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 work and expertise that OLIP brings to our community is so important as it helps us to build bridges and break down silos.  I look forward to our continued work together. 

Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa
I’m really impressed with the level of energy and commitment around the Health and Wellbeing table and look forward to continuing collaboration between OLIP and OPH.

Marcela Tapia
Ottawa Public Health
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
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
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
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
The target beneficiary of the work of OLIP is the whole community. In this short period we have planted together important seeds for Ottawa’s development.  

Dick Stewart
OLIP Council
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
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

City of Ottawa Launches Its First Anti-Racism Strategy

January 16, 2023

The City of Ottawa acknowledges the unique ways in which racism is experienced at the individual, institutional and structural level and recognizes how racism is deeply embedded into societal systems, often operating in ways that are invisible. Systemic racism consists of organizational policies, directives, practices or procedures and structures that exclude, disadvantage or marginalize Indigenous, Black and other racialized groups or create unfair barriers to access benefits and opportunities

On June 22, 2022, Ottawa City Council approved its first Anti-Racism Strategy, a five-year plan to address systemic racism and will inform the application of an anti-racism approach in the way the City develops policies, makes decisions, evaluates programs, and measures outcomes.

The strategy was the outcome of a broad and comprehensive multi-phase process that engaged more than 1000 Ottawa residents from Indigenous, Black and other racialized communities, community partners, subject matter experts, and City of Ottawa employees.

The development of the Strategy would not have been possible without the tremendous efforts, time, commitment, and collaboration of many partners, consultants, community organizations, including OLIP, who worked in partnership with more than 100 City staff, to draft the City of Ottawa’s Anti-Racism approach and action plan.

A community led Anti-Racism Advisory table was established to advise the City on strategic actions to inform the Anti-Racism Strategy. Membership of this table included, the Mayor’s Office, the Council Liaison for Anti-Racism and Ethnocultural Relations Initiatives, City staff and 17 community leaders from Indigenous, Black and other racialized communities, including OLIP, who worked collaboratively to bring forward community perspectives.

The strategy outlines 28 recommendations and 132 strategic and measurable actions to address the following seven areas:

  • Governance
  • Housing
  • Economic Development
  • Health Outcomes
  • Children and Youth Development
  • Achieving Racial Equity in the Workplace
  • Institutional Practices

The Anti-Racism Strategy is designed with a recognition that we must work as allies and partners, including other levels of government and institutions, to address systemic racism in municipal policies, services, programs and the City’s workforce.

The Strategy will be implemented in two phases.  Phase one will take place from 2023-2025 and will focus on building internal capacity and awareness in the workplace, on learning the application of an anti-racism approach in City processes and service provision, on deepening relationships with Black and other racialized communities, and the collection of gender and race-disaggregated data that will form the baseline for measuring the progress of all future actions.

Phase one will include the implementation of action items in all seven priority areas, with an emphasis on governance, children and youth development, achieving racial equity in the workplace, and institutional practices. City of Ottawa staff will provide a mid-term report to Council upon completion of phase one, and validate progress made with stakeholders and community partners, to inform the direction for phase two (2025-2028).

The journey towards a safe, equitable and anti-racist city will not be straightforward and will be lined with bold and courageous conversations. We are confident that through our continued efforts we can move forward, together, in continuing to shape our city into one where everyone experiences a sense of belonging.

This article was submitted by Suzanne Obiorah, Director, Gender and Race Equity, Inclusion, Indigenous Relations and Social Development, City of Ottawa.