After months of discussions with residents, youth, students, seniors, business, community organizations, the Saanich Community Association Network (SCAN), Saanich staff and other groups on the principles and practices that it should consider to enhance and deepen public participation in its decision-making, the District of Saanich has approved an Administrative Policy on public participation, affirming the District’s beliefs and commitments concerning public participation.
Best practice in this area recommends that within the policy is a framework or continuum to assist decision makers and participants. Within the policy, we have adopted the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) framework modified slightly to reflect Saanich traditions. The framework will provide a common language for District staff and within the community to refer to the type of participation being undertaken and the District’s commitment to participants. We have also included examples of issues and techniques for each level of participation.
To achieve the goal of increasing consistency, we will be providing IAP2 training to District staff. Founded in 1990, the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) is the preeminent international organization advancing the practice of public participation. Staff will receive instruction on planning, techniques and communication. This training will support a more consistent organizational approach.
Consistent with the commitment in the administrative policy, additional education and information about District processes, initiatives and polices will be offered to residents and stakeholder groups and will also be made available on the website.)
Within the policy, we have also made a commitment to be held accountable for acting in accordance with the policy. The District will report on an annual basis, on the public participation activities that have been conducted. Reporting will commence in 2014.
Participation practices are embedded in the history and culture of the District of Saanich. While we have been seen as a leader in this area, the feedback and opinions offered by you have greatly assisted us in improving our practices to ensure that we engage residents and stakeholders in a timely and meaningful way. Thank you.
If you have any questions please contact Bonnie Cole by telephone at (250) 475-1775 or by email
[Source: Paul Murray, Chief Administrative Officer]