From the Board – Summer 2017

sarah-rivest (1)Sarah Rivest, Secretary

Bienvenue and welcome!

Many thanks to the members who were able to join our AGM online on June 14. The meeting was a chance to review all of the good that IAP2 Canada was a part of in 2016, including the treasurer’s report, membership highlights and also a look ahead to 2017. It was great to have representatives from Coast to Coast participate and I found it nice to reflect on the current projects and plans to support professionals in public participation.

We took the time to thank the significant contributions from the following departing board members:

Jan Bloomfield

Noreen Rude

Tracy Vaughan

Jorge Aviles

During the meeting, the nominating committee announced the acclamation for Board Members and on behalf of the board would like to warmly welcome:

New Board Members (2017-2020)

Hugo Mimee (Québec) – second term

Dhurata Ikonomi (Ontario)

Kevin Thorvaldson (Alberta)

Mark Weir (Ontario)

New Deputy Board Members

Sheri Florizone (Prairies)

Samantha Thompson (Ontario)

Returning to the board for 2017 will be:

Continuing Board Members

Bruce Gilbert (Newfoundland)

Amanda Mitchell (British Columbia)

Brenda Pichette (Ontario)

Ashleigh Weeden (Ontario)

Sarah Rivest (Québec)

Michael Waters (British Columbia)

Continuing Deputy Board Members

Kristen Farrell (Ontario)

Morgan Boyco (Ontario)

It is truly wonderful to see a mix of provinces represented on the board, and also to have a mix of new and continuing Board Members. Many projects take years to come to fruition and it’s great for the strategy of these important projects to include different experiences. I’m excited to meet our new board at the next face to face meeting after the North American conference in Denver in September, at which time all executive positions will be nominated and elected.

If you would like more information about the AGM including links to read the 2016 Annual Report, to watch the AGM webinar, or to view the PowerPoint presentation from the AGM, please click here.

Best wishes for a great summer!


Webinar Rewind: Montreal Encore – “Is Your Organization P2-Centric?” (July 2017)

It’s true that many organizations – private corporations and public agencies alike – are incorporating Public Participation into their practices, but there is another step they can take: becoming P2-Centric.

Our July Webinar brought another of the popular sessions from the 2016 IAP2 North American Conference in Montreal: Anne Pattillo’s “Is Your Organization P2-Centric?” To Anne, a P2-Centric organization (P2CO) is one that “puts citizens as the main stakeholder of their decision-making, thinking, planning and action.” Does that describe your organization? And if not, how do you get it there?

Anne contends that organizations see the importance of P2 as a reputation-enhancer, but it’s important to move from that negative-inference mindset to one where the organization is always on top of citizen attitudes and aspirations and makes that the centrepiece of its work.  In Anne’s research, the typical organizational P2 journey is the way it looks below and often organizations get stuck with pockets of good practice.

WEBINAR - 2017-07-11 - P2CENTRIC

Doing that involves from good practice to a portfolio of public participation, in which resources are constantly available to sustain that practice. When that happens, P2 has its greatest impact. What’s more, it’s been found that if good P2 is delivered only occasionally, its impact is limited. Getting maximum impact requires consistently delivering quality P2 across the organization. For the practitioner, that means:

  • Disciplined evaluation and reporting P2 processes and impactWEBINAR - 2017-07-11 - P2CENTRIC-stitched
  • Focusing leaders on it so they can see what if any communities are being “missed” in the process
  • Building capability, systems, policies into the organization so P2 is integrated into the organization’s work – “Stitched into the lining,” as Anne puts it
  • Getting commitment from the organization to continue with that P2 framework
  • Pro-actively reaching out to citizens about their experience and expectation with the organization.

The onus is on the practitioners to make it happen in the organization: to discuss with the leaders the goals they have and impress on them the importance of incorporating P2 as a cornerstone of the process, rather than an after-thought. It requires bringing P2 into alignment with the organization’s strategy and priorities and also working with the organizational and key community leaders to help find the place the organization is expected to play in that community.

