Pandemic inspires changes to Greater Sudbury strategic plan

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Upgrading of Pioneer Manor beds and innovating in provision of community housing among the topics addressed in revised 2019-2027 strategic plan

Since the City of Greater Sudbury came out with its 2019-2027 strategic plan four years ago, the world has weathered the COVID-19 pandemic.

This has led to some revisions to the city’s strategic plan.

The plan has been revised to include a new objective, under the category “focus on advancing caring services based on lessons learned through the COVID-19 experience.”

Greater Sudbury city council got an update on revisions to the strategic plan at their June 13 meeting. You can view a draft of the revised strategic plan here.

Councilors provided further comments on the strategic plan revisions at Tuesday’s meeting, with the idea of ​​the report returning to the table on July 11 for the council to approve the revised plan at that time.

A report from Ian Wood, the city’s manager of strategic initiatives, communications and citizen services, said the council approved the strategic plan in October 2019, with a desire to “review and update” the document at the beginning of the 2022-2026 term.

At the Jan. 10 council meetings, staff presented a summary of the initial responses to the Strategic Plan by the incoming council.

Out of conversations with Greater Sudbury city councillors and experts came the revised strategic plan 2019-2027.

“The most significant changes are the combining of four of the original strategic objectives into two larger statements,” said the report from Wood.

“In addition, based on the discussions, questions and feedback, staff are recommending the addition of a new strategic objective, for a total of six in the revised plan.”

Among the strategic objectives are asset management and service excellence, economic capacity and investment readiness, climate change, housing and a healthier and more vibrant community.

As stated above, the new objective in the strategic plan is “focus on advancing caring services based on lessons learned through the COVID-19 experience.”

Ward 9 Couns. Deb McIntosh said she really likes this new objective.

“There’s a lot we’ve learned over the past three years that we shouldn’t forget, and that we can carry forward with those lessons, and that’s really, really important,” she said.

This new focus in the strategic plan “comes from the experience of the COVID-19 Pandemic and a refocus on the values ​​of the corporation, particularly the values ​​of trust and compassion,” said Wood’s report.

The global health emergency emphasized that the city’s role in the community extends simply beyond providing services, Wood said.

It also showed its responsibility for employee health and safety including both physical and mental health, and the workplace needs to be safe on both counts.

The city is also the primary caregiver and protector for 433 residents in long-term care, and is the go-to agency for health and civil emergencies.

The city-owned Pioneer Manor long-term care home receives particular emphasis in the revised strategic plan, with Greater Sudbury saying it needs to “maintain a commitment to excellence in resident life and care” in the home.

Also at Pioneer Manor, the city plans to continue efforts to sustain accreditation and demonstrate an ongoing quality improvement environment and complete implementation of the bed redevelopment project to provide Class-A beds for all residents.

Long-term care homes bore the brunt of deadly COVID-19 outbreaks in Canada, which included deaths at care homes here in Sudbury.

Other goals coming out of “lessons learned” from COVID include building on the success of the community paramedicine program and continuing the evolution of city fire services and of community housing (including maintaining a focus on a “positive tenant experience, reducing conflict and removing problems tenants where possible”).

Referring back to a presentation earlier in the June 13 meeting by Ontario Chief Coroner Dr. Dirk Huyer on the opioid crisis in Greater Sudbury, Ward 4 Coun. Pauline Fortin pointed out that this issue is not referred to in the city’s strategic plan.

“I think it really should be in our plan,” she said. “Is there any way we could? Am I missing it? Or is there something we could add?”

Wood said he took her point, and said it was not mentioned directly.

“If you’ll permit me, I’ll consult with colleagues, and we can develop some wording and circulate it to you and members of the council, and assuming that that is acceptable, we can include it in July,” he said.

Also during the June 13 meeting, the Greater Sudbury city council approved the Greater Sudbury Community Climate Change Adaptation Plan.

It also approved the creation of a Climate Resilience contract position to lead the implementation of the Community Energy & Emissions Plan (CEEP) and the Community Climate Change Adaptation Plan (CCCAP).

A report accompanying these resolutions said the actions meet the “climate change” strategic priority “by identifying ways to improve climate resilience of Greater Sudbury’s social, economic, built and natural systems.”

Heidi Ulrichsen is Sudbury.com’s associate content editor.

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