Kick Off 2020 with a Volunteer Opportunity

Help grow and strengthen IAP2 Canada and the practice of public participation. Join as a volunteer and broaden your network, inspire better decisions together, learn from others, and share your expertise.

Youth Engagement Network Members!

You can help your Canadian youth peers to foster their knowledge of public engagement and increase their awareness of IAP2 Canada’s educational resources!

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Ne manquez pas le Symposium des compétences 2020 de l’AIP2 Canada qui se tiendra à Regina du 4 au 8 mai!

Symposium des compétences de l’AIP2 Canada 2020

Apprenez, partagez et créez des liens à l’occasion du Symposium des compétences de l’AIP2 Canada 2020
Du 4 au 8 mai, à Regina

Que vous soyez un praticien expérimenté de la participation publique ou nouveau dans le domaine, le Symposium des compétences de l’AIP2 Canada est l’occasion d’actualiser vos connaissances et de faire de nouveaux apprentissages. Consultez le programme détaillé pour prendre connaissance des formations qui seront proposées.

Votre travail vous amène-t-il à réunir un grand nombre de personnes dans le cadre de projets d’envergure? La formation Large Scale Public Participation Techniques (Techniques de participation publique pour les projets de grande échelle) se penchera sur trois méthodes populaires : les forums communautaires du 21e siècle, les scrutins délibératifs et les jurys citoyens. Vous comprendrez mieux les différences et similarités entre les trois techniques, apprendrez à déterminer dans quelles circonstances il est approprié d’y recourir et vous aurez l’occasion d’ébaucher un cadre de base pour un projet participatif de grande envergure. Ce cours est recommandé pour les praticiens de la P2 possédant un niveau d’expérience intermédiaire.

Prévoyez-vous travailler avec des groupes autochtones? Dans quelle mesure les conclusions de la Commission de vérité et réconciliation du Canada (CVR) sont-elles liées à la mobilisation du public? Un nouveau cours intitulé Indigenous Inclusion:Putting the TRC Calls Into Action (Inclusion des groupes autochtones : concrétiser les recommandations de la CVR) offre des connaissances fondamentales, des exemples concrets et des techniques dynamiques de résolution de problèmes pour les personnes qui travaillent à l’avancement de la participation autochtone au sein de leur communauté professionnelle et personnelle. Vous aurez l’occasion de mieux comprendre l’histoire de la colonisation du Canada, la Loi sur les Indiens, les pensionnats indiens et le traumatisme intergénérationnel, et serez en mesure d’identifier des activités liées aux appels à l’action de la CVR.

Quels étaient les commentaires des participants aux éditions précédentes du Symposium?

« (le formateur) connaissait très bien le sujet, il a mis les participants à l’aise et a été en mesure de s’adapter aux besoins et aux questions du groupe… le format proposé m’a permis de m’exprimer et de tirer pleinement profit du cours »

« La séance a été conçue de façon exceptionnelle, ce qui a permis une participation, une pratique et une réflexion optimales. J’ai réellement aimé apprendre par la pratique. Les facilitateurs étaient accommodants et professionnels, et ont fait preuve d’une grande ouverture. »

« Je n’ai jamais ressenti un tel lien professionnel et personnel avec des formateurs. Ils étaient très compétents! »

« (Le formateur était) énergique et dynamique. Le style de la formation était stimulant et ouvert, j’ai réellement apprécié le partage des réussites et le fait d’apprendre des autres. »

Les tarifs pour inscription anticipée sont en vigueur jusqu’au 6 mars 2020, assurez-vous donc de choisir vos cours et de réserver votre chambre à l’hôtel DoubleTree by Hilton! Pour obtenir de plus amples renseignements, y compris le prix des cours et de l’inscription, veuillez consulter le site Web.

Au plaisir de vous voir à Regina!

Take a look at the 2020 IAP2 Canada Skills Symposium – Regina, May 4 – 8!

2020 IAP2 Canada Skills Symposium Banner - Woman with floating lightbulbs.

Learn, share and connect at the 2020 IAP2 Canada Skills Symposium
May 4 – 8, Regina.

Whether you’re a longtime public participation practitioner or someone relatively new to the “biz”, the IAP2 Canada Skills Symposium is a time to refresh your skills and learn new things. Read the Schedule-at-a-Glance to see the full picture.

