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2011-2014 Strategic Plan Message from the Regional Chair At the beginning of each term, Regional Council works with the public and Regional staff to develop a set of strategic priorities that will guide its work during the term. Earlier this year, we began an extensive public consultation process including online, paper and telephone surveys and focus group sessions. The response from you has been tremendous and the input received from the community and staff is reflected in our new plan. We are pleased to present the Strategic Plan for the 2011-2014 Regional Council term. The plan sets out strategic priorities under five broad focus areas - Environmental Sustainability, Growth Management and Prosperity, Sustainable Transportation, Healthy and Inclusive Communities, Service Excellence – and identifies the actions we need to take to realize our goals. Each member of Regional Council has been involved in creating this plan that will guide us as we work together to attain our vision of an inclusive, thriving, and sustainable community. We will also be reporting to you regularly on our progress as we implement the plan. Waterloo Region is a thriving community with an energy and spirit of collaboration that is unparalleled. It is important that we continue to plan carefully and work in partnership with the community to ensure it remains a place we are all proud to call home.


Ken Seiling, Regional Chair


Regional Council Regional Council 2011-2014

Back row, left to right Les Armstrong Wilmot Township, Mayor Jim Wideman Kitchener Carl Zehr City of Kitchener, Mayor Geoff Lorentz Kitchener Doug Craig City of Cambridge, Mayor Sean Strickland Waterloo Rob Deutschmann North Dumfries Township, Mayor Ross Kelterborn Wellesley Township, Mayor Tom Galloway Kitchener Front row, left to right

Regional Council is elected by the people of Waterloo Region to establish policies, priorities and oversee the many services provided by the Region of Waterloo. The head of Regional Council is the Regional Chair who is elected by the citizens of Waterloo Region. In addition to the Chair, Council is comprised of eight directly elected Regional Councillors and the seven Mayors of the area municipalities. To learn more about your Regional Council visit the Region of Waterloo’s website at and click on “Regional Government” at the top right hand side of the website.

Jean Haalboom Kitchener Jane Mitchell Waterloo Brenda Halloran City of Waterloo, Mayor Ken Seiling Regional Chair Jane Brewer Cambridge Claudette Millar Cambridge Todd Cowan Woolwich Township, Mayor


Waterloo Region at a Glance

Population (including students, 2011) • 545,000 Region’s population has grown on average 1.7 per cent each year • (8,000 people per year) People living in urban areas • 88 per cent People living in rural areas • 12 per cent Median age of population • 36 years, third lowest in Ontario. People over 65 years of age • 12 per cent Percentage of immigrants • 23 per cent Percentage of the population that most often speak a language other than English in their home • 14 per cent Percentage of people living in poverty • 11 per cent

Regional Library

Regional Library L

Landfill Site


Regional Transfer Station


Regional Museum


Grand River Transit Terminal


Landfill Site

Regional Offices


Regional Transfer Station

Region of Waterloo International Airport


Regional Museum


Grand River Transit Terminal


Regional Offices Region of Waterloo International Airport


Waterloo Region – the Community Waterloo Region includes the three cities of Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo, and the townships of North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich, providing a unique balance of urban and rural centres. Waterloo Region is one of the fastest growing areas in Ontario and is projected to grow from 545,000 in 2011 to 729,000 people by 2031. Waterloo Region is currently the fourth largest urban area in Ontario and the 10th largest in Canada. Internationally known for its leading-edge technology and innovation, Waterloo Region continues to earn its reputation as a forward-thinking community and an attractive place to live, work and raise a family. There are two levels of municipal government in Waterloo Region: 1. Regional level of government – Regional Municipality of Waterloo (Region of Waterloo). 2. Local area levels of government for the City of Cambridge, City of Kitchener, City of Waterloo and the Townships of North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich. The Region of Waterloo and the local area municipalities (cities and townships) are responsible for different services. See page five for an overview of the Region’s programs and services.


