City advisory groups to have clearer mandate

Red Deer city council members will no longer serve on citizen advisory groups that will be revamped to give the public a better say.

Red Deer city council members will no longer serve on citizen advisory groups that will be revamped to give the public a better say.

The city adopted what it calls a Public Participation Toolbox last January, which gives staff a road map for gathering residents’ feedback depending on the issue.

As part of that work, the city looked at its citizen advisory groups, which include the Greater Downtown Action Plan Steering Committee and Environmental Advisory Committee, as well as five others.

Interviews with past committee members showed some were unhappy with the process. While they expected to be providing long-term direction for the city, committee members found themselves wrestling with much more immediate concerns, said Elaine Vincent, the city’s director of development services.

Some public members felt the need to come to some sort of consensus led to watered-down, status-quo recommendations.

The presence of council members on committees also proved confusing, in some cases, to both councillors and other committee members.

Under recommendations approved unanimously by council on Tuesday citizen advisory groups will have a clearer mandate and term. When an advisory committee should be formed will also be clarified.

Councillors applauded the changes, suggesting citizen volunteers sitting on advisory groups will feel they have a more significant say.

“I think this is a real step forward in valuing the time of our community members,” said Coun. Tanya Handley.

Coun. Frank Wong noted that the number of volunteers putting forward their names for committee positions was dropping, a sign he believes, that community members were discouraged by the current system.

Coun. Lynne Mulder predicted the revamped citizen advisory groups would provide “meaningful consultation and dialogue.”

City staff will come back to council with a report on how to make the changes by the end of March.

Just Posted

Mother sperm whale and baby dead in fishing net off Italy

MILAN — A mother sperm whale and its baby have died after… Continue reading

Wayward animals are a danger on the highway

Animals wandering onto roadways — a hazard that is common at this… Continue reading

Alberta premier hands out earplugs during debate on bill affecting union rights

EDMONTON — Premier Jason Kenney passed out earplugs in the legislature overnight… Continue reading

Alberta asks Court of Appeal to look at constitutionality of federal carbon tax

EDMONTON — Alberta’s justice minister says the province is asking the courts… Continue reading

VIDEO: Avengers: Endgame to be re-released with new footage

‘Avatar’ holds global box office record at $2.788 billion, while ‘Endgame’ stands at $2.743 billion…

Alberta finance minister won’t guarantee delayed union arbitration will occur

EDMONTON — Alberta’s finance minister won’t promise that 180,000 public sector workers… Continue reading

Elections Canada scraps social media ‘influencers’ to encourage youth vote

OTTAWA — Elections Canada has scrapped plans to use social-media “influencers” to… Continue reading

Quebec’s biggest French school board postpones applying religious symbols law

MONTREAL — Quebec’s largest school board has voted to delay application of… Continue reading

B.C. Conservative MP Mark Warawa dies after cancer diagnosis

OTTAWA — Conservative MP Mark Warawa has died after being diagnosed with… Continue reading

Trump promises help with Canadian detainees in China as Trudeau visits D.C.

WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump says he will raise the issue… Continue reading

VIDEO: Avengers: Endgame to be re-released with new footage

‘Avatar’ holds global box office record at $2.788 billion, while ‘Endgame’ stands at $2.743 billion…

‘He gets it’: Bowen Byram set to hear name called early at NHL draft

VANCOUVER — Bowen Byram’s bantam coach knew almost immediately the defenceman would… Continue reading

Guardado scores 2 as Mexico beats Canada 3-1

DENVER — Andres Guardado had two goals in the second half, Roberto… Continue reading

Most Read