Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee 

Statement of Purpose

The Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee is a volunteer committee established to provide leadership and advice to City Council on matters related to equity, inclusion, and the elimination of discrimination using an intersectional equity lens and community driven approach. The committee will: 

  • Promote and enhance St. Catharines as a welcoming city and improve the quality of life for all residents, and embed inclusionary policies and practices into city services and programs in order to promote equity of outcome for St. Catharines residents and visitors.
  • Position the City, its advisory committees and City Council with knowledge and resources to encourage a range of perspectives, experiences and ideas in decision-making.
  • Advise City Council on promoting equity and inclusion in the way the City delivers public programs, services, and spaces.
  • Provide advice on and support the development, review and implementation of the City’s public policies and programs, as they relate to the committee’s mandate.
  • Work with the community and community organizations to organize civic events to promote equity, inclusion, and the elimination of discrimination.
  • Develop and implement an annual award for inclusivity / leadership as part of the St. Catharines volunteer awards

When matters may benefit from input from more than one equity seeking committee the Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee will facilitate this review and response.

At the determination of staff, the committee may also be requested to provide advice on administrative policies or practices.


The committee will be comprised of up to 12 members with relevant lived experience, knowledge or skills to support the committee. Members may be individuals or representatives from local institutions and community-based organizations. The Chairs of the Anti-Racism Advisory Committee and the LGBTQ2+ Advisory Committee, or another member as appointed by those committees, will be members of the Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee.

In order to provide an intersectional equity lens, members should have a range of lived experience, or be allies and advocates, relating to one or more equity-seeking groups, including but not limited to:

  • Immigrants and refugees 
  • Indigenous peoples
  • Undocumented individuals
  • Persons with low income
  • Women
  • LGBTQ2+
  • Racialized people
  • Persons with disabilities
  • Vulnerable seniors
  • Vulnerable youth

Notwithstanding the Simplified Meetings Procedures for advisory bodies, the Committee may invite non-member participation at the discretion of the Committee.

Reporting Structure

The Committee shall report to Council through the Social Sustainability Committee. The Chair of the Diversity and Inclusivity Advisory Committee will also be a member of the Social Sustainability Committee.

Administrative support to the Committee shall be provided by the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer, which shall assign a Secretary to the Committee.  

Membership Term

Term of Council, or as determined by City Council.

Membership List

  • Essra Abdelsamed
  • Haley Bateman (Chair)
  • Marcel Grimard (Vice-Chair)
  • Nina Jain-Sheehan
  • Nesrine Kandil
  • Jingjing Ke
  • Emily Kovacs
  • Trecia McLennon
  • Katherine Ramkhelawan
  • Sean Vanderklis
  • Vicki-Lynn Smith, representative from Anti-Racism Advisory Committee
  • Liam Coward, representative from LGBTQ2+ Advisory Committee
  • Shannon McHugh, Manager of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (staff liaison)

Meeting Schedule and Location

The committee meets monthly or at the call of the chair.
Meeting dates and location to be determined.


The Committee shall conduct its meetings in accordance with and otherwise comply with the City of St. Catharines Simplified Meeting Procedures for advisory bodies.  
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