Council adopts strategy with inclusion as major pillar
Monday August 8, 2011 — Kristian Partington
On July 11, the council and mayor of the City of Burnaby officially adopted a progressive Social Sustainability Strategy, and as far as the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI) is concerned, the city should be applauded for its vision.
BACI executive director Richard Faucher was excited when the draft strategy was released in the spring and the association threw its full support behind the adoption of the document at the time.
When the final strategy was released last month, BACI support was reinvigorated by the fact that inclusion remains a social priority within the strategy.
“It’s kind of nice to work in social services in a city that’s adopted a fairly progressive social sustainability plan,” Richard says, considering the three main pillars of the document, which outline goals for the next 10 years.
One of the pillars is inclusion, Richard notes, and concepts such as disability confidence, social purchasing and social enterprise, which were all proposed by BACI as components of social sustainability, are included in the document.
“An inclusive community values all its members and helps them to meet their basic needs so that they can live in dignity, engage actively, and contribute to their community,” the strategy states in the explanation of its vision for inclusion.
“This goal is particularly concerned with ensuring the city is affordable, accessible, and welcoming of all cultures, identities and abilities.”
Richard says the document is clearly based on feedback received from the community throughout an extensive consultation process and the city has “come up with a plan that is very ambitious, but also really progressive and very good for all citizens of Burnaby .”
“At BACI, we applaud this,” he says. “We’ve gone to all the sessions and we’ve been supportive. We’ve written to the press to thank the city for taking the time to really look at social sustainability, but also to come up with a plan that we think is going to improve public engagement.”
Now that the plan is officially adopted, Richard says the difficult task of making the vision a reality lies before the citizens of Burnaby and his organization will be along side every step of the way, promoting the values of inclusion and equality for all citizens.
If you have questions or comments, feel free to contact 800-294-0051, ext. 24, or e-mail kristian(at)axiomnews.ca.