Region of Waterloo – the Organization’s Programs and Services The Region of Waterloo was officially established on January 1, 1973. Since then services have evolved considerably, touching the lives of every citizen. The Region of Waterloo is responsible for providing approximately 60 per cent of municipal government services in this community and provides a range of services through seven departments and a Chief Administrator’s Office: Public Health • • • •

Clinics - Immunization (e.g. influenza, Hepatitis B, HPV), HIV testing, International Travel, Sexual Health, Sexually Transmitted Infections, Dental Health, Tuberculosis Disease surveillance and health status reporting to the public Communicable disease control and environmental health (management of cases, outbreaks, health hazards and the human health impacts of environmental problems) Food and Water safety (inspections and promotion)

• • • •

Preparedness and response for public health emergencies e.g. Pandemic Influenza Planning Health promotion and awareness initiatives e.g. vaccination, injury prevention, tobacco use prevention, healthy eating and active living, preconception health, healthy child development, community engagement, policies to prevent illness and promote health Healthy Babies, Healthy Children Emergency Medical Services (land ambulance)

Social Services • Plan for and administer local child care system

• Sandhill’s Café

• Five directly operated Children’s Centres and a licensed home child care program

• Community Outreach Program

• Financial assistance with child care costs

• Financial Assistance (Ontario Works)

• Infant & Child Development Program

• Emergency Energy Assistance Program

• Services for Children with Special Needs

• Employment Resource Centres

• Sunnyside Supportive Housing and Assisted Living

• Employment Ontario Service Provider

• Senior’s Wellness Centre

• Employment Services and Supports for Ontario Works Participants

• Homemakers and Nursing Program

• Community Supports and Programs


Planning, Housing and Community Services • Growth Forecasting and planning for growth management • Regional Official Plan

• Transportation Planning and Corridor Control

• Review and approve area Municipal Official Plans

• Grand River Transit Planning

• Review and approve various development applications

• Transportation Demand Management

• Community Housing Administration and Affordable Housing Strategy

• Region of Waterloo (Township) Libraries

• Regional and Community Housing

• Waterloo Region Museum, Doon Heritage Village, Joseph Schneider Haus, McDougall Cottage

Transportation and Environmental Services • Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment

• Light Rail Transit Project

• Water Distribution and Wastewater Collection in Wellesley and North Dumfries

• Region of Waterloo International Airport

• Waterloo Landfill Site and Transfer Stations, Blue Box and Materials Recycling, and Garbage Collection

• Design and construction of all Regional engineering projects such as roads, bridges, water treatment plants etc.

• Grand River Transit including MobilityPlus Human Resources • Attracting, developing and retaining effective and dynamic employees • Human resources programs and services including Return to Work Programs, Benefits Administration, Employee Wellness, and Organizational Development and Design

• Regional Roads and Traffic Signals

• Health and Safety programming and consulting advice • Labour Relations services • Employee Fitness Centres


Corporate Resources • • • • • • •

In-house legal and real estate services Maintenance and construction services for Regional buildings & property Fleet acquisition and maintenance Information and communications technology Business systems analysis Council support Information and document management

• • • • • • •

Design, Print and Mail Services Provincial Offences Court administration and prosecution Licensing and enforcement services Citizen services Public access to information Corporate archives Energy Management and Environmental Sustainability Office

• • • • •

Property Tax Policy All debenture financing for the Region and Area Municipalities Grants to Voluntary Organizations Grant claims to senior levels of government Development charge collection and administration

Finance • • • •

Financial, accounting, treasury, payroll, accounts receivable, accounts payable, stores and purchasing services to all departments and external agencies of the Region Budget coordination Corporate Performance Measurement Risk Management/Insurance

Chief Administrator’s Office • Emergency Management

• Internal Audit

• Corporate Communications

• Strategic planning

Directly and indirectly the Region is also involved with community partners in economic development, community safety and crime prevention, heritage preservation, funding for the arts and hospital capital financing. The Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS) is responsible for providing policing services to the citizens of Waterloo Region and is an “arms length service” to the Region of Waterloo, which means the service is associated with and receives funding from the Region of Waterloo, but governance of the WRPS is the responsibility of the Waterloo Regional Police Services Board. REGION OF WATERLOO 7

