Welcoming City Task Force


The purpose of the Welcoming City Task Force is to develop a Welcoming City 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 City 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 has appointed the following members of the public to the Task Force.



Member at Large

Antonia Paquin

Member at Large

Daniela dos Santos Pinto

Member at Large

Jibril Mohamed

Member at Large

Silvia Mangue Alene

Bayanihan Community Centre

Agnes Myhre

Victoria Immigrant & Refugee Centre Society

David Lau

Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria

Florentien Verhage

Chinese Community Services Society

Nora Butz

International student

Jefus Godwin-Enwere

Greater Victoria Public Library

Maureen Sawa

George Jay School PAC

Sandra Hough

Victoria Silver Threads

Tracy Ryan

Songhees Nation

Garry Sam

Esquimalt Nation

Jerome Thomas

Societé Francophone

Annie Djiotsa

Here in Canada magazine

Kareece Whittle-Brown

Mayor Lisa Helps and Councillor Sharmarke Dubow 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.

Role and Responsibilities

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

Task Force members will meet virtually online. Meetings will be scheduled by the Task Force liaisons. 

The Task Force will meet as follows:

(Due to COVID-19, the work will begin in fall 2020 and continue into 2021.)

  • 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.
  • Four virtual public engagement events to invite public input.
  • Two final meetings to integrate the feedback and prepare a presentation to Council.

The Welcoming City Task Force in partnership with consultants will submit a Welcoming City Strategy for Council's consideration. 

Read the Terms of Reference. [PDF - 70 KB]

Meeting Notes:

November 16, 2020 [PDF - 147 KB]
November 30, 2020 [PDF - 183 KB]
anuary 11, 2021 [PDF - 131 KB]
January 25, 2021 [PDF - 231 KB]
February 22, 2021 [PDF - 180 KB]
March 8, 2021  [PDF - 183 KB]
March 22, 2021 [PDF - 128 KB]