What it Takes to Get the ‘W’s

Recently at the Council table, there have been some remarkable, progressive, ‘wins’. 

Some of these are now enshrined in the 2022 Budget, passed on December 13, 2021:
Silhouette of people hoisting a cup together

  • Free transit for young people 12 and under, as a pilot project;
  • $40,000 for a new grant program for individual artists to be designed and delivered by the Electric City Culture Council;
  • An annual increase in funding for the climate change fund to ensure it keeps pace with inflation;
  • Up to $70,000 per year for three years to fund a systems navigator position that will support people experiencing homelessness in the downtown area;
  • $250,000 over two years to evaluate wetlands within City boundaries;
  • $100,000 per year for the protection and management of natural areas; and
  • Boosting annual funding for the Community Race Relations Committee from $28,000 to $43,000

Also on December 13, 2021, City Council unanimously voted to pursue a heritage designation for Jackson Park, which isn’t just a part of where we live—it’s a part of who we are. Other important achievements came at the City Council meeting on November 29, 2021, when we passed the first new Official Plan for the City of Peterborough in 40 years, and ensured the lands reserved for the Parkway have been excluded from the City’s Transportation Master Plan and future road improvement strategies. 

These wins were not achieved overnight. They took 3 (or more!) years of hard work, dedication, and the fierce persistence of members of Council, City staff teams, and community members. They took concerted advocacy efforts inside and outside City Hall, deep engagement, countless hours of writing and pouring over reports, creative coalition-building, and more than a little bit of gumption and stamina to happen. Heck, the new Official Plan has been 10 years in the making! 

I share this context because I think it is important to reflect on the sky-high expectations for this Council when we were first elected, the state of City Hall when we arrived after 8 long years under a very different style of leadership, and the pace of progress in our municipal affairs. 

Some processes necessarily take a long time – to ensure we get it right and to ensure that the community has a fair opportunity to participate – and require steady, patient, and strategic building of momentum towards ideal outcomes. Others certainly could have moved forward faster, though I must say that a global pandemic in year 2 of this term cannot be discounted as a major factor influencing the timing of many initiatives. 

But here we are, in year 3, with some significant achievements under our belts. For those who believe they could have done it all better and faster, I hope you will step up to the plate. Your City needs you. 

P. S. Need a bit of motivation to keep working away towards the ‘W’ in your life? Let Coach Cal inspire you!

One thought on “What it Takes to Get the ‘W’s”

  1. Congratulations to the three progressive women on Council who voted their platform and didn’t give up! You will be missed. And thanks to Council who saw the wisdom and benefits of these decisions. It will help protect the vulnerable in this community and the planet Thank you Kim for itemizing this Council’s progressive decisions so we can remember them and remind the next Council what a progressive vision looks like.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.