The 2011-2014 Region of Waterloo Strategic Plan What is the Region of Waterloo’s Strategic Plan? The 2011-2014 Strategic Plan describes a future view of what the Region of Waterloo is working to achieve. It provides a common focus for Council and staff over the next four years. It helps to guide priority setting and ensures that our programs and services address the changing needs of our community. How was the Strategic Plan Developed? The Region of Waterloo engages in a strategic planning process for each term of Council. The Region’s strategic planning process began in November 2010 and incorporated numerous opportunities for public and staff input, including: • Community meetings. • Statistically reliable telephone survey with 1,160 community residents. • Online and paper survey. • Involvement of advisory committees of Council. • More than 25 focus groups with diverse participants. The consultation provided input on the following key elements: • Quality of life in Waterloo Region. • Issues related to the progress on the 2007-2010 Strategic Plan, including: u Management of growth u Management of the environment u Transportation u Social issues and well-being • Trust and confidence in Regional government. • Region of Waterloo program and service quality. • Drivers of satisfaction with Regional service delivery. • Priorities for improvement. • Improving diversity and inclusion in Region of Waterloo services and programs. • Improving communication and engagement with the public. Detailed results from the consultations are available at or by contacting staff.


Strategic Plan Framework The framework for the Region’s Strategic Plan includes the Vision, Mission, Values; and the Strategic Focus Areas, Objectives, Actions and Indicators to monitor progress. Vision, Mission and Values - The Strategic Plan is guided by the organization’s vision, mission and organizational values. The vision describes the preferred future and the impact that the organization hopes to have on the community: Waterloo Region will be an inclusive, thriving and sustainable community committed to maintaining harmony between rural and urban areas and fostering opportunities for current and future generations. The mission describes the organization’s purpose and addresses why the organization exists: The Region of Waterloo provides innovative leadership and services essential to creating an inclusive, thriving and sustainable community. The values are the guiding principles that help Council and staff achieve the vision and fulfill the mission. The following values are the collective commitment to how staff and Council work with citizens, customers, colleagues and community partners: Service: Satisfy and build confidence We provide excellent public service and strive to understand and meet the needs of all those we serve. Integrity: Instill trust We practice high standards of ethical behaviour and conduct ourselves with an openness and transparency that inspires trust. Respect: Value and recognize We create an environment where people are included, valued and treated with dignity. Innovation: Make ideas happen We foster an environment of leadership, excellence and creativity. Collaboration: Involve and engage others We build internal and external relationships to achieve common goals and resolve differences. REGION OF WATERLOO 9

Focus Areas, Strategic Objectives and Actions In order to achieve the vision of an inclusive, thriving and sustainable community, five focus areas have been developed for the 2011 – 2014 term of Council. Ongoing partnerships and dialogue with area municipalities, partner organizations, other orders of government, citizens and customers of Regional services will be key to the Region’s success in these focus areas.


Environmental Sustainability Protect and enhance the environment.

Growth Management and Prosperity Manage growth to foster thriving and productive urban and rural communities.


Sustainable Transportation Develop greater, more sustainable and safe transportation choices.

Healthy and Inclusive Communities Foster healthy, safe, inclusive and caring communities.




Service Excellence Deliver excellent and responsive services that inspire public trust.

The five focus areas provide a common sense of direction for the next four years. The focus areas are highly interconnected and therefore the success of one focus area will be dependent on the progress of another. The Region’s vision will only be achieved with consideration and integration of this overlap of the focus areas and the related strategic objectives. For each focus area, strategic objectives have been identified in order to add clarity to the focus areas, describe the overall intent and direction of the focus areas, and help staff align their work to the Focus Areas. The strategic objectives define “what” the Region is trying to accomplish in that area of focus. In order to move these strategic objectives forward, specific actions have been developed, which identify “how” the Region will achieve the strategic objectives. It is important to note that these actions are not intended to be an inclusive list of everything the Region does in the community. Rather, the actions identify new or ongoing initiatives that the organization needs to focus on in order to ensure it is responding to the priorities identified by Council and the community throughout the strategic planning process.


