Early Citizen Engagement - A Remedy for Defeatism

Early Citizen Engagement - A Remedy for Defeatism
Posted on February 3, 2016 | Michelle Reimer | Written on February 3, 2016
Comments
Letter type:
Comment

Author's Note:

Author's Note:

On December 15, 2015, the NCC annoucned two proposal for LeBreton Flats, both with an arena. This triggered the creation of an on-line campaign to collect all our ideas from everyday citizens.  As of today there has been 105 ideas submitted and 11,220 votes.

Early Citizen Engagement - A Remedy for Defeatism

The sentiment “something is better than nothing” is familiar yet damaging.  It has created perpetual public angst and a defeatist attitude towards development in Ottawa. The repeated cycle of D.A.D. (decide, announce, defend) often used by government is exhausting for the average citizen but works favorably for developers and policy makers. Development in Ottawa leaves us feeling trapped, like our hands are tied behind our back and there is no way out. It has been this way for so long we no longer believe it can be different. We make fun of those who envision something more inclusive, shaming them for delaying a process they had no influence over. Have your say?  Not in Ottawa.

I have lived in Ottawa 18 years and I refuse to subscribe to the popular club of disenchantment.  As a concerned citizen, it is painful to watch LeBreton Flats be given away without any attempt at meaningful citizen input. Today, we live in a digital age that provides global connection, insights, new information and creativity. We can now crowd-source citizen views in an open and transparent way and provide decision-makers another point of view.  My hope is that our Nation’s Capital becomes a shining example of citizen engagement so that the everyday citizen can help shape decisions that are complex, historic, personal, and well, damn important in a modern democracy.  Can Ottawa be leaders in citizen engagement?  I think so.

Michelle Reimer

Here is what you can do to have your say in the redevelopment of LeBreton Flats. Vote and submit your ideas here: http://www.allourideas.org/lebretonflatsottawa

About The Author

Michelle is a social activist, organizer, facilitator, mediator.  She is the Founder & Creative Director of Citizens First Inc.

comments powered by Disqus