COQUITLAM, B.C., May 21, 2020 – Are you ready be consulted on issues other than the pandemic – and if so, how?
Coquitlam is now surveying the community to determine if the time is right to restart public consultation on projects that aren’t related to COVID-19, and identify the best tools for doing so in the age of physical distancing. Those with opinions on this topic are invited to complete the short survey at www.coquitlam.ca/engage until May 29.
Is Coquitlam Ready to Engage?
Recent national and municipal surveys suggest Canadians are ready to engage again in non-pandemic issues with all levels of government.
Even more than a month ago, a survey conducted by the national public relations firm Hill & Knowlton showed most respondents believed engagement with all levels of government is more important now than ever, and that it was still important for governments to consult the public on non-pandemic issues. Other Canadian cities have also found a strong public appetite for providing input on matters other than COVID-19.
The City continues to thoughtfully plan projects that will provide community benefit and economic stimulus. If the Coquitlam survey shows that residents are equally keen to engage with their local government, the City will explore alternatives to holding in-person open houses and information sessions that adhere to physical distancing requirements.
Gathering Input from a Distance
In recent years, the City has been turning to alternative methods for engaging with the community on civic topics and providing more ways for the public to participate. These include online tools, such as the Viewpoint online survey community at www.coquitlam.ca/viewpoint and the new Let’s Talk Coquitlam public online engagement site at www.letstalkcoquitlam.ca.
Online surveys are well suited to collecting input during the pandemic – in fact, a survey of businesses on their COVID-19 challenges is now taking place until May 22 at the new Business Support Portal at www.letstalkcoquitlam.ca/business as a companion to a telephone survey.
Based on the results of the engagement survey, the City may also explore other consultation methods such as virtual open houses using video conferencing software such as Zoom, along with phone and email feedback.
Supporting Our Community During the Pandemic
The City of Coquitlam is here to help, with these resources:
- Visit www.coquitlam.ca/csrp to learn about the City’s Community Support and Recovery Plan, which is providing immediate and long-term support for the non-profit sector, businesses and residents;
- Visit www.coquitlam.ca/spirit for a free library of activities for all ages, including fitness, arts and culture, outdoor activities and ways to connect with your community; and
- Visit www.coquitlam.ca/covid19 for updates on City services and initiatives and COVID-19 health resources.
Coquitlam residents and businesses are also encouraged to follow the City of Coquitlam on social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) and download the CoquitlamConnect mobile app for up-to-date City information.