Environmental Sustainability: What did we hear? The environment is very important to residents living in Waterloo Region. They understand the role that growth and other factors have on the environment and recognize that a healthy environment is essential to the quality of life the public is seeking. Priorities identified include: • Support and continue to improve recycling, reuse and waste reduction programs. • Protect our drinking water. • Improve our air quality and reduce green house gas emissions. • Work collaboratively across all sectors to protect and enhance the environment. • Restore and preserve green space, agricultural land and sensitive environmental areas.

What are we doing? Clean air, water, land and green spaces are critical to keeping Waterloo Region healthy, sustainable and livable. The Region of Waterloo will consider the environment in all of its decisions and will work with area municipalities and other community partners to foster community stewardship of the natural environment.


Protect and enhance the environment. Strategic Objectives


1.1 Integrate environmental considerations into the Region’s decision making.

1.1.1 Develop and implement an integrated funding program to support community based environmental initiatives.

1.2 Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and work to improve air quality.

1.2.1 Implement the Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Regional operations.

1.1.2 Implement the Region’s green purchasing initiative to promote and encourage the use and purchase of environmentally responsible products. 1.2.2 Assist in development and implementation of a Community Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Action Plan and Reduction Target. 1.2.3 Develop an Energy Reduction Plan for Water and Wastewater facilities. 1.2.4 Pilot test technology to reduce idling in Regional fleet.

1.3 Reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

1.3.1 Develop the Waste Management Master Plan including the evaluation of alternative disposal technologies (e.g. energy from waste) and considering additional materials for recycling. 1.3.2 Evaluate and consider enhancements to the Green Bin/Green Cart Program.

1.4 Protect the quality and the quantity of our drinking water sources.

1.4.1 Complete the Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrades in Kitchener & Waterloo to improve effluent quality and reduce impacts on the Grand River. 1.4.2 Integrate the Provincial Water Protection Strategy & Regional Source Protection Plan to minimize the risk of historic, existing and future land uses on municipal water supplies. 1.4.3 Update and continue to implement the Water Efficiency Master Plan.

1.5 Restore and preserve green space, agricultural land and sensitive environmental areas.

1.5.1 Develop Implementation Guidelines for Environmental Impact Statements under the new Regional Official Plan. 1.5.2 Complete operating plans for all Regional Forests. 1.5.3 Foster partnerships to promote and protect Waterloo Region’s environmentally sensitive lands (e.g. rare Charitable Research Reserve, Grand River Corridor, Conservation Easements, potential land trust, etc.) 1.5.4 Work in partnership with various stakeholders to develop policies and programs to provide shade (e.g. tree canopy) in our communities.


Growth Management and Prosperity: What did we hear? People like living in Waterloo Region. They believe it is a safe community, which has a small town feel with big city advantages. The location of Waterloo Region and the blend and close proximity of rural and urban areas and even the Region’s geographical location in relation to other city centres received positive praise. Residents also see arts, culture and heritage as important aspects of the community. Waterloo Region residents see the need for proper maintenance and management of planned growth which included building vibrant urban places, protecting our countryside, fostering a strong and prosperous economy while still maintaining the small town feel. Priorities identified include: • Continue to manage and shape growth. • Ensure infrastructure meets the demands of a growing community. • Enhance our arts, culture and heritage. • Strengthen partnerships with all orders of government and our community partners to plan, and manage growth. • Support a diverse, innovative and globally competitive economy.

What are we doing? Managing and shaping growth to maintain rural and urban harmony is key to fostering individual and community well-being. The Region of Waterloo is implementing a Growth Management Plan and will work in partnership with the community and area municipalities to cultivate a vibrant region that is globally competitive, supports a diverse and prosperous economy, preserves heritage and creates spaces that maintain quality of life for people of Waterloo Region.


Manage growth to foster thriving and productive urban and rural communities. Strategic Objectives


2.1 Encourage compact, livable urban and rural settlement form.

2.1.1 Implement a sustainable Brownfield Program to promote the redevelopment of previously contaminated sites.

2.2 Develop, optimize and maintain infrastructure to meet current and projected needs.

2.2.1 Continue to prioritize and implement capital program projects required to meet community needs and ensure sustainability.

