Strategic plan

Messages from the Mayor and the Chief Administrative Officer

A message from the Mayor

The strategic plan for 2009–2014 was largely designed around a vision centred on sustainable development. A great deal of ground has been covered since then. Yet, there are still many challenges and a lot remains to be done.

In renewing this plan until 2018, we hope to attest to our commitment to continue building the city in which we want to live and watch tomorrow's generations grow. However, we are at a defining moment in our history, and in order to achieve our goal, we will have to redouble our efforts, and show determination and daring.

We invite all those whose contributions are indispensable, that is to say our residents, municipal employees and partners from every sector, to work with us and bring our collective vision to life.

May everything we do bring us closer to the Gatineau of tomorrow!

Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin
Mayor of Gatineau

A message from the Chief Administrative Officer

The municipal administration's decision to extend the strategic plan that we adopted in 2009 gives it a tremendous opportunity to continue its work on the sustainable management of our municipal resources.

It also presents a challenge because we will need to renew our efforts to move farther towards our objectives. Residents expect a lot. As for the constraints, as they grow, we find ourselves having to be more efficient.

Gatineau has always shown significant potential for innovation, which is something of which we are proud. We will have to be vigilant if we are to remain creative and at the forefront in our achievements.

I invite you to help carry out this plan and to promote the values underlying it. It will serve as our guide so that together we can innovate and deliver in order to offer the members of our larger community a quality of life like none other.

Marie-Hélène Lajoie
Chief Administrative Officer

Background

In the winter of 2014, amidst all of the work on developing the Municipal Council's program for 2014-2017, the Council decided to extend the strategic plan for 2009–2014 until 2018.

It is important to remember that the tremendous effort put into updating the first strategic plan produced in 2008 helped target emerging issues and identify a long-term vision that remains current to this day. In addition, it should be noted that these plans were prepared in close collaboration with several community players in order to contribute to the development of Gatineau's identity.

The strategic plan serves as a perfect mobilization and performance tool, and as such aims to share knowledge, and provide a common orientation to everyone's actions. By providing an inspiring vision of our future, shared values and broad strategic directions, it helps bring policy and administrative objectives in line with one another.

In addition, it goes without saying that if we want today's efforts to bring us closer to where we want to be tomorrow, the strategic plan will have to be a collective reference tool that will also be used in decision-making and communication.

Finally, we must remain alert to the signs around us, and, if necessary, help our environment evolve in a way that will ensure that it remains a positive element in our city's strategic management.

Evolving themes: current issues

The society in which we live is more complex than it has ever been, which makes municipal strategic planning more necessary than ever. It provides the opportunity to keep our sights set on residents' aspirations and priorities by addressing the countless dimensions of a community. Five years is a short span in time in terms of changing values, residents' priorities and the major regional, national and even global issues. Thus, while as expected they have evolved, it is not surprising that most of the big issues raised during the 2009 review remain current.

Themes such as sustainable development, social changes in Gatineau, and of course the municipal administration's adaptation to the profound transformations underway, continue to generate new concerns and opportunities that the plan hopes to address.

The strategic plan, a flexible municipal planning and management tool that is adapted to the key issues of the day, promotes the integration of all of these aspects.

Integrating the principles of sustainable development: towards a viable community

Not only is the theme of sustainable development still current, but it has been greatly fine-tuned to become an issue that rallies people, among other things in connection with the topic of climate change. The solid foundations of its first strategic approach that was already based on compliance with principles of sustainability are the ones on which Gatineau intends to build its viable community. The coming into force of Quebec's Sustainable Development Act and its related strategy are excellent opportunities to systematically integrate the principles of sustainable development. Gatineau aims to set the standard in this regard.

Adapting to social changes in Gatineau

Dealing with demographic changes

Gatineau's population continues to grow and age. In the next few years, this growth, which is stronger here than elsewhere in Quebec, will place significant pressure on municipal services and urban infrastructures. Moreover, while the first signs of population aging have just begun to appear, these will increase and have a significant impact on the offer of services. Young people and young households make up large parts of Gatineau's population. Given that they are the future of our community, we will be paying special attention to them.

