- by Anne Finlay-Stewart, Editor

Does Owen Sound city council value having residents of Owen Sound with lived experience provide input on decision making to ensure accessible considerations are made as a part of doing business?

A staff "housekeeping" report coming to Monday evening's council meeting recommends the disbanding of the City's Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC), in favour of participating in a Grey County joint committee with six other municipalities.

The report cites County agendas that are "more rewarding and meaningful for committee volunteers", although the lack of meaningful agendas has never been raised at that committee, nor has the County joint committee alternative. The committee members – those with the lived experience – are not even being allowed to offer their opinion on the change.

The report also suggests that AAC members could "bring their expertise to other committees such as the Operations Committee", although there are currently no vacancies in that committee and it is responsible for many issues – water treatment, waste management, road resurfacing – which may or may not be within the interest or skills of those who chose to volunteer for Accessibility.

Is this how the City of Owen Sound honours its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion?

We hope to hear this raised in the public question period, and we trust there will be a fulsome discussion among council members.

The full report also recommends dissolving the Community Development, Culture and Heritage Committee, and adding two new ad hoc committees.



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