2021 Budget

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This project supports the Region of Waterloo's strategic focus area(s): Icons representing the Region's strategic focus areas of Thriving economy, Sustainable transportation, Environment and climate action, Healthy, safe and inclusive communities, and Responsive and engaging public service.

Leading the Region: Beyond COVID-19 Budget 2021

We want your input. Please review and share your thoughts in the survey below.


Beyond COVID-19

Even before December is finished, it’s already become a cliché, but 2020 has been a year like no other.

We’ve travelled a road we could never have imagined, we’ve encountered obstacles we could never have foreseen.

It’s been a difficult, unpredictable year but some things never change. We’re a caring Region. We’re a Region that’s taken pride in making decisions for the future, ensuring we’re prepared for what lies ahead.

And in 2020

This project supports the Region of Waterloo's strategic focus area(s): Icons representing the Region's strategic focus areas of Thriving economy, Sustainable transportation, Environment and climate action, Healthy, safe and inclusive communities, and Responsive and engaging public service.

Leading the Region: Beyond COVID-19 Budget 2021

We want your input. Please review and share your thoughts in the survey below.


Beyond COVID-19

Even before December is finished, it’s already become a cliché, but 2020 has been a year like no other.

We’ve travelled a road we could never have imagined, we’ve encountered obstacles we could never have foreseen.

It’s been a difficult, unpredictable year but some things never change. We’re a caring Region. We’re a Region that’s taken pride in making decisions for the future, ensuring we’re prepared for what lies ahead.

And in 2020, we came face-to-face with a new reality and a very different future.

Taking stock

COVID-19 has forced us to sit up and take stock of where we want to go as a community because in the midst of this pandemic’s turmoil, we’ve been forced to hold a mirror up to ourselves, to our decisions and to our values.

We’ve seen real, impactful, painful issues exacerbated by the pandemic.

Where once we had a housing problem, we found ourselves on the brink of a crisis.

Where once we had inequities in providing child care, we now have a system that is fragile and in need of help.

We’ve seen members of our community, some of them our most vulnerable residents, struggle to contribute to society through lack of access to housing, or child care or even transit.

At the Region of Waterloo, we’ve seen these issues and we’ve heard your voice.

You asked us to step up and shift our focus, and address these issues that have been amplified by COVID-19.

And we know that if these issues are not addressed today, they will be magnified in 2021, 2022 and beyond.

Leading through the pandemic

As we’ve led the pandemic response, we’ve been listening and working on a plan for Beyond COVID-19.

This plan is deliberate, intentional, thoughtful and we hope reflective of each one of our 600,000 residents.

Our plan doesn’t just speak to one postal code in Waterloo Region. We want our plan to speak to every corner of our community.

Each and every person has been impacted by COVID-19 in some way, but we know that some have been impacted far more than others.

Single parents, members of our BIPOC community, those struggling to find an affordable place to call home. COVID-19 has come down harder on some more than others and this needs to be addressed.

Our local economy has also been shook by this pandemic. The restaurants and bars and cafes that breathe life into our communities are struggling. So are those who give personality to these establishments – valuable members of the workforce.

Investing in our community

Our plan for Beyond COVID-19 continues with our 2021 budget.

We feel this plan invests in the community as a whole and we hope that this is a plan for our all our people.

What we’ve heard and what we’ve seen in 2020 is that we need to pay specific and immediate attention to:

  • Ongoing management of COVID-19
  • Supporting our most vulnerable
  • Addressing inequities in our community

At the Region, we also want to focus on modernizing and streamlining service delivery so that we can provide enhanced service for our residents as well as financial savings.

We remain committed to the provision of excellent service to our 600,000 residents. We are confident that this commitment will see us emerge from the pandemic as a stronger organization while building a stronger community.

Highlights include:

  • Realignment of transit service hours to reflect current ridership levels
  • Enhanced paramedic and ambulance services
  • $3 million over the next 18-24 months in temporary support for businesses impacted by the pandemic
  • Over $20 million over two years to support community investment in affordable housing
  • Investing further in vulnerable citizens through shelters, long term care
  • $15 million over two years to support our Anti-Racism Advisory Working Group to implement initiatives that improve the economic, social and cultural health and wellness of BIPOC communities

Your input

Please provide your input in the survey. We'd like to know if you think our plan and budget priorities reflect community needs. View budget committee presentation. The survey should take about 15 minutes to complete and questions can be skipped if desired.

How to Get Involved

Participate in a public input meeting. A virtual public meeting is scheduled to gather feedback about the 2021 Regional Budget on Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at 6 p.m.

If you would like to speak at the Public Input meeting, you may register using the delegation registration form online: https://forms.regionofwaterloo.ca/Council-and-Administrative-Services/Delegation-Registration.

The deadline to register as a delegation is Monday, December 14, 2020 before 4:30 p.m.

What happens next?

The feedback questionnaire will be live from November 25 to December 23. Staff will summarize the input received for Regional Council’s consideration. The input will help inform Council’s decision making regarding this year’s budget on January 20, 2021.

Councillors will be following the conversation on the Engage platform, and we encourage you to do the same! Check back in January for the outcome of the 2021 budget process.


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