Measuring that impact can take any of a number of forms: looking at the organization’s “brand presence” in the community, or looking at the level of trust and confidence and the level of participation in the community, impact on the decisions and actions or the organization, relationship development. How much is the community’s voice heard in the organization?


A good example is New Zealand’s Department of Conservation. For years, it had been engaging with the public, but it was sporadic – Anne describes it as a case of “good people doing good things but only occasionally.” The organization had to examine its internal processes and that led to the question of what was really important to the Department and setting an overall goal. The leaders of the organization realized that achieving that goal meant increasing the P2 capability and making sure it had the proper resources. The Department became, in short, P2-centric.

IAP2 members can hear the entire webinar and download some resources Anne has provided here.

Meet a Member: Jacquie Dale

Jacquie headshotPosition: founder, One World, Inc.

As we continue to mark 25 years since the first conference of what is now IAP2, we meet Jacquie Dale, who has been with IAP2 since 1997.

What has been your involvement with P2?

My early days of public engagement grew out of work in foreign policy and how to engage Canadians in meaningful conversation about it. It began in the early 80s, through development education (dev-ed). As part of their international cooperation work in Canada, NGOs (non-governmental organizations) always tended to have programs to help the Canadian public understand development and think about global citizenship. I started doing dev-ed in 1983 when I worked with the YM/YWCA in Victoria.

I worked on a lot of projects, running seminars and programming for youth and children, as well as cross-Canada exchange programs with youth. Then I moved to Montréal to lead the international development program at the YMCA there, and covered projects and exchanges in Central America, Tanzania and Ecuador.

Over time, I got interested in the issue of foreign policy and when I went to work for the Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC) – the umbrella organization for Canadian NGOs working in international cooperation – we asked, how do we engage the Canadian public in meaningful conversations about shaping Canada’s foreign policy?

In 1995, the Federal Government made significant cuts to international development funding, and we were surprised given the years of dev ed in Canada, that there was no public outcry about the cuts. Why was so little importance placed on international development? So, we set up a task force that went across the country, talking to NGOs, volunteers, experts and involved communities; and we realized that our approach had been a bit too proselytizing. We had talked about human rights and social justice, but in a way, that was more preaching (“if you have the right information, you’ll think the ‘right’ way, i.e. our way, about this”), than engagement.

So around 1997, we started to play around with the idea of deliberative dialogue (DD) (also called deliberation). I took part in a Kettering Institute training program. We started with a small pilot – a series of dialogues focused on poverty eradication.

From that, we went across the country, training people in facilitating deliberative dialogue on foreign policy and development issues and bringing the results to various policy tables. Many people were excited about it and became good facilitators, but others found becoming an objective facilitator on issues they were very passionate about just didn’t work for them. I also worked closely with the Canadian Policy Research Network at that time. They were also piloting DD, but on domestic issues, e.g. “The society we want”. This shared learning approach for how to use deliberative dialog proved to be fruitful – and exciting.

During that period, our work at CCIC gained recognition and won two national awards. People started to ask us to do this deliberative dialogue work for them, so we set up One World, Inc. It was originally owned by CCIC, with myself as the CEO and we ran dialogues for NGOs, governments, not-for-profits. It was “deep engagement”. When the CCIC had its funding from CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency) cut, I and three associates of the firm purchased it. Since then our work at One World Inc has expanded to include all types of public and stakeholder engagement.

What turned you on to P2 in the first place?

I joined IAP3 – now IAP2 – because I was interested in finding out what others were doing in public engagement and how to engage the public in a more meaningful and better way. It was a good opportunity to learn from others and make connections. IAP2 was also a good way to connect with others in the US and elsewhere in the world for mutual learning.

Something that I was very interested in from the early days was evaluation. We as a P2 community have to get better and be more consistent at evaluating engagement processes and as a consulting firm, we do a lot of work to assess the impact and results of public engagement (PE).

What “big wins” have you had?

I think pioneering deliberative dialogue in Canada was one of them. Back when I started, the word dialogue was not nearly so common as it is today (even though it is often mis-used, the notion has gained currency). The idea of good, meaningful conversations that can impact program and policy choices has grown substantially and I like to think I played a small part in that.

