Keynote Speech with the Honourable Yasir NaqviDecember 30, 2021
The pandemic has shown a spotlight on the systemic inequities that impact immigrants and racialized communities and it has strengthened our commitment to identify root cause and improve community outcomes through leadership, collaborative planning, and engagement with multiple levels of government. This keynote highlights OLIP’s work over the past two years, the dynamic environment of engagement with the leaders of OLIP partner organizations, the strong momentum of listening, mutual accountability, and instantaneous responsiveness. The stakes were high, the goodwill was sharp, and the impact profound. In addition to the keynote, the fireside chat with Alan Neal also explores what building back could look like if we maintain this connection, mutual support, accountability, and impact, as part of normal course of business. This session accentuated the fact that, together, we can ensure inclusive rebuilding is the new way.
Speaker: Yasir Naqvi, Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre, former chair of OLIP, former CEO of the Canadian Institute of Citizenship, and former member of provincial cabinet as the Attorney General.
Moderator: Deborah Tunis, Acting Chair of the Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership
- The Honourable Yasir Naqvi delivered the Forum’s keynote speech and reflected on his many recent roles to explore the lessons learned from COVID-19 and provided insights on the opportunities that lay ahead of us, as OLIP partner and stakeholders engage in improvement plans in community health and wellbeing.
- Our keynote highlighted the importance of being responsive to community needs. Through his past work while in provincial office, Yasir planted roots that OLIP harvested at OLIP – that is the Community Safety & Wellbeing Plan. This reflection can help illustrate an example of the role governments and elected officials can play to address complex community challenges. It takes true leadership and courage.
- As the other 337 members of parliament were in session today to elect a new speaker of the House, Yasir highlighted the incredible opportunity there is for all of us, including our municipal, provincial, and federal governments to engage in this important work over the coming days and months. The call to action is to work in a more coherent and integrated manner because no one level of government can advance this work alone.
- In this effort, Yaisr emphasized the value of organizations, such as OLIP, to mobilize attention, leadership, resources, and action on critical community challenges. We need these voices to inform and guide collaborative policy and decision making across government. This work will also need to be data-driven and evidence-based for it to truly have a positive impact on the lives of all Ottawa residents.
- In taking questions from the audience, Yasir highlighted his commitment to speak to and champion chronic homelessness and housing affordability as a key inequity in our city. Similar to other societal inequities, addressing issues of homelessness will require multiple levels of government and partnership with community-based organizations who deeply understand the complexity of these systemic challenges. Towards the end, Yasir addressed additional questions on the financial and social barriers to citizenship for immigrants, as well as introducing new Canadian to the colonial history of Canada and to seek Truth and Reconciliation to address the wrongs done to the Indigenous Peoples.