LETTERS: Charlottetown needs to put community engagement into practice and other P.E.I. letters
THE STORY CONTINUES BELOW THESE SALTWIRE VIDEOS
Call for social engagement
In an article in The Guardian (A vision for downtown, January 20), Charlottetown resident Mille Clarkes explains that “input is key” and “change should be slower and happen from the bottom up, not top down.”
She was referring to the open house held on January 18 to gather citizen feedback on the “proposed” changes to the public space around the Province House National Historic Site, which includes the streets of Richmond, Sydney and Great George belong.
In early 2022, our city council adopted a community engagement framework that established a consistent, holistic approach to engaging citizens in its planning and decision-making processes.
This framework embodies a laudable set of guiding principles: inclusive; respectful; Authentic; collaborative; consistent. It also includes fundamental democratic values expressed in wonderful words such as: B. “Local government is not a spectator sport; It is participatory and a robust community engagement process is an essential part of open and transparent government.” It even begins with “A well-defined engagement process, consistently implemented across the organization, is key to the efforts of the community city to get involved in the community.”
But what the Council has failed to do is put theory into practice.
A poorly advertised 2 hour last minute open house in one evening just won’t cut it. It also falls short of best practices established by the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2), on which the city’s Community Engagement Framework is based.
Streets are our most basic public spaces. They often represent the largest area of public space in a community.
If the City Council is genuine in its community engagement process and is truly open and transparent government, then it is its job to ensure that it and its constituents set the priorities that reflect what we value most.
Community nurturing is key
Thank you, Brian Hodder, for your suggestions on how you think it would be helpful to put our government funds into community groups and programs (Let’s Talk Therapeutic Programs, January 27).
Only when our dollars are used to help avoid costly acute care will we see positive results. There are so many supportive programs and alternative care groups that need funding to maintain and serve the mental health of our many in need.
Thank you very much and I really appreciate your line: “We need the participation of the entire community to create a society where mental health is affirmed and promoted for all.”
Fiona brought home the effects of climate change
I am a mother and grandmother concerned about the severe impacts of climate change in the near future. This was struck very real by Fiona, the implications then and now are clear. We must now pave a way forward.
The facts are clear and well presented on the Suzuki Foundation website:
• The oil and gas sector is the largest and fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, so we cannot meet our critical climate goals without reducing these emissions.
• We must begin to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels in order to achieve the 2030 and 2050 climate goals necessary for a livable planet.
• Oil companies have had years to transform their operations and reduce emissions, but have not done so, and their emissions continue to rise.
• If done well, the transition to clean, renewable electricity will bring high-paying, skilled jobs and increased stability and security in a global market that is moving away from fossil fuels.
• With sufficient investment in infrastructure and energy efficiency, Canada has the renewable energy sources to meet all of our energy needs.