Calgary City Council Standing Policy Committee on Community and Protective Services Discuss New Strategies for Mental Health, Gender Equity, and Multilingual Communications
By Vivian Mak, CCVO Policy Intern
On June 12, the Calgary City Council Standing Policy Committee (SPC) on Community and Protective Services met to discuss funding and support for a Mental Health and Addiction Strategic Framework, approval of a Gender Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, and review of the Multilingual Communications and Engagement Policy Report.
The Mental Health and Addictions Panel hoped to receive approval to move forward with their Mental Health and Addiction Strategic Framework, which was previously approved in 2018. It requests for $25 million in funding from the City of Calgary to develop and implement the strategy and fund critical services. Their ultimate goal is to create hope and strengthen support for mental health and addiction.
While the Committee was willing to continue funding $3 million for existing services, there were some doubts surrounding the feasibility of the strategy and implementation, especially with the looming budget cuts. The framework did not receive approval from the Committee, though, alternative recommendations were proposed. Councillor Gondek suggested meeting with the new Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions to discuss the provincial plan of action before the city proceeds with their own. She advises that this will foster greater success and capacity for mental health and addictions related strategies and services. The next steps will be for the Panel and Committee to meet with the Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and report back.
Another motion was passed to approve and support a Gender Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy for Calgary. Within that strategy, there was a focus on leadership commitment, data disaggregation, unconscious bias training, and gender-based analysis plus (GBA+), and these areas will be highlighted in a measurable action plan by quarter four of 2020.
Finally, the motion to approve the Multilingual Communications and Engagement Policy Report was passed with goals to integrate five different languages into the city’s communications among other strategies of cultural engagement.
The SPC on Community and Protective Services will now report back to City Council on the developments of these motions and await Council approval. Stay updated on the City of Calgary website.