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Public Engagement Framework and Guiding Principles

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In 2018, Halton updated its public engagement framework which outlines how the Region will seek input and feedback from residents, businesses and community stakeholders.

Public Engagement Model

The framework includes a model which reflects three levels of public engagement – inform, consult and collaborate. These levels of engagement indicate how the Region will engage on a particular project with the public. The levels will vary depending on the project, and will incorporate various ways in which we will engage with the public (ie: media releases, use of social media, surveys, task forces, etc.)

Inform

Communicate
(one-way)

  • Purpose: Communicate
  • Communication style: One-way
  • Promise to Residents & Stakeholders: We will keep you informed
  • Halton's Responsibility:
    • Provide information
    • Make final decision
  • Resident Responsibility: Learn

Consult

Listen-Learn-Dialogue
(two-way)

  • Purpose: Listen-Learn-Dialogue
  • Communication style: Two-way
  • Promise to Residents & Stakeholders: We will keep you informed, provide you with information to provide input, listen to and acknowledge your concerns; and provide feedback on how input was used.
  • Halton's Responsibility:
    • Provide information, ideas and proposed solutions and the opportunity for public input
    • Work to incorporate feedback
    • Regional Council to make final decision
    • Report back
  • Resident Responsibility: Participate in providing feedback

Collaborate

Active Participation
(two-way)

  • Purpose: Active Participation
  • Communication style: Two-way
  • Promise to Residents & Stakeholders: We will look to you for ideas and innovation when developing solutions and will work with you to incorporate your thoughts and recommendations to the greatest extent possible.
  • Halton's Responsibility:
    • Provide information and the opportunity to participate in forming the proposed solutions by sharing views, ideas and setting priorities
    • Work with subject matter experts and focused groups
    • Consider recommendations
    • Regional Council to make final decision
    • Report back
  • Resident Responsibility: Partner in developing a solution

Public Engagement Guiding Principles

The framework also includes guiding-principles which outline the Region’s commitment and approach to engaging with the public. Through these, we strive to provide the effective and inclusive engagement to our residents and community stakeholders.

  Open, two-way communication

Working in a cooperative way to share information and provide opportunities for open and constructive dialogue ensuring the issue and ability to inform the outcome are clearly presented.

  Early involvement and timely communication

Communicating as early as possible and ensuring information is available in a timely manner to encourage participation.

  Inclusion and mutual respect

Engagement is based on building trust and relationships that involve all members of the community.

  Transparent and accountable

Sharing information and having open public engagement processes, final decisions and outcomes.

  Clear and accessible communication

Ensuring the use of plain language and a wide variety of communication channels are used.

  Fiscally sustainable

Ensuring methods and resources for public notice and engagement reflect the magnitude and complexity of the initiative.

  Evaluation/feedback

Public engagement processes will be evaluated and refined as required and feedback will be provided on the outcome of the process.

  Continuous improvement

Seeking better ways of engaging the community and providing efficient and effective public notice and engagement processes.

Public Consultation and Notification Guidelines

Below are the Halton Region’s consultation and notification guidelines which outline four levels of impact a project or issue may have and the corresponding minimum requirements for public engagement and notification. The goal of these guidelines are to ensure that the community is informed early and that they clearly understand the project and their ability to contribute.

Level of Impact Type of Impact Minimum Level of Engagement Minimum Timeframe to Provide External Notice
Level One
  • Low Impact
  • Local Area or Group
  • Low or no risk of controversy or conflict
  • Inform
As much advance notice as possible or at a minimum 14 days
Level Two
  • Low Impact
  • Region-wide
  • Inform
As much advance notice as possible or at a minimum 14 days
Level Three
  • High Impact
  • Local Area or Group
  • Inform
  • Consult
As much advance notice as possible or at a minimum 14 days
Level Four
  • High Impact
  • Region-wide
  • Inform
  • Consult
As much advance notice as possible or at a minimum 14 days
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