Benefiting from our cultural diversity

The face of Gatineau is shaped by a large proportion of people born abroad, a significant share of Anglophones, the affirmation of French as the common language and a high rate of bilingualism. Gatineau's increasingly multicultural character will have to be taken into consideration as we seek to adapt to the evolution of Gatineau's society. Inter-regional and inter-provincial migration account in part for Gatineau's population growth, but so does—increasingly—immigration, which is constantly developing. The municipal administration intends to gradually adapt its approaches in order to promote closer inter-cultural ties and community integration. The policy on cultural diversity ties in with this concept.

An ecoresponsible approach to living environments

Integrating the natural and built environments

In the first strategic plan, the direction for the harmonization of the natural and built environments developed a balance between human and environmental activities. This strategic direction has come a long way since then, setting the groundwork that enables us to go farther still in this regard, tackling head on the issues of urban sprawl, tighter and more responsible management of urban developments, improvement of the built environment and resource preservation. The environmental policy plays a key role in this regard.

Planning around urban villages and country living

By giving shape to the concept of urban villages in its first strategic plan and then in its urban plan, Gatineau has positioned itself at the forefront of the international trend dominated by the emerging principles of sustainable planning. Given that they are based on the integration of social, environmental and economic factors, urban villages are an ideal tool for the development of municipal initiatives in regard to viable communities, and a place where residents can take an active part in their neighbourhood. Urban villages provide the opportunity to give distinct features to the different living environments based on their individual aspects. The gradual development of the downtown is a unique opportunity to create a living environment that reflects Gatineau's true nature. The “mosaic” of urban villages aims to create a whole, a city that is evolving and growing in a coherent manner.

From the perspective of municipal services, urban villages are gradually becoming the reference unit for territorial planning, management and intervention purposes. However, the full potential of urban villages remains to be developed, not only for the municipal administration but also for residents, and this will occur through the application of specific measures. The country living environments that have cropped up with the emergence of urban villages will continue to find their full expression over the next few years. These environments consist of rural and agricultural areas within Gatineau.

Promoting sustainable transportation

Given that the transportation sector is responsible for most greenhouse gas (GHG) and atmospheric pollution in Quebec, it makes sense to assign it a special place in regard to sustainable development. This is a matter of public health. In contrast to a traditional transportation plan that focuses mainly on road transportation, it will be important to stay the course traced by the 1994 Integrated Plan by instead developing an urban mobility plan that aims to discourage single passenger use of automobiles in favour of active and collective transportation and public transit.

Sustainable management of municipal finances and exemplary governance

Financial and fiscal viability of basic services

The municipal administration has pursued financial and fiscal viability—a major issue—through the implementation of a financial framework. The offer of core municipal services is based on sustainable financial management. Whether to rebuild infrastructures or meet additional responsibilities, Gatineau will have to define the priority actions that will, above all else, serve the municipal mission and generate the necessary financial resources. Gatineau must also carefully monitor the pace of its budget's growth.

Consolidation of the offer of services

Over the next few years, the issues will be to more harmoniously integrate the different aspects of the offer of services and to proceed with the consolidation of the management tools and practices of the organization as a whole. The search for greater coherence in decisions is essential. Another approach that merits analysis and should be integrated into our organizational practices is the systematic acknowledgement of social, economic and environmental factors.

Innovative human resource management

The human resource management issues that concern many Quebec companies also affect Gatineau. There are some pressing issues related to workforce retention, succession and training. Gatineau intends to pursue its search for innovative and attractive solutions for employees in order to address the situation.

