Inclusive and equitable growth is crucial not only for a fairer society but also for a stronger economy.
While the City of Spruce Grove continues to search for new ways to improve living standards, we must also share the benefits of growth more evenly across all groups in our community. Ignoring the realities of inequalities undermines economic growth and strains the relationship between Spruce Grove and its citizens.
As we look at ways we will grow, the City has an important role to play with respect to inclusiveness encompassing the operations, policy-making processes, and the outcomes that we seek to promote.
Inclusivity means asking the questions:
- Are we an inclusive and equitable employer, meaning are we representative of the society we serve? As an example, is there a representative employee base of women, disabled people, immigrants, or Indigenous populations?
- Do we keep equity, fairness, and inclusivity as much at the forefront of our policy development and delivery as we do efficiency? Do we see efficiency and equity as mutually exclusive, and how can we seek to look at policymaking through a more holistic lens?
- Are our engagement processes allowing for broad public involvement in policymaking, regulation, and service delivery? Is there fair representation from the community? By gathering more input from citizens about their needs and the impact of policies on them, open government makes public policies more effective and public services more user-friendly and user-driven.
Examining these questions will be a priority of mine moving beyond the election. Inclusiveness should be reflected in access (financial and geographical) to public services including housing, recreation, childcare, education, etc. While some of the administrative responsibilities of these fall to the Provincial and Federal governments, it’s imperative that on a local level, we are ensuring our citizens are having their needs met. This, in turn, shapes the growth potential of economies and the level of societal well-being.
As we continue to grow, exploring the role of government in fostering inclusive growth will require different ways of evaluating government performance; ones that go beyond the traditional parameters of efficiency and effectiveness.
A City Thrives When Its Citizens Thrive
My overall goal is to ensure we are doing our part in:
- Housing Availability
- Program and Service Availability and Accessibility relative to the needs of our communities
In order to ensure inclusivity, we must acknowledge that we aren’t a homogenous group. Ongoing connections and invitations to participate in policy development and service delivery will play a major factor in ensuring we are on track.