Does your practice involve bringing together large numbers of people for a major project? Large Scale Public Participation Techniques will show you the finer points of three popular methods: 21st Century Town Hall, Deliberative Polling and Citizen Juries. You’ll come away with a better understanding of the differences and similarities among the three techniques, how to identify when those techniques are appropriate, and outline a basic framework for a large-scale engagement project.  This course is recommended for P2 practitioners with an intermediate level of experience.

Do you anticipate working with Indigenous groups? How do the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) relate to public engagement? A new course, Indigenous Inclusion: Putting the TRC Calls Into Actionoffers foundational knowledge, real-life examples, and dynamic problem-solving for individuals working to advance Indigenous inclusion within their professional and personal communities. You’ll get a better understanding of Canada’s history of colonization, the Indian Act, Indian Residential Schools, and intergenerational trauma; you’ll be able to identify activities related to the TRC’s Calls to Action.

What have participants said about previous Symposia?

“(the trainer) was very knowledgeable, welcoming and adaptable to people’s needs and questions … the format allowed me to really open up and make the most of the course”

“Exceptional session design ensured maximum participation, practice and reflection. I really enjoyed learning by doing. Facilitators were accommodating, professional and very open.”

“I’ve never felt as professionally and personally connected to session facilitators. Very competent coaches!”“(The trainer is) energetic and energizing. Delivery style engaging and open, I really appreciated the shared successes and learning from everyone!”

The deadline for early-bird pricing is March 6, 2020, so choose your courses and book your room at our host hotel, the DoubleTree by Hilton!  For more information, including pricing and registration visit the IAP2 Canada website.We’ll see you in Regina!



The BC & Yukon Chapter held its annual general meeting on November 21, with 28 people in attendance both in person and via webinar. In the membership update, 66 new members have joined since January 2019, and the AGM featured a presentation from Devi Goberdhan, Director of Engagement with the First Nations Health Authority of BC. Her presentation was very timely and relevant to the P2 practitioners. 

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WEBINAR REWIND – November – Charlotte Encore: “Walk it Like You Talk It – Youth Empowerment and Racial Equity”

Our first “Charlotte Encore” – a presentation from the previous IAP2 North American Conference that attendees told us should be shared via webinar – brought back the Thursday lunch keynote speakers. Liz Styron and Kaleia Martin of YES! Youth Empowered Solutions challenged us to consider the intersection of racial bias and marginalizing young people. (Read more) Liz and Kaleia show that, even if everything else is equal or a non-white person has an advantage, race puts that person at a demonstrable disadvantage. Race, they’ve learned, is the number-one deciding factor in health and life outcomes.

Communities of people of color tend to be regarded as “expendable”, as seen in the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, which is predominantly black, or the coal-ash pits in North Carolina, which are located at or near predominantly black communities.

There is an urgency to address the situation, they say. Because today’s youth are tomorrow’s decision makers, it’s vital that critical thinking and critical awareness be nurtured now. Instead, what they are seeing is young people “turning off” as they see the environmental emergency around the world and feel powerless about it. That, in turn, leads to nations that are suffering, economically, spiritually, culturally and civilly. Young people – the under-18 set — need to be “invited to the table” where their ideas will be welcomed and considered and acted-upon.

Youth, they assert, doesn’t mean lack of wisdom, and age doesn’t necessarily mean a “wisdom advantage”; working in a true partnership, with youth at the center – and not “poster children” or “token young people” – leads to more sustainable movements.

Already, there are indications that this kind of partnership can bear fruit. A recent visit by climate change activist Greta Thunberg to North Carolina brought attention to the situation in that state, drew North Carolina’s own youth activists into the spotlight and led to changes in the state’s climate policies. (Kaleia was, herself, invited to the Governor’s Mansion to be recognized for her work in climate change.)

So how does all this relate to Public Participation? Kaleia and Liz make the case that you can’t do P2 properly without marrying youth empowerment with racial equity. How do you do it? Watch the webinar and let them explain more. IAP2 members can access the webinar – and the webinar archive here.