Participatory governance and partnership

Participatory governance will remain a key element in municipal intervention over the next few years. Gatineau recognizes the roles of residents and organizations. It will invest in innovation and the development of a culture of participation. In a constantly changing management context, partnership practices and structures will continue to be improved and aim to maintain sustainable relations with several partners, including the Société de transport de l'Outaouais, the National Capital Commission, the Université du Québec en Outaouais, the school boards, the City of Ottawa, the regional county municipalities of the Outaouais and those involved in health care, culture, and regional and economic development. In order to obtain the desired results, individual as well as collective commitments are required. Special attention will have to be given to making residents more accountable.

Public safety and health remain a central concern

Police, fire and civil protection services are fundamental components of the quality of life of residents, who attach a great deal of importance to every aspect of their safety. Gatineau intends to remain at the forefront in these areas. In the same vein, Gatineau will use every available means through regulation and the quality of its social and recreational infrastructures to keep improving the health of its residents.

Taking Gatineau to its full potential

Dynamic economic development

Gatineau's economic growth requires diversifying its activities, bolstering its key strategic niches and providing access to jobs. From this point of view, Gatineau will continue to support the implementation of the Développement économique – CLD Gatineau strategic plan by acting decisively and fulfilling its role as an engine of economic growth, as a service centre and as a proactive partner. It will ensure the effectiveness and quality of its urban infrastructures.

Strengthening its identity

Through the Strategic Plan 2009–2014, Gatineau was able to carry out a number of strategies aimed at consolidating its identity, but it is clear that the sense of belonging to this new entity is not yet fully ingrained. Gatineau's geographic situation as a border town brings it countless unique challenges and opportunities. Applying strong cooperative leadership to issues of shared interest with the national capital region, the City of Ottawa and the Outaouais region provides a promising opportunity for strengthening its unification and its identity. Affirming Gatineau's unique features, such as its nature and Francophone character within the region, as well as cultural, sports and special events, remains essential. Finally, when it comes to the partners and entrepreneurs, and attracting workers, Gatineau must reach out more and position itself as part of Quebec and Canada, and even on the international stage.

Mission, vision and strategic directions

An engaging municipal mission

The municipal mission communicates objectives, stimulates commitment and rallies municipal employees and the administration to implement the strategies and interventions that it develops in line with the community's concerns and needs. The mission of Gatineau, a municipal and multidisciplinary organization, reads as follows:

Guided by its organizational values and aware of its role as the Outaouais' main urban centre, Gatineau's primary mission is to constantly improve the quality of life of its residents and of the community in a spirit of responsible management of all of its resources and the growth of a viable community.

Gatineau is committed to:

  • working to constantly improve the quality of life of residents and the community;
  • ensuring equity and quality in municipal services;
  • ensuring the organization's financial, fiscal and responsible viability;
  • encouraging participation and responsibility among its residents and organizations;
  • playing its role as an engine of development in the Outaouais, where urban and rural areas complement one another;
  • guiding and leading within its jurisdiction;
  • promoting organizational values and the Gatineau identity;
  • seeking innovation and efficiency in management practices;
  • preserving and improving the territory's ecological and natural heritage;
  • working in collaboration with economic, political and community players to achieve the collective objectives, and guarantee consistent actions.

These commitments reflect the principles of sustainable development, which takes into consideration the indivisible nature of economic, social, cultural and environmental interests.

Highly relevant organizational values

An organization's values are the foundation on which people rely to orient and guide how they work and behave. The following six values are the ones to which Gatineau adheres:

Respect
Act with consideration and be open-minded

Client-focused approach
Make quality of service a priority

Leadership with vision
Decide and act now, with an eye to the impact on tomorrow

Commitment
Work with enthusiasm

Well-being
Promote the well-being of individuals as factors in the organization's success and set in place the conditions needed to foster their development

Ethics and justice
Practice integrity and fairness

The vision

The vision illustrates the aspirations of Gatineau residents and inspires the whole strategic plan, particularly the strategic directions and strategies. This “25-year” vision guides what we must do today in order to build the city in which we want to live and see tomorrow's generations grow.

Gatineau, a source of pride and a model of a viable community!

