On Monday, April 23, I brought forward a Notice of Motion to City Council to direct Administration to create a Multilingual Communication and Engagement Policy. City Council voted unanimously, 15-0, to support the Motion.
The need for this Notice of Motion arises from the ever-changing demographics of Calgary. According to the 2016 Census Federal Census approximately a 1/3 of Calgary’s population does not identify English or French as their mother tongue language. This proportion of Calgary’s population is anticipated to increase over the next 20 years as the main driver of population growth is expected to be from immigration, particularly from Southeast and Southern Asia. This Notice of Motion will help prioritize and further the great work already started by Administration around creating a more inclusive Calgary for all communities.
Other major Canadian municipalities have adopted similar Multilingual policies, some as early as 2002. These policies generally ensure that the municipality’s information reaches residents, keeps them informed and engaged, and that the municipality’s resources for translation and interpretation are used effectively. These policies also establish principles and criteria for translation and interpretation of information about the municipality’s services, programs and engagement activities.
A one-size-fits-all approach to communications and engagement is no longer adequate with the changing demographics of Calgary. The work that will be undertaken by this Notice of Motion is essential to bridging diversity and inclusion gaps that exist with The City of Calgary and the various ethno-cultural communities of our great city.
Multilingual Communications and Engagement Policy Report to Council can be found here.