2.1.2 Work with area municipalities to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to promote intensification and reurbanization within existing urban areas.

2.2.2 Develop and implement a comprehensive asset management strategy to achieve optimal long term value from regional infrastructure. 2.2.3 Complete the Regional Development Charge By-law Review and Update.

2.3 Support a diverse, innovative and globally competitive economy.

2.3.1 Advance New East Side Employment Lands toward Development Readiness. 2.3.2 Continue to identify and support partnership opportunities that foster innovation and economic development (e.g. post secondary institutions, technology, manufacturing, food processing, etc.). 2.3.3 Strengthen the coordination and implementation of economic development activities by clarifying the roles and responsibilities of the Region, area municipalities and other key stakeholders (e.g. Canada’s Technology Triangle).

2.4 Promote and enhance arts, culture and heritage.

2.4.1 Work with the Creative Enterprise Enabling Organization, area municipalities and others to strengthen the arts and culture sector. 2.4.2 Provide opportunities to optimize the use of Regional cultural facilities, with a focus on the new Waterloo Region Museum. 2.4.3 Establish a Regional Heritage Conservation Toolbox.


Sustainable Transportation: What did we hear? The physical infrastructure, the ease of getting around the community and providing options for active transportation were cited as critically important to the community. Without proper maintenance and management for planned growth, there were concerns noted about increased congestion on the roads and the future of sustainable transportation. Priorities identified include: • Improve traffic flow. • Improve intercity transportation. • Improve public transportation. • Enhance active forms of transportation such as walking, cycling and transit. • Optimize existing road capacity to safely travel throughout Waterloo Region.

What are we doing? The transportation system will help balance cultural, economic, environmental and social issues to ensure Waterloo Region continues to be a great place to live and work. The transportation system will offer accessible and affordable choices for moving people and goods in a safe, integrated and seamless manner which will support a sustainable and thriving community for current and future generations. The Region is implementing a Transportation Master Plan: Moving Forward 2031, that defines how the transportation system will grow and change in the coming decades.


Develop greater, more sustainable and safe transportation choices.

Strategic Objectives


3.1 Implement a Light Rail Transit System in the Central Transit Corridor fully integrated with an expanded conventional transit system.

3.1.1 Develop an implementation plan for Light Rail Transit including corridor and station area planning.

3.2 Develop, promote and integrate active forms of transportation (cycling and walking).

3.2.1 Work with Local Municipalities and other stakeholders to develop an integrated and safe network of regional, local and off-road cycling and walking routes.

3.3 Optimize existing road capacity to safely manage traffic throughout Waterloo Region.

3.3.1 Identify and address priority transportation bottlenecks to reduce road congestion and improve safety, e.g. roundabouts, queue jump lanes for transit, turn lanes at signalized intersections, etc.

3.4 Encourage improvements to intercity transportation services to and from Waterloo Region.

3.4.1 Implement the multimodal transportation hub at Victoria and King Streets.

3.1.2 Expand the bus network (Conventional Transit) and begin to integrate it with the future Light Rail Transit System. 3.1.3 Develop and implement programs to improve access to and awareness of public transit (GRT and Mobility Plus).

3.2.2 Work with the community to develop and support a Transportation Management Association that would work with employers to encourage and support active and sustainable transportation.

3.3.2 Implement proven roadway safety strategies and education to enhance the safety of our roadways.

3.4.2 Actively participate in the Ministry of Transportation’s long term strategic plan for South Central Ontario. 3.4.3 Advocate for improved rail service to Kitchener and Cambridge. 3.4.4 Support the growth of aviation-related activities at the Region of Waterloo International Airport, and investigate the potential for further expansion of the Airport.


Healthy and Inclusive Communities: What did we hear? Fostering healthy, safe, inclusive and caring communities is very important to our community. Environmental and social conditions such as poverty were cited as having a great impact on the health and safety of our community. The Region needs to respond to the changing and diverse needs of the community to provide services that are supportive, caring, inclusive and accessible to citizens and communities. Priorities identified include: • Reduce poverty. • Create more and better affordable housing. • Reduce emergency room wait times.