True to its past and focused on its future, Gatineau thrives on its Francophone nature and its cultural, social and economic diversity, which is fully expressed in the Gatineau-Ottawa region. As the Outaouais' main urban centre, it serves as an essential economic pole and assumes with determination its place as one of Quebec's major cities.

Gatineau impresses through its qualities as an international calibre city and through its proposed model of an incomparable viable community. It is a source of pride for its residents, an attractive destination for visitors and one of the top places for business among investors.

Residents of all ages from different origins help build a sound, safe and lively living environment where it feels good to live. Gatineau offers everyone an impressive array of cultural, sports and recreational activities, and sees the changes in its population as an opportunity to renew itself.

Gatineau's governance model is founded on the principles of sustainable development. It stimulates involvement on the part of residents, revitalizes community life, and strengthens partnerships with institutions and businesses towards the development of its full economic, cultural, sports, social, community and environmental potential.

A green city through and through, Gatineau is nestled in a constantly changing lush natural setting, where the hills, waterways and varied landscapes blend harmoniously into the core of its urban villages and country living environments. This is the kind of setting in which individuals, families and the community grow.

Strategic directions and strategies

Between the perspective expressed in the vision of the future and the annual commitments needed to implement the plan, the priority strategic directions represent the points of reference that the municipal administration will keep as its focal point and will use to periodically assess the progress it has made. Over the next five years, guided by its long-term vision, Gatineau will have to continue to channel its efforts in the following four strategic directions:

Direction A – Sustainable management of the natural and built heritage

Foster the integration of the natural heritage into a quality built environment by enhancing the value of exceptional green and blue spaces and sustainable resource management

A.1    Designing urban development that promotes the harmonious integration of natural and built spaces
A.2    Ensuring that natural spaces, country living environments, farmland and the cultural heritage are protected and cultivated in a sustainable manner
A.3    Continuing to make the most of the territory's green networks and blue corridors by carefully linking them to existing and planned regional networks
A.4    Protecting natural spaces, the territory's sensitive areas and biodiversity by promoting public awareness among residents and responsible use, thereby contributing to Gatineau's “green” image
A.5    Fostering urban renewal and improving the quality of residential, commercial, institutional and industrial developments and the eco-efficiency of the built environment
A.6    Pursuing municipal initiatives for energy conservation, reducing the consumption of natural resources and managing residual materials
A.7    Creating vibrant and familiar gathering places that foster closer links among individuals and associations where art and nature blend

Direction B – Integrated and responsible development

Fostering and deploying Gatineau's economic, cultural, sports, social, community and ecological potential

B.1    Spreading the word about the Gatineau identity and strengthening it by focusing on its unique aspects, including its nature and Francophone character in the heart of the Gatineau-Ottawa region
B.2    Showing strong leadership in collaboration on issues of shared interest with the Outaouais region and the City of Ottawa, with a focus on Gatineau's geopolitical situation
B.3    Investing in the Gatineau-Ottawa economic space and assigning all the necessary importance to economic development, while exercising our leadership in the Outaouais in upholding the principles of sustainable development
B.4    Pursue Gatineau's distinctive brand in order to enhance its reputation and strengthen the sense of belonging
B.5    Developing Gatineau's ecological, sports and recreational potential in a responsible manner in order to enhance its tourism and recreational appeal
B.6    Developing structured approaches to strategic alliances, and forming closer links among Gatineau and business, social and community interests
B.7    Contributing in partnership and complementarity and within the scope of our abilities to the initiatives of the different agencies that are dedicated to addressing urban social issues
B.8    Supporting regional agricultural orientations throughout Gatineau, as well as local farming, marketing and agro-tourism activities

Direction C – A mosaic of urban villages and country living environments

Promoting urban villages and country living environments as planning and intervention units, models of viable communities and unique places with which residents can identify

