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

Red Deer to get new plan to end homelessness as problem persists

Despite some successes there’s ‘a long way to go,’ says manager

Canada ranks 16th on World Economic Forum’s annual gender gap list

TORONTO — Canada has landed the 16th spot in the World Economic… Continue reading

Steel, aluminum tariffs impacting one-third of Canadian exporters: poll

OTTAWA — More than one-third of Canadian exporters say they have been… Continue reading

Canada has fifth biggest AI workforce, but still lacks diversity: study

TORONTO — Canada has the globe’s fifth largest artificial intelligence workforce, but… Continue reading

Air passenger rights: Six things about what the Liberals are offering in draft rules

OTTAWA — The Liberals will publish the draft text of their long-promised… Continue reading

Chabot scores overtime winner to lift Senators over Predators 4-3

OTTAWA — Thomas Chabot saw an opening and he took it. And… Continue reading

Canadian Marielle Thompson earns World Cup ski cross bronze in season opener

AROSA, Switzerland — Canada’s Marielle Thompson captured bronze at the opening World… Continue reading

Canada doesn’t make Oscars short list for best foreign language film

LOS ANGELES — Canada is no longer in the running for best… Continue reading

Warrant issued for arrest of ‘Schwimmer lookalike’ suspect

LONDON — A British judge has issued an arrest warrant for an… Continue reading

Moneywise: Canadian workers unhappy with pay, want pension plans

Many working Canadians are feeling underpaid and are so worried about their… Continue reading

Brazil police say faith healer has turned himself in

RIO DE JANEIRO — A celebrity faith healer accused of sexually abusing… Continue reading

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

VANCOUVER — Nicola Froese says she has always loved playing sports, but… Continue reading

Canada’s Kim McRae finishes seventh at luge World Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y.

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Canada’s Kim McRae finished in seventh place at… Continue reading

Most Read