Civic Engagement on Vancouver Island — 2 Conversations


With elections looming later this month across BC, the challenge of getting folks involved in local and regional decision-making is a timely subject.

If the goals of an effective rural regional or local government are to inform — provide citizens with balanced and informed information in a timely manner; consult — obtain feedback on issues, alternatives, and decisions; involve — work with the public to ensure concerns and aspirations are considered and understood; collaborate — partner with the public in the decision-making process; and empower — place final decision-making in the hands of the public — how is all this possible, given limited human and financial resources?

In the case of Vancouver Island’s Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD), and the Municipality of North Cowichan, the answer lies in an innovative mix of traditional and 21st century approaches.

In the following podcast, CVRD Chief Administrative Officer Brian Carruthers offers his insights on his regional district’s UBCM award-winning efforts to boost and support civic engagement.


In this next podcast, Natasha Horsman, North Cowichan’s Manager of Communications & Strategic Initiatives, and Tammy Isaachsen, the municipality’s Community Liaison Officer, share their views on public participation.


Interested in the subject of civic engagement? Visit the website for  the west coast chapter of the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) Canada. This organization seeks to promote and improve the practice of public participation with individuals, governments, institutions, and other entities that affect the public interest in British Columbia, Canada and around the world.