• •

Collaborate with the community to support the development of services for children. Plan and support programs that enable older adults to live healthy, active lives.

What are we doing? The Region of Waterloo will work with community partners to take actions to reduce inequities and enhance community health, safety, inclusion and quality of life. The Region plans and provides programs and services to respond to the changing demographics and diverse needs of the community. This creates opportunities for people to develop to their full potential and to make a positive difference at all stages of life. Strategic Objectives


4.1 Work collaboratively to reduce poverty.

4.1.1 Develop and implement the Region of Waterloo’s comprehensive approach to poverty reduction. 4.1.2 Continue to collaborate with community partners in broad based efforts to reduce poverty.


4.2.1 4.2.2 4.2.3

Foster healthy living through information, education, policy development and health promotion.

Work with community partners to improve harm reduction and prevention programming for substance misuse. Establish and co-ordinate a Healthy Communities Partnership in Waterloo Region to take action regarding three community identified priorities: healthy eating, physical activity and mental health promotion. Plan and implement a Youth Engagement Initiative to inform and direct youth-based health promotion work.


Foster healthy, safe, inclusive and caring communities.

Strategic Objectives


4.3 Enhance local health service delivery by optimizing Emergency Medical Services (EMS) delivery and collaborating with health care partners to support system change.

4.3.1 4.3.2

4.4 Enhance community safety and crime prevention.

4.4.1 Work with the Crime Prevention Council to develop an Integrated Drugs Strategy. 4.4.2 Work with the Crime Prevention Council to develop and implement the Street Gang Prevention Project.

4.5 Work collaboratively to increase the supply and range of affordable housing and reduce homelessness.

4.5.1 Update and implement the Homelessness to Housing Stability Strategy. 4.5.2 Update and monitor the implementation of the Region of Waterloo Affordable Housing Strategy prioritizing the creation of new supportive and lower income housing.

4.6 Collaborate with the community to support the development of services for children.

4.6.1 4.6.2 4.6.3

Develop and implement an Early Years System Plan (Children’s Strategy). Work with the Boards of Education to implement the Provincial Early Learning Framework. Work with community partners to further streamline the process for identifying families of children at risk for poor child development outcomes and linking them to appropriate supports/programs.

4.7 Collaborate with the community to support older adults to live healthy, active lives.

4.7.1 4.7.2

Work with area municipalities and community partners to develop a Seniors Strategy that actively supports the well-being of older adults. Work with community partners to establish a Seniors Advisory Committee that will provide advice on planning and issues for older adult programs and services.

4.8 Partner with the community to improve programs and services for immigrants/refugees.

4.8.1 Continue to support the Immigration Partnership in its work to coordinate efforts to attract, welcome and integrate immigrants and refugees in our community.

Continue to address population growth and demographic changes through the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Master Plan. Advocate and support health care system changes to reduce EMS offload delays in area hospitals.


Service Excellence: What did we hear? Residents expect excellent customer service and responsive staff to meet the needs of the growing community. Knowing the right person to contact and having easy points of access to the service were highlighted as necessary by the community. Overall, citizens noted high levels of satisfaction with Regional programs and services although there are also a number of areas where residents would like to see improvements. Priorities identified include: • Improve community awareness about the services provided by the Region. • Engage and involve the public in decisions that impact the community. • Improve the accessibility of Regional programs and services to support our diverse community. • Improve service satisfaction with Regional programs. • Ensure Regional programs and services are efficient and effective and are open and transparent to the public. • Retain, recruit and develop skilled and citizen-centered employees. • Strengthen and enhance partnerships with area municipalities, academia, community stakeholders and other orders of government.

What are we doing? The Region of Waterloo will strive for consistently high levels of citizen satisfaction in delivering citizen focused programs and services that are accessible, efficient, effective and responsive to community needs. Staff and volunteers will instill public trust by collaborating with community partners and engaging citizens to foster open, transparent and accountable municipal government. The Region will recruit and retain service focused people and ensure they are supported by the right organizational processes, facilities, equipment and resources.


