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CVRD Receives Provincial Recognition with Community Excellence Award
Duncan, BC – In January, the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) and its member municipalities launched PlaceSpeak as their collective online community engagement platform for residents to provide input on a number of local government projects and initiatives. The selection of one common online tool was a joint initiative to ensure a consistent approach to community engagement in the Cowichan region that wasn’t unique to one local government.
“We recognized our residents are interested in issues across the region, not just specific to the community in which they live,” explains Chair Jon Lefebure. “Taking a coordinated approach to online engagement has not only allowed one point of contact for residents, but also helped open the doors for other joint initiatives between staff at the local governments in the region. We have seen the positive impact made by working together on projects of shared interests.”
At the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) conference in September, the CVRD received provincial recognition for its collaborative approach to launching PlaceSpeak with the presentation of a Community Excellence Award. The award was presented for the category Best Practices, Organizational Development & Improvements, which recognizes the internal operations of local government where staff-led initiatives have improved practices and results while meeting or exceeding deliverables.
“The selection of PlaceSpeak and commitment of staff to use the platform to reach out to residents has helped local governments hear from residents who typically do not attend open houses,” says Lefebure. “By hearing from more voices, staff and elected officials are able to take into account a variety of opinions when making decisions. This helps ensure the decision reflects the wider interest of the community and residents have a consistent forum to have their voice heard.”