Another win has been in the area of pushing forward good citizen engagement – the idea that citizens need to be engaged on important questions their communities and societies are dealing with. For example, we’ve worked with the city of Edmonton on two citizen panels. The first was around the budgetary process, which was a demonstration project that helped to consolidate the foundation of the Centre for Public Involvement. The second was on energy and climate challenges facing the city, and new policies emerged from those discussions that were accepted by the City Council. I did that project with Alberta Climate Dialogue, which worked with government and civil society partners to convene citizen deliberations on climate change in Alberta -possibly the last province where one would expect that to happen.  A new book on that experiment is coming out this fall.

I facilitate the Citizens’ Council of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care, which began in 2009, again contributing to policy particularly in the area of the public drug program. We do a lot of work in the health field, where patient engagement has been on the rise. We’ve just finished working on a patient engagement guide for the Canadian Patient Safety Institute. It was a real co-design project with groups across the country, including patients themselves.

How has P2 in Canada changed since you first started?

Hugely. When I started, we didn’t have any online platforms – there was no technology at the time. In the late 90s, I started working with a group to develop an online platform, because there was nothing that moved beyond the traditional survey. That aspect has been evolving continually, complementing face-to-face participation.

Of course, there was no social media, either, and that’s changed the landscape. Considering the ways people use it, this change has been both positive and negative.

And as I said, the rise in patient engagement has been remarkable. We see now how seriously it’s being taken and how it’s being integrated into the operation of the health care system – not just a tick-off-the-box engagement, but something meaningful that is improving health care  I’ve also worked with organizations involved in health research, like the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, which is stimulating a process across the country in patient-oriented research.

The big thing is, governments at all levels are more serious about P2, and there are some real leaders at a municipal level.  Federally, P2 has tended to come and go, with the current phase being an increased interest. Health Canada had an Office of Consumer and Public Involvement, which got cut the same day it won an award for its high-quality work.  The Consultation Secretariat at the headquarters level of Health Canada changed from a capacity-building focus to stakeholder relations but is now trying once more to improve engagement practice. Other areas of government have taken it on, too, but it’s still a struggle to build and maintain the internal capacity (and infrastructure) for good P2.

Internationally, some of the global bodies are also increasing their involvement. But there’s something else to note for those in the consulting world. In the past five years or so, the big consulting firms have been getting interested in that area and have been taking on more and more P2 work. In some cases, the way they’ve done that is by buying up PE companies, like Hill + Knowlton did with Ascentum. It’s an indication that P2 is getting integrated into their work and is gaining important recognition that it is a field of expertise. It also means it can be tougher for independent consultants and smaller “boutique” firms, because the big companies already have their connections with governments and private sector.

Have you had a “Golden Learning Moment” – when something went sideways, but you learned from it?

I’ve always thought of P2 as a social change ingredient for participatory democracy. As citizens, we need to have spaces to dig into and work through together the tough choices facing our communities and society in today’s world. DD and PE can help to provide those opportunities to engage across perspectives and potentially develop common ground to move forward. I’ve been fortunate to have worked with others who share this dream – for example, the Canadian Community of Dialogue and Deliberation and the National Coalition for Deliberative Dialogue (NCDD).

But sometimes organized citizen action and advocacy groups work against the idea of P2, even though they value democratic values such as freedom of expression. One example I lived through occurred in a community engagement process around a proposed addition to an existing plant in the town. A strong environmental group was opposed to it.

We set up a process to allow people to talk in small groups and meet with experts to ask questions. The first part of the day went well. But when we broke for lunch, the environmental group decided they didn’t want the process to work and didn’t want the public to really discuss the issues for themselves. So, they came back in the afternoon with the goal of shutting the process down. Other citizens had good questions to ask, and this group shut them up with name-calling. It was a source of disappointment that an environmental group that should be interested in citizen engagement created such an ugly situation.  For me it highlights the “shadow” side of citizen action and advocacy. Perhaps another approach, where the group had been invited to co-design the process might have worked, but at the core I think their only interest was in stopping the development project, no matter the cost in social capital.