WEBINAR REWIND: October 2019 – IAP2 Projects of the Year

Two projects, which focused on equalizing conditions for everyone, were featured in the October learning webinar. The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and the Portland (OR) Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) were named IAP2 Projects of the Year for Canada and the USA, respectively, at the 2019 IAP2 Core Values Awards. Portland went on to win the International Project of the Year award, as well.

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Meet a Member: Debbi Miller

Manager of Communications and Public Engagement, City of Kingston, Ontario

Kingston was named IAP2 Canada Organization of the Year at the 2019 Core Values Awards gala in Charlotte, NC

How long have you been connected with P2?

I have worked in my role at the City for almost three years, but I would say engagement has been a passion throughout my career. I love working with people, listening to people. I’ve sat on many different boards and organizations, seeing what the outcomes are like when people come together, rather than simply have a one-way conversation.

I took the IAP2 Foundations training from Richard Delaney in Vancouver. The Foundations course showed me what tools I needed to do public engagement better.

At the City of Kingston, I was able to take that training and help guide the process to develop the Public Engagement Framework through the four iterations and various consultations we went through. The City had always done engagement, but this process reinforced the importance of IAP2 and helped us hone a consistent approach. The implementation plan began at the same time the Public Engagement Framework was approved and has been a critical step to ensure the culture change (i.e. developing a culture of P2) in the community.

Was it tough to get leaders to buy in?

We had always done engagement, but when the City made that commitment to open government and consultation part of its Strategic Plan, we were empowered to train staff. The training gave them the tools to deliver public engagement and an opportunity to demonstrate its many benefits – better decision-making, the ability to identify and address issues early on versus at council, and, ultimately, better relationships with stakeholders and engaged citizens. 

Training the staff is a critical step in the process: we have 78 employees trained, with more to come this fall. We also trained council and senior leaders on the decision-maker training as well, and we had to make sure we were supporting culture change with the tools required. 

Did you run into situations with staff wanting to “protect their turf” as experts in the field?

There’s always resistance to change, but not necessarily staff guarding their turf. There was reluctance, as people asked how we approach change. Often, resistance is due to a lack of knowledge: what does it mean? How does this impact my work? How much time is this going to take when we’re already busy? We’d say, “that’s true: everybody’s busy and it does take more time,” but in the end, the decision is worth it.

On behalf of her city, Debbi receives the 2019 Organization of the Year Award from Mark Weir and Catherine Rockandel

Have you had any big wins?

I would say, in our department. we advise other departments on P2, so we’re often we’re having conversations and making suggestions: “Have you thought about this?” “Have you talked to this group?”

In one project, we were identifying stakeholders. My department went out and got some people that had not been on the list but we felt should be included. We believed they were critical stakeholders and staff thought they could work them in later. But we did bring them in, and staff was thankful that we did, and recognized that the final decision was better as a result.

We’ve tried to go to where the people are. In one process, we partnered with community group and set up a tent at a community event. There was food, music, entertainment and more than 500 people turned out. We got some very important information that way. It was a big project kicking off in part of our community: much of it was in an industrial area, and people probably wouldn’t have known about it if we’d just held an open house in some other facility.

We’re always open to trying different approaches and locations, it’s good to have the ability to have pop-ups and other events. 

Have you had any “Golden Learning Moments”?

P2 is an area where we’re always learning, always asking what people are passionate about. Seeing people get involved and solve problems together – it’s great to see how we come to really good solutions when we’re working together.

Currently, I’m working on the next iteration of the implementation plan, working out how we continue to move engagement forward in Kingston and reviewing internal processes to see whether there are pencils that can be sharpened so we can improve. We’re continuing to build our online presence. We’re using “Get Involved Kingston,” run by Bang the Table’s, EngagementHQ. 

We have more than 70 projects online, and more than 7,000 people who are activated participants (not bad for a small city of 125,000). We require registration to provide input, so we can email participants when new projects come up and we send a summary email; it includes in-person sessions and reporting back, which is a really important piece, so people don’t have to keep looking for these in different places. We have held contests to get people to sign up, with prizes like a Google Home Mini or theatre tickets. I must admit a consultation on Cannabis helped boost the number of registrants.

If you had anything to say to someone starting out in the P2 business …

Always be authentic. Listen, learn and try new things. I encourage the team to always be open to new ideas and plan, plan, plan! And remember that connecting with people where they are is so important.