C.1   Enhancing and ensuring the growth of places with which residents can identify—the neighbourhoods, urban villages and the country living environments—by focusing on their individual features and on protecting their cultural heritage
C.2   Supporting the development of urban villages and country living environments, namely by promoting sustainable development initiatives
C.3   Managing urban growth by promoting the densification of activities and mixed uses, as well as the inclusion of communities in urban villages
C.4   Encouraging initiatives and implementing infrastructure projects under the special planning program for the downtown
C.5   Pursuing the development of a transportation network that provides choices and is focused on sustainable transportation; including developing bicycle pathways and ensuring that our streets are user-friendly, safe and attractive
C.6   Contributing to the well-being and sense of safety of residents within their living environments by providing police, fire and civil protection services

Direction D – Participatory governance and responsible management

Involving residents and partners in making the most of resources, and continuing to be an organization that performs with a focus on excellence in its services and on tight fiscal management

D.1   Pursuing the development of a culture of participation by Gatineau's residents and partners, both internally and externally, in a spirit of equity and democracy
D.2   Continuing to innovate in terms of the development of modern communication tools and automation while remaining at the leading edge of current technology
D.3   Continuously adapting the offer of municipal services to social changes in Gatineau, and developing mechanisms for strengthening the organization's resilience
D.4   Developing tools and approaches aimed at increasing consistency in the policies and programs, as well as in decision-making processes to achieve our planning objectives
D.5   Expanding on management practices and the assessment of results in the spirit of the municipal mission
D.6   Focusing on financial viability and responsible fiscal management
D.7   Continue implementing measures aimed at addressing human resource issues, including workforce retention, succession and training
D.8   Implementing a process to enhance awareness among municipal employees about the principles of sustainable development
D.9   Implementing the action plans for the main existing policies, and ensuring that they comply with Gatineau's priorities and values
D.10 Applying sustainable organizational practices and approaches in every sphere of Gatineau's municipal responsibility

Committed to implementation

By extending its strategic plan for an additional five years, Gatineau has made the choice to pursue the work it started by making a commitment to keep forging ahead and seizing opportunities to innovate. It now faces the challenge of turning the plan into reality to make it operational and tangible.

A first threshold was crossed with the adoption of the Municipal Council's program and the integrated development plan. The program, which represents the political priorities for the next four years, is broken down into orientations and intentions related to the plan's strategic directions. It will take shape through an administrative action plan.

In addition to identifying the political priorities, the municipal strategic management approach includes:

  • the identification and planning of the administrative priorities over the medium term and on an annual basis;
  • the development of a management framework in order to secure links among the different plans, policies and programs, and ensure consistency among them and the key internal processes; and
  • the development of progress indicators and reporting.

Moreover, the strategic watch, studies on urban affairs and the promotion of management expertise will help ensure that we keep applying innovative solutions to our operations.

Implementation of the strategic plan is based on maintaining the quality of municipal services offered to residents, and focuses on Gatineau's future development and sound resource management. This will require exemplary governance that leaves room for all stakeholders. The Municipal Council has a key role to play in this process. The relevance of its day-to-day decisions will have a significant impact on the plan's success. Additional efforts will be made to properly equip elected officials for their functions. Gatineau's different commissions will continue to inform the decision-making process leading to the achievement of objectives through their recommendations to the Municipal Council.

The municipal departments and employees are the key players. Our success largely depends on their skills and efficiency. We will pursue our efforts to rally employees and engage them in implementing the plan. The organization intends to continue fostering a horizontal and multi-disciplinary approach.

Finally, the participation of partners and residents remains a major factor in carrying out the projects and achieving the desired results. Partners pursuing complementary orientations will be able to include in their action plans measures aimed at converging their efforts towards a shared goal. The desired changes are not only based on collective but also individual commitment. This will make it all the more important to involve residents in preserving and enhancing their environment.

Information

Section de la planification stratégique
Maison du citoyen
25 rue Laurier
P.O. Box 1970, Station Hull
Gatineau, Quebec  J8X 3Y9
Telephone: 819-243-2345, extension 7149
E-mail: planstrategique@gatineau.ca

Gatineau's Strategic Plan 2014–2018 was adopted by the Municipal Council on September 23, 2014.

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