March 28, 2019 9:54 pm

Kingston city council chooses priorities for remainder of term

Kingston city councillors listen intently during a strategic planning meeting.

Paul Soucy/Global News

After spending three days at the Queen’s University Smith School of Business, Kingston city councillors have determined the five areas in which they’d like to make significant advances during the remainder of their term.

The university hosted councillors and city staff for three days as part of this week’s strategic priority meetings.

READ MORE: Kingston’s first council meeting of 2019 leads to debate over priority-setting process

The five areas council hopes to tackle by the end of its term in 2022 are affordable housing, transportation, climate action, economic development and fostering healthy citizens and spaces.

Seeing climate action on the list shouldn’t come as a surprise, as Kingston city council became only the third municipality in Canada to declare a climate emergency earlier this month.

READ MORE: Kingston first Ontario municipality to declare climate emergency

Addressing housing concerns in Kingston isn’t a new goal, either, as Mayor Bryan Paterson has already assembled a task force to tackle the issue. Kingston’s vacancy rate is one of the lowest in the country, but council now has a goal to raise the vacancy rate to three per cent by 2022.

Councillors were given the chance to speak about the list, with most of them praising the three-day session and the results it yielded.

However, while these five issues have been chosen, the exact wording of the terms are still up for debate. Council also still needs to approve its strategic priorities, which will happen during an upcoming council meeting.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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