The City of Victoria is joining other Canadian jurisdictions in starting a Participatory Budgeting process of its own. The project was launched this past month with a modest pot of $60,000.00 (for a population of 80-thousand). Some fifty people turned out for the opening meeting, facilitated by Shari Davis and Ashley Brennan of the Participatory Budgeting Project. They got right to work, putting forward about 300 ideas, which will now be collated by the city’s public engagement staff.
Ideas submitted included a return of the tea house in Beacon Hill Park, a “safe zone” for LGBTQ and Indigenous residents, and a facility to provide showers for homeless and under-housed residents.
There was media coverage, too: CBC Radio interviewed Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and Shari Davis; one TV station – CHEK-TV – covered the event. We’ll keep you posted on future developments.
Victoria joins a growing list of Canadian municipalities taking up PB. Toronto is into Year 2 of the three-year plan; Hamilton, Dieppe, St-Basile-le-Grand, QC and Tofino, BC, are some of the others at various stages of a process.