Frequently Asked Questions About the Halton Region Citizens’ Reference Panel

Halton Region is collaborating with local residents on a new four-year strategic work plan.

What is the Halton Regional Council strategic work plan?

Each new term of Council, Halton Region develops a strategic work plan that sets out the vision and priorities for its term of office and establishes its strategic direction. The plan provides a framework for decisions that need to be made relating to the Region’s budget and how the Region delivers important programs and services to the community.

This term, Regional Council will be incorporating the recommendations of Halton residents through a Citizens’ Reference Panel.

This is the second time Halton Region has used a Citizens’ Reference Panel. The first, four years ago, helped inform the draft priorities for the 2010-2014 term of Halton Regional Council.

Can I read the Citizens' Priorities 2011-2014 Action Plan?

Yes, the Citizens' Priorities 2011-2014 Action Plan is available online.

What is the Halton Region Citizens’ Reference Panel?

The Halton Region Citizens’ Reference Panel is a group of 36 residents who will be randomly selected from across Halton Region. The Panel will meet on two Saturdays and one Wednesday evening during January 2015. Panelists will learn about the Region’s programs and services and help identify priorities for Halton Regional Council’s four-year strategic work plan.

Who is on the Panel?

36 local residents will serve on the Panel. 10,000 Halton Region households were randomly selected and mailed a special invitation to volunteer. One person 18 years and older from each of these households can enter the Civic Lottery.

The Civic Lottery is a draw among volunteer respondents, balanced for age, geography and gender. The lottery draw will determine the 36 members of the Citizens’ Reference Panel.

Why is it called a Citizens’ Reference Panel?

The Citizens’ Reference Panel is a tool that decision-makers use to refer issues to a representative group of residents who refer back their recommendations for review. The Panel provides elected representatives with a clearer sense of their community’s priorities and values.

Why is this Citizens’ Reference Panel taking place?

Halton Region is committed to involving the public in decisions that affect their everyday lives. The Citizens’ Reference Panel is a comprehensive way to share information and ask the public for input and advice on Halton Region’s priorities for the next four years.

What do members of the Citizens’ Reference Panel do?

Over two full Saturdays and one Wednesday evening session, the 36 Panelists will learn about the programs and services offered by Halton Region and the challenges and issues facing Halton in the years ahead. Panelists will work in small groups with professional facilitators to review and refine priorities for the Halton Regional Council’s four-year strategic work plan.

What will be done with the Panel’s work?

Halton Regional Council will use the Panel’s advice to inform Council’s four-year strategic work plan. The Citizens’ Reference Panel plays an important role in advising Council on what is important to residents and businesses in Halton Region.

Is anyone from Halton Region able to serve on the Panel?

Anyone aged 18 and older who has received the special invitation is able to serve. Unfortunately, current employees (and members of their household) of the Regional Municipality of Halton, the City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills, the Town of Milton and the Town of Oakville, cannot be Panelists.

What if I didn’t get an invitation? Can I still be involved?

Yes, absolutely! There will be a Public Roundtable open to all Halton residents on Wednesday, January 21, 2015, between 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm. Any person who lives in Halton Region is welcome to participate, and we encourage you to invite your friends and neighbours.

I volunteered for the 2010 Halton Citizens’ Reference Panel, but wasn’t selected. Can I volunteer again?

Yes. The 2015 Citizens’ Reference Panel builds on the important precedent and good work of the 2010 Panel. All Halton residents who receive the special invitation are encouraged to enter the lottery.

What does the special invitation look like?

The special invitation comes in a brown and green envelope from Halton Region delivered directly by Canada Post to your address. It contains a Candidate Response Card that should be returned by January 7, 2015. If you don’t think your Response Card will make it in time, please call 1-800-369-7136.

Can I read the 2010 Citizens’ Reference Panel Report?

Yes, the report on Halton Region's 2010 Citizens’ Reference Panel Report is available online.