This level of animosity was new to me as I have found working primarily in Canada that people are for the most part willing to listen and consider alternative viewpoints and perspectives if given a well-structured and facilitated process. The polarization has been so much stronger in the US and NCDD (National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation) has had to work out how to deal with antagonistic stakeholders and create that safe space for dialogue.

Where do you see the P2 profession going, in the future?

I would flag three things as I think about the future of our collective P2 work:

  1. Over the next few years, we need to build more sustainable P2 capacity and infrastructure within institutions like government. Otherwise PE will not be integrated into the program and policy development and instead will remain primarily in the hands of consultants. Edmonton is a promising example of a city where this is beginning to happen. See for example, the Council Initiative on PE.
  2. A key tension in all of our work, and which we have to keep on the forefront, is depth/breadth for engagement. (Another term is thick/thin.) Because we have social media and online tools, we have a tendency to gravitate towards “thin” engagement – for example, getting lots of people to answer a survey. Governments like it because you get manageable quantitative data fairly quickly, but does little to help policy-makers understand where citizens arrive if they have a chance for informed discussion to work through together the possible choices and the trade-offs incumbent in these. We need to figure out how to better balance those two, to develop policy that really resonates with citizens and that encourages us all to step up to our responsibility to be active in that process.
  3. Finally, I think as a P2 community we need to think more deeply about the issue of power in the work that we do, and I include in that our “hidden” power as process designers, issue framers and facilitators. Our role can influence discussion and outcomes and we need to be aware of that and work to try to provide objective processes as much as possible. For more on that, see a recent paper I had to chance to write with an academic colleague.

If you had anything to say to someone just getting into the P2 business …

It’s a very interesting and exciting area to work in: you become a bit of a renaissance person, because you learn a lot about many different topics. There’s more opportunity than there ever was, with patient engagement and municipal and provincial governments integrating engagement into their work: it makes for more scope for more people.

The Core Values Story – 3: A Stranger in a Strange Land

Core Values_Article 3_Twitter

— by Lauren Wirtis, IAP2 USA Intern

“You have to recognize that you are a visitor into someone else’s space.”

– Jessica Delaney, IAP2 Federation Trainer

Core Value 5: Public participation seeks input from participants in designing how they participate.

Core Value 6: Public participation provides participants with the information they need to participate in a meaningful way.

Core Values 5 and 6 remind P2 practitioners that everywhere they go in their profession, they are the outsider. When talking to Jessica Delaney, Mary Hamel, and Cheryl Hilvert, the action they spoke most about in terms of these two Core Values was asking questions. What I learned from them and their stories was how to be a good visitor, who maybe might just get invited back. From what I can tell there are three good rules of thumb:

  1. Don’t assume anything
  2. Ask questions and take the answers seriously
  3. Speak the language

Don’t Assume Anything

Mary Hamel

It is easy to project our own behaviors onto others. I find x, y, or z comfortable, so everyone else must as well. This can get you into trouble quickly as a visitor. Mary Hamel was able to think quick on her feet in order to avoid this exact issue. She was asked to step into a project as a facilitator in a Wisconsin community that had gone through a contentious mining proposal soon before. She had heard that the community did not like being split into small groups, because they felt like it was a divide and conquer strategy. However, that had been the meeting process the project managers wanted to run as there were about 150 attendees. As Mary began the facilitation the group reacted to the idea of being split up. Prepared for this, Mary worked with her team to reorganize the meeting. To the community being split up was about distrust, and the fact that Mary’s team was willing to rearrange their process help to build that trust back.


Ask questions and take the answers seriously

Jessica Delaney

When I talked with Jessica about Core Value 5, she said it “calls on practitioner to be humble in knowledge and experience with process design.” She described two ways to look to implement Core Value 5. First, you can hold a series of stakeholder interviews. These questions should give power to the interviewee to answer however they choose. Some of the questions Jessica likes to ask include:


  • What’s of interest to you in this decision?
  • What’