I was happy to see integration to Algonquin territory and indigenous culture related programming in 2014 WOW. Please continue to involve local Aboriginal organisations and…

Linda Manning
WOW 2014 participant, Senior Fellow, University of Ottawa
OLIP helps to unite and share scarce resources for greater impact by working together in the field of student education.

Walter Piovesan
Associate Director of Education, Ottawa Carleton District School Board
My nomination is an indication that our hard work in building Canada is recognized. All we do is to serve the community in return for embracing us when we needed it.  

Mehdi Mahdavi
Ottawa Immigrant Entrepreneurship Awards Nominee
Canada has been shaped by people who came from all over the world to build this country. WOW offers a platform for us to celebrate this history and the future it will help…

Alex Munter, Chair of the OLIP Council and President and CEO of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre
The Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre is so happy to have joined the OLIP Health and Wellbeing Sector Table. It is clear that OLIP cares about immigrants and refugees and…

Wendy Tang, Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre
We are very pleased to have done the “Opportunity Cost of Not Investing in Interpretation” report – it is so important to have clarity on these challenges and…

Hindia Mohamoud, Director, OLIP
The OLIP Council is committed to leadership.  In only a few years, we have a common vision and priorities, and are up to the task of implementing the Ottawa Immigration Strategy.

Salimatou Diallo
OLIP Council Vice Chair, Assemblée de la francophonie de l'Ontario
In our city’s history, immigrants have always played an important role. They build our economic prosperity, diversify our culture, contribute to our social vitality.

Jim Watson
Mayor of Ottawa
The City of Ottawa will continue to play a lead role in the implementation of the Ottawa Immigration Strategy, just as we did in the founding of OLIP.

Steve Desroches
City Councillor and Deputy Mayor of Ottawa
All the WOW events that I went to were great – WOW does give a sense of a community trying to improve its attraction and retention!

Caroline Andrew
Professor, University of Ottawa

CAWI: Making Voices Count

September 2, 2021

Making Voices Count (MVC) brings together grassroots community leaders and local organizations to work with local decision-makers and advocate for progressive systemic change in Ottawa. Led by the City for All Women Initiative (CAWI), in partnership with the Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres (CHRCs), this program supports residents of Ottawa, including newcomers and immigrants, to make their voices heard in municipal decision-making. Past wins include the creation of an EquiPass and $15 million dedicated to affordable housing in annual city budgets from 2018-2021.

The Civic Engagement Table of MVC meets monthly to learn, share information, and plan for action. It brings together residents and community agencies to work on collective action. We are focused on poverty reduction, affordable housing, equitable transportation, food security, and childcare.

Making Voices Count won the United Way Community Builder Award in 2019. We started as an action research project called Making Votes Count to increase voter turnout in low-income neighbourhoods across Ottawa in 2014. We continue to focus on voter turnout and education during elections for all levels of government. We also offer Elections Training leading up to federal, provincial, and municipal elections. After Elections Training, residents are supported to encourage voting with their neighbours. We also create asks and recommendations for politicians on each issue that is important to us: poverty reduction, affordable housing, equitable transportation, food security and childcare.

Between election cycles we advocate for socially just policies primarily at the municipal level of government. Every year, we offer training on how to make your voice heard in the City Budget. If you are interested in more information, please contact Lucia Morales, Civic engagement coordinator at CAWI at lucia@cawi-ivtf.org.