EDI-related work aims to break down barriers to ensure that everyone – regardless of race, age, ability, culture, gender, sexual orientation and other diversity characteristics– is able to live, work and thrive in a safe and welcoming environment.
EDI work values diversity and celebrates what makes each person unique, while emphasizing the humanity we all have in common.
As an organization, Coquitlam is on a journey to better serve our vibrant and diverse community by incorporating an EDI lens in all City business, including our policies and practices, the language we use, how we plan neighbourhoods, and how and what services we provide.
Coquitlam’s commitment to EDI includes:
EDI work requires intentional action to rethink and change how systems and policies function.
Starting in 2022, Coquitlam began incorporating EDI principles in the annual Business Plans that guide priorities, decision-making and all work across the organization.
The City uses the Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Benchmarks, an international standard for planning and carrying out EDI work, to help guide City initiatives through four focus areas.
A snapshot of Coquitlam’s 2022-23 activities and achievements and adapted Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Benchmarks framework is captured in this graphic (PDF).
See the tabs below for highlights of our work.
The City is reviewing how to reduce barriers within its staff recruitment and retention practices. Work currently underway includes:
Check out the City’s Recruitment and Retention EDI Action Plan 2023-2026, detailing the actions to help support this important work within our organization.
Coquitlam was one of the first communities in B.C. to adopt leave procedures for Council members that aim to remove systemic and financial barriers for equity-deserving groups wishing to participate in public office.
The City provides Council members up to 16 weeks of paid leave (or the remainder of the term, whichever occurs first) for maternity and/or parental leave, or to provide compassionate care or caregiving support to someone considered to be family who is critically ill or needing end-of-life care.
The City also offers a pension benefit to Council members to further reduce potential financial barriers for those running for office. This benefit is calculated based on years of service at a rate guided by the Municipal Pension Plan. The start date for all Council members, including those re-elected, is the beginning of the next term.
Coquitlam promotes EDI principles through education and outreach to create a culture both within the organization and in the community that is safe and welcoming to all.
Examples of EDI work for 2023 include:
Coquitlam takes great pride in the community’s diversity. As the community continues to grow and change, there is an opportunity to reassess how the City meets the needs of its diverse population.
In 2023 and beyond, the City will be providing residents with opportunities to share what EDI means to them, and how they would like to see it reflected in a purposeful way in the City’s work and services.
Watch for opportunities to have meaningful conversations about EDI with the City at community centres, local events and online throughout the year.
Inclusion is the intentional work and action to create a sense of belonging. Coquitlam is working to equip City staff with the knowledge and ability to champion inclusion and other EDI themes in their day-to-day work.
This work includes providing staff with knowledge, support and guidance on what EDI can look like in the various services offered to the community and internally to staff.
Delivering community facilities, infrastructure, neighbourhood plans and community recreation programs for people of all ages and abilities is at the forefront of the City’s commitment to inclusion and accessibility, and guides the City’s Universal Access-Ability Advisory Committee.
This includes programs designed to reduce barriers to recreation, such as financial assistance for recreation, low and no-cost aquatics programs, and free menstrual products at City facilities.
Other examples include website accessibility, and resources that support those with mobility or ability challenges, such as the Snow Angels program, the City’s participation in the GoHere Washroom Access Program and parking requirements within the City’s Zoning bylaw to accommodate persons with disabilities.
The City of Coquitlam is committed to enhancing accessibility within the community. As of Sept. 1, 2023, municipalities are listed as prescribed organizations in the Accessible British Columbia Act. Find out more about what the City is doing on the Enhancing Accessibility page. You can also learn more about accessibility in City services.
Racism is the systemic form of oppression based on the social construct of race. Racism can be evident individually, institutionally, and structurally.
Anti-racism is an active effort to identify, challenge and eliminate all forms of racism, and the values, policies and behaviours that perpetuate it.
Tri-Cities Pride Society
The Tri-Cities Pride Society (TCPS) was formed in September 2017 to advocate for and serve the LGBT2SQ+ communities in the cities of Port Moody, Coquitlam, and Port Coquitlam. Led by an elected board of directors, the TCPS aims to help make the tri-cities community more inclusive and safer for the LGBT2SQ+ communities through advocacy, social events, education and consultation. Find out more and how you can support at tricitiespride.ca.
In spring 2022, the Coquitlam RCMP began collecting reports on hate-motivated incidents in response to the rise of cases motivated by hate based on race, gender or sexual orientation.
Reporting these behaviours – whether experienced or witnessed – is important for public safety. Condemning all forms of hate supports a culture of inclusivity and belonging.
How to Report a Hate Crime or Incident
The Province of B.C. also provides information about hate crimes and reporting, with videos in a variety of languages.
If you or your family members love colouring, we have a series of downloadable colouring sheets highlighting Coquitlam’s inclusivity statements and the 2023 Street Banner program designs:
And if you’re picking up crayons, consider also picking up the ‘Colors of the World’ pack, which contains 24 skin tone crayons representing people of the world.. They can be ordered online but we encourage you to consider buying them from local stores such as London Drugs, Michaels and dollar stores.
The City of Coquitlam is committed to building a welcoming and inclusive community for all. If you would like to share your thoughts and experiences with us, please use our Feedback Form.