • Four preliminary meetings to become familiar with the City’s equity work, the Victoria 3.0 economic action plan and the Welcoming Standards, in order to provide input into the procurement needs for the consultant role, and to plan engagement workshops.
  • Three public engagement workshops to invite public input.
  • A final town hall meeting to receive input on proposed recommendations.
  • Two final meetings to integrate the feedback and prepare a presentation to Council

The Welcoming Cities Task Force in partnership with consultants will submit a Welcoming Cities Strategy for Council's consideration by the end of the year.