Chamber Encouraged by City Initiative on Public Engagement with Launch of Public Participation Survey

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April 09, 2018
(Medicine Hat) The Chamber of Commerce is encouraged with the latest City of Medicine Hat initiative on public engagement with the launch of their public participation survey.  Input from the survey will be used in the development of a public participation policy, which will guide the City when seeking the community’s participation or engagement in municipal governance and operational matters. The policy is now a requirement under the Municipal Government Act. This survey will be available online until April 11, 2018.
The Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce has been advocating for a municipal engagement strategy since 2013 to encourage effective and collaborative decision making that leaves both City representatives and stakeholders feeling considered and open to future engagement.  A policy should include principles such as inclusive planning, transparency, authentic intent, broad, informed and accessible participation, appropriate processes, authentic use of information received and analysis, feedback and evaluation to the community.
‘Allowing the public to engage in issues that impact them locally provides a sense of ‘buy-in’ and can generate more support for final decisions reached by municipal decision makers’ stated Perry Deering, Chamber of Commerce President. ‘New voices and new ideas enrich thinking and planning on topics that matter to the people of Medicine Hat.’
Good public engagements establish greater trust in each other and in local government. People who work together on common problems usually have more appreciation of the problem and each other. Many forms of public engagement provide the opportunity to get behind peoples’ statements and understand the reasons for what they think and say. This helps to enhance understanding and respect among the participants. An example of this principle in action are the recent surveys circulated by the City on a variety of issues including cannabis policy development, playground and speed zones, budget and service levels, seniors centre development and residential recycling.
‘Effective public participation inspires confidence that problems can be solved,’ continued Deering. ‘Allowing the public to participate and engage with decision makers helps to create a shared experience that becomes the foundation of a more tight knit and strong community.’
The Public Participation Survey is available online here until April 11, 2018.
Read our Municipal Engagement policy and recommendations here.
Please direct all media inquiries to:
Perry Deering, President
c/o Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce
(403) 527-5214 ext.221

The Chamber of Commerce is a member-driven, volunteer-led organization, proudly representing the interests of businesses in our region, and working diligently to stimulate a strengthened and vibrant economy through our connections, support and influence. For more than 115 years, the Chamber has stood for promoting business, monitoring government and championing managed growth in the local economy. The Chamber represents over 800 businesses in our region and is aligned with both the Alberta Chambers of Commerce (ACC), which represents over 24,000 businesses and the Canadian Chambers of Commerce (CCC), which represents over 200,000 businesses. With the largest and most influential business organizations locally, provincially and federally, the Chamber network is the most unified, valued and influential business network in Canada and works together to shape policy and programs that will make a difference to businesses in our region