City of Waterloo council summary May 29, 2023

Posted On Monday May 29, 2023

** The council summary provides a snapshot of the major items presented at today’s council meeting. Please refer to the minutes for an official record of the meeting. The recorded meeting can also be viewed on the City of Waterloo youtube channel

Laurel Greenway Master Plan approved
Council has approved the Laurel Greenway Master Plan, a dynamic, long-term guide for future expansion and improvements of the Laurel Greenway. The Laurel Greenway is a nearly two-kilometre linear park that generally follows the existing Laurel Trail, incorporating existing open space and the path of Laurel Creek through uptown Waterloo from Waterloo Park to Weber Street. The Master Plan presents a phased-in approach to making the Laurel Greenway a destination that offers valuable parkland and amenities to provide a continuous, playful and immersive public space for all to access and enjoy.

Council statement: Indigenous History Month, June 2023

The following statement was read as part of the territorial acknowledgement offered at the May 29 Council meeting:

We would like to begin by acknowledging that the land on which we are gathered and broadcasting from today is the land traditionally cared for by the Haudenosaunee, Anishnaabe and Neutral peoples. We also acknowledge the enduring presence and deep traditional knowledge and philosophies of the Indigenous people with whom we share this land today.

June is Indigenous History Month, an opportunity for the citizens of Waterloo to learn about the unique cultures, traditions and experiences carried by the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples who call this area home. It's a time to honour the stories, achievements and resilience of Indigenous Peoples who have lived on this land since time immemorial and whose presence continues to impact the evolution of Canada.

There are many people and achievements to celebrate and much work to do to address harm experienced by Indigenous Communities. This means working diligently on the recommendations in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the National Inquiry Into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Report, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action and reporting progress to the community. This is vital to building and improving the strained and/or missing relationships between settlers and Indigenous Peoples.

As a Council, we acknowledge that the history of the original inhabitants of this region has not been fully told; this upcoming month is an opportunity to change that. Together we can learn the many local traditions and oral history through storytelling from Indigenous voices, music and art from Indigenous artists or Indigenous neighbours living, working and playing in this community.

Through action, we can create positive change to the colonial systems that prevent Indigenous peoples from feeling fully welcomed, embraced and celebrated.

Council statement: Pride Month, June 2023

The following statement was read during the May 29 Council meeting:

Thursday, June 1 also marks the beginning of Pride Month, a celebration of diverse individuals in 2SLGBTQ+ communities. There are numerous upcoming events where folks from these communities and their allies will celebrate the progress achieved towards the same basic human rights as those held by straight, cisgender people. It is also a time to acknowledge the ongoing and escalating harm faced by these communities because of homophobia and transphobia, which are so closely connected to colonization.

We are, however, only discovering a fraction of these violent incidents as fear stemming from a lack of equal rights and representation prevents reporting. This is true amongst many communities protected by the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Solidarity for the rights of all gender identities and sexual orientations and resistance to violence is integral to addressing harm experienced locally and around the world.

As a City, we acknowledge the work of support organizations that also make significant efforts to educate the community. We champion their efforts by uplifting their voices in the development of our new strategic plan and we challenge systems and institutions across the Region to do the same – collectively acknowledging there is work to do.

This year, let’s celebrate the contributions and take action alongside our 2SLGBTQ+ friends, family and neighbours.



Media contact:
Cari Van Niekerk
Acting Director, Communications