Hamilton, Canada

Hamilton: Going for Gold – Beyond Pan Am 2015

July 27, 2011

The city's corporate management embeds principles of equity and inclusion within its business practices and service delivery

Building an inclusive city is the right thing to do. It is respectful of the citizens whom the City is intended to serve. Building an inclusive city also makes good economic sense.

When the City of Hamilton learned that it will have the privilege of co-hosting the 2015 Pan Am Games, with Toronto and 14 other municipalities in southern Ontario, the city saw an opportunity to put its inclusion policies to work.

Since August 2010, the City Hamilton’s has used its Equity and Inclusion Policy (PDF) to ensure City Council and corporate management embed principles of equity and inclusion within their business practices and delivery of service. The Policy also incorporates a commitment to meet the needs of under-served communities, and refers explicitly to ensuring that all residents must have equitable access to City services, programs and opportunities. A second principle ensures that diverse communities and individuals are included in crucial decision-making tables during public engagement processes.

Building on the momentum of the Pan Am Diversity Policy released by the Toronto organizing group in March 2011, the city’s Community Services Department commissioned a new paper on how the it can advance social inclusion in the areas of engagement, participation, and employment during and after the games: Social Inclusion in the City of Hamilton (Caledon Institute, June 2011 – PDF).

In Hamilton, the construction and retrofit of Pan Am venues will become a vital part of the physical space of the community and a living legacy of the Games. So will the opportunity the City will gain to engage with citizens and build a shared sense of belonging, participation and economic opportunity.

Look for further updates on this Good Idea We Are Watching!