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North Cowichan is committed to transparency and participatory governance. In 2012, a Council Communications Plan, was created to guide civic engagement and manage Council communications. Over time, the community and municipality have come to recognize the need and desire for more community engagement and participation in decision making.
As a result, we are creating a new Community Engagement Framework and Policy. The goal of the policy and supporting framework is to establish a step-wise approach for municipal-led engagement and communications activities to support meaningful engagement.
This will articulate the municipality’s high-level commitment to the public, concerning community and stakeholder engagement; provide clarity on how community input can affect the municipal decision-making process; and include tools to help staff and Council to plan, implement, evaluate and report on engagement activities to foster continuous improvement.
We want you to help shape the future of community engagement at North Cowichan! Tell us what the barriers are to participating in community engagement, how to better support engagement equity, and what meaningful engagement looks like to you!
Help us better understand community values, expectations, and interest when it comes to engagement.
After the open houses, we will be collating all of the community input we’ve received. A ‘What We Heard’ summary will be presented to the Public Engagement Committee and made available for viewing on our website in the new year.
The Committee will provide guidance to staff as they work with the consultant to create a draft community engagement framework and policy that reflects the feedback we have received and represents the interests, expectations, and needs of the community and Council.
There will be an opportunity for the community to provide feedback on the draft policy before it goes to Council for consideration in the spring of 2021. Stay tuned for how you can continue to participate and contribute to the next steps in the project.
In 2017, North Cowichan began using PlaceSpeak, an online location-based citizen engagement platform, for consulting with residents on an on-going basis.
PlaceSpeak is transforming the way people interact with local decision-makers. Not everyone can attend in-person open houses and council meetings, and with PlaceSpeak it is possible for us to genuinely communicate online with local residents.
North Cowichan residents are encouraged to sign up today: www.placespeak.com. Receive timely notifications of initiatives in your area and neighbourhood, provide feedback based on where you live, and influence decisions in a meaningful way!
Megan Jordan, Manager, Communications and Public Engagement