Deliver excellent and responsive services that inspire public trust.

Strategic Objectives



5.1.1 5.1.2 5.1.3

Improve the accessibility of Regional programs and services to support our diverse community.

Develop and implement an action plan to make the Region’s programs, services and workforce more accessible and responsive to our diverse community. Implement a consolidated Call Center with a single phone number for the Region of Waterloo and explore the potential for a 311 inter-municipal call centre. Implement the standards under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) to comply with Provincial regulations.

5.2 Improve satisfaction with Regional programs and services.

5.2.1 Develop Service Standards and performance targets and initiate improvement plans in selected departments. 5.2.2 Implement a comprehensive citizen/customer service training program for staff.

5.3 Ensure Regional programs and services are efficient and effective and demonstrate accountability to the public.

5.3.1 Develop a five Year Financial / Budget Plan. 5.3.2 Further integrate Performance Measurement into Regional Programs. 5.3.3 Continue to undertake Program Reviews based on an enterprise risk management approach.


5.4.1 5.4.2 5.4.3

Develop and implement actions to support the effective recruitment of employees to the Region. Implement actions designed to build leadership capacity. Conduct an employee survey and take follow-up actions.

5.5 Improve awareness of Regional services and facilitate processes for public input and involvement.

5.5.1 5.5.2 5.5.3 5.5.4

Develop a comprehensive resource guide for public and community stakeholder participation. Implement webcasting of Regional Council and Standing Committee meetings. Explore new ways to increase awareness of Council activities and opportunities for citizens to interact with members of Regional Council. Enhance external communication to increase awareness of Regional programs and services.

5.6 Strengthen and enhance partnerships with area municipalities, academia, community stakeholders and other orders of government.

5.6.1 5.6.2 5.6.3 5.6.4

Define and implement an open data program that improves the ability of the public to find, download and use Region of Waterloo data. Develop a corporate volunteer management strategy and work plan. Explore opportunities for partnerships with area municipalities in order to improve services. Host meetings of all area municipal Councillors at least annually to share information and discuss issues of common interest.

Retain, recruit and develop skilled, motivated and citizencentred employees.


From Planning to Implementation The Strategic Plan provides a framework for other Region of Waterloo plans and initiatives, guiding Council and staff in setting priorities and delivering programs to address the changing needs of our community. In order to continue to make the Strategic Plan meaningful and relevant during this term of Council, the following components will be implemented: Alignment and linkages with other corporate and department processes and plans The plan will be directly tied to the annual budget process as well as other corporate initiatives to allow for informed decisions about resource allocation. This Strategic Plan also incorporates key elements from various Regional Master Plans (e.g. Transportation Master Plan). Other Regional Master Plans will be updated over the next four years to ensure alignment with the Strategic Plan (e.g. Waste Management Master Plan). The Strategic Plan also provides direction for other major planning initiatives such as the Region’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, Service Strategy and communications planning. Departmental Strategic Plans In parallel with the Corporate Strategic Plan, each Department is developing a Departmental Strategic Plan. The Department Strategic Plans will identify additional priority actions needed to implement the vision and corporate strategic objectives as well as more detailed departmental objectives and actions specific to Departmental priorities.


Orientation and Training The Region of Waterloo Strategic Plan will be a core component of staff training and ongoing development. It will also be a focus in the New Employee Orientation Program (NEOP). Communication of the Plan Communication will be a key factor in the success of the Strategic Plan implementation. The Corporate Strategic Plan will be shared with the community and staff, area municipalities, community partners and other organizations. The communication will be an ongoing effort, and our progress will be shared on a regular basis. In order to effectively communicate the plan to a wide range of audiences a number of vehicles and methods to involve and inform residents and staff will be created. In an effort to support environmental sustainability, we will minimize paper based communication and maximize electronic communication of the Plan. Partnerships Ongoing partnerships with area municipalities, community partners and other orders of government will be key to the Region’s success in the implementation of the Strategic Plan. Where possible and appropriate we will strengthen internal and external relationships to achieve common goals and resolve community issues.


