World Cities Day Marks Release of Thunder Bay’s VLR Report

Measuring Progress on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

October 31, 2022 – On the occasion of World Cities Day, observed annually on this day by the United Nations, a coalition of Thunder Bay organizations today announced the release of a new report, Thunder Bay and the UN SDGs: A Voluntary Local Review.

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In keeping with this year’s World Cities Day theme – "Act Local to Go Global" – members of the Voluntary Local Review Working Group believe local action is critical to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

This report is a Voluntary Local Review (VLR) of progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals for the Thunder Bay region.

The report’s authors are:

  • Rebecca Schiff, formerly of Lakehead University’s Department of Health Sciences, current Dean of Human and Health Sciences at the University of Northern British Columbia
  • AmandaDodaro, Lakehead University, Department of Health Sciences
  • Ashley Wilkinson, Lakehead University, Department of Health Sciences

 VLR: Measuring Thunder Bay’s Progress

A VLR is a sub-national, data-driven review of efforts to achieve the 17 SDGs. Municipalities around the world are increasingly producing these reports to formally measure their progress toward the UN’s 2030 Agenda and its central pledge to “leave no one behind.” The SDGs represent the commitment of all UN Member States to eradicate poverty in all its forms, end discrimination and exclusion, and reduce the inequalities and vulnerabilities that leave people behind.

Each section in this report highlights a different SDG and evaluates the community’s performance based on key indicators. It also highlights challenges and progress being made towards achieving each goal, examples of local efforts and successes, and possible ways forward.

Woven throughout the report is a commitment to Reconciliation and an equity lens to ensure that, as the 2030 Agenda promises, no one is left behind.

Thunder Bay Leaders Advance the VLR

A Working Group comprised of representatives from the non-profit sector, local government, and academia are generously contributing their expertise to provide strategic direction and support to the VLR process.

VLR Working Group members include:

  • Albert Brulé - United Way Thunder Bay
  • Amanda Dodaro - Lakehead University
  • Amy Coomes - City of Thunder Bay
  • Ashley Wilkinson - Lakehead University
  • Charles Levkoe - Lakehead University
  • Helle Moeller - Lakehead University
  • Jacob Porter - City of Thunder Bay
  • Lee-Ann Chevrette - City of Thunder Bay
  • Lindsay Galway - Lakehead University
  • Rebecca Schiff - Lakehead University/University of Northern British Columbia
  • Summer Stevenson - City of Thunder Bay
  • Bonnie Krysowaty - Lakehead Social Planning Council

 Public Education and Engagement

Occasions such as World Cities Day represent an opportunity to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address social problems, and to celebrate and reinforce our community’s achievements.

The coalition believes that this, and future iterations of the VLR, will be of great value to our community – not only as a resource but also as an opportunity for community engagement to make Thunder Bay a healthier, happier, safer, and more sustainable place for all to live, learn, work, and play.


Bonnie Krysowaty
Lakehead Social Planning Council
Phone: 807-251-9255

Rebecca Schiff, Ph.D.
Dean - Faculty of Human and Health Sciences
University of Northern British Columbia
Phone: 250-960-5319