Do you think that autonomous citizen engagement is needed for renewal of the "social contract"?
"In a sentence, community social planning is about practicing good citizenship.
We benefit from being a member of the community.
We therefore have an obligation to contribute to the well-being of the community."
from A Citizen Guide to Community Social Planning,
Social Planning and Research Council of British Columbia, page 4.
No doubt, election periods are bringing excitement to social and economic conversations. We get interested in dedicated women and men putting themselves out as candidates to support expression of different views on the societal and policy issues. Our team gets energized for sure by bringing those important issues to the forefront through all-candidates meetings where citizens get together as equals to define priorities for future councils and governments and put important issues on the public agenda.
However, the time in-between elections is equally important as ongoing opportunities arise for citizens to give their input in consultations, sit on advisory bodies, and work together with elected officials and other community partners to fulfill common goals.
We believe that community-led citizen engagement is a necessary complement to government-led consultation and advisory initiatives. Community-led civic engagement reveals paths that go beyond fact finding. They make possible the collective action through deliberation and action planning inclusive of diverse experiences and voices. A social contract is not only an agreement among people in a society, it is the work that people do together to create opportunities and increased quality of life for all.
We had a record turnout at the meet the candidates discussions this 42 general election in both Kitchener-Centre and Waterloo electoral districts! We ensured all the people who were courageous and took part in the round table discussion regarding important social issues that we will follow up with the elected Members of the Parliament and that we will continue to monitor and bring all the issues to the forefront of our public conversations.
Here you can read what the Liberal Party of Canada said it would do about poverty and social issues and how it relates to what was important to the people of our communities.
We have three Liberal MPs elected in Kitchener Centre, Kitchener South-Hespler and in Waterloo. Kitchener-Conestoga has re-elected the Conservative MP, Harold Albrecht.
Let us know if our comparison of community priorities and the Liberal government priorities is useful for your work or advocacy?
During Election Year 2014 we have brought to you:
- the most complete information about provincial and municipal candidates;
- voter information resources;
- provided overview of responsibilities of different orders of government;
- analysis of political parties based on the Local Framework for Poverty Elimination;
- organized 5 all-candidates sessions with video and notes taken;
- compiled information about other candidate debates and forums;
- published information sheets on the most important social issues and questions for candidates; and,
- shared "how to" guide for participatory all-candidates sessions and more.
Your Gateway to Elections
- Federal Election 2015 (Issues worth voting for, Elections Act, New Electoral District, Census Profiles, Candidate Information, Meet the Candidates discussions, Videos)
- Provincial Election June 2014 (fact sheets and campaigns) & Provincial All-Candidate Sessions
- Municipal Elections October 2014 & Municipal All-Candidate Sessions
You Defined Our Priorities: 2014-2018
Thanks to the many conversations we recorded in preparation for, and during the all-candidate sessions in 2014, we were able to create a structure and meet with Provincial Members of Parliament and members of Municipal Councils to validate our common local priorities. The most important issues shared between community leaders will guide our work in the next four years. We will establish partnerships with municipal staff and councils, with local and provincial agencies and networks, and with community members and groups to address the following priorities, all of which intersect with Accessibility and Inclusion:
We will keep you informed and involved through:
- community conversations & public forums
- all-candidates sessions for the Federal Election 2015
- kitchen table conversations
- work of the action groups and networks
- ongoing projects and initiatives in neighbourhoods