From Planning to Implementation Continued Community Engagement The Region of Waterloo’s 2011-2014 Strategic Planning process provided a forum where citizens talked about what matters to them, what they like and value about Waterloo Region, what they want to improve, and what their aspirations for the region are as it grows over the next several years. Conversations have taken place across the region, through focus groups, a statistically reliable telephone survey, online and paper surveys, community meetings and online using social media tools. Continuing the community engagement process will enable the Region to collectively create and implement priorities that are clear, inclusive, sustainable and supported by the community. While the framework and initial focus areas and objectives have been identified, the process remains ongoing, with annual benchmarking and implementation that will make this vision a reality. Continuing community engagement and regular communication of progress will ensure that the strategic plan moves from planning to implementation and achievement.


Progress Monitoring and Reporting An important element of our strategic planning process is to measure the progress of our strategic objectives and actions. Regular reporting on the strategic planning process will demonstrate to Council, the public and staff how the strategic objectives are being achieved across the organization. Annual reports will be developed to ensure Regional Council, citizens, community partners and employees are aware of our progress. Finally, the Region’s strategic plan is an ongoing process. Over the next four years it will be important to be conscious of new challenges and emerging issues. The Region will need to be flexible in order to respond to these changing directions and demands. Accordingly, the Plan will be reviewed approximately halfway through the term of Council (late 2012). This will provide the opportunity to refine the objectives and/or add or delete priority actions in order to respond to any significant changes in circumstances.


Message from the Chief Administrative Officer The Region offers a wide range of programs and services that make a positive difference every day in our community. The 2011-2014 Strategic Plan provides a common focus and a set of priorities for the organization to ensure we continue to meet the community’s changing needs. One of the most rewarding aspects of developing this plan was the way citizens and Regional staff enthusiastically participated in the process to help to shape the future of our community. This input helped Regional Council define five areas of focus, 27 strategic objectives and 73 actions in order to address community priorities. We benefited greatly from the guidance and direction of Regional Council, and from ongoing partnerships with many groups and individuals including the area municipalities, community partners and advisory committees. I would like to thank everyone who helped to shape the vision and priorities reflected in this plan. I would also like to extend a special acknowledgment to the Region’s Corporate Leadership Team and Senior Management Team for their vital role in the strategic planning and implementation process. The vision for the Region is to be an inclusive, thriving and sustainable community committed to maintaining harmony between rural and urban areas and fostering opportunities for current and future generations. Regional staff and volunteers are dedicated to providing excellent public service by understanding and meeting the needs of all those we serve. By providing excellent service we hope to promote public trust and confidence in the region, and to help build a community that is inclusive, thriving, sustainable and prepared for the future. As we work on achieving our vision, we know that the journey will come with challenges. It will require that the Region lead by example and work collaboratively and creatively with our community stakeholders and partners. We are ready for the challenge and embrace the opportunity to create the community we desire to ensure there is a rich legacy left for future generations. Sincerely, Mike Murray, Chief Administrative Officer



For more information We invite you to stay in touch with the Region’s Strategic Plan. Visit our website, contact us by phone/e-mail or request your own copy of the Strategic Plan. The Plan is available in other formats upon request. For information or alternative format please contact: Lorie Fioze Manager of Strategic Planning and Strategic Initiatives 150 Frederick St. Kitchener, Ontario N2G 4J3 Phone: 519-575-4758 Fax: 519-575-4440 TTY: 519-575-4608 Click on “Regional Government” to find the Strategic Plan.

Corporate Leadership Team (Department Contacts): Chief Administrative Officer Mike Murray Commissioner of Public Health and Medical Officer of Health Dr. Liana Nolan Commissioner of Corporate Resources Gary Sosnoski Chief Financial Officer (Acting) Angela Hinchberger Commissioner of Human Resources Penny Smiley Commissioner of Planning, Housing and Community Services Rob Horne Commissioner of Social Services Michael Schuster Commissioner of Transportation and Environmental Services Thomas Schmidt




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Region of Waterloo 2011-2014 Strategic Plan  

2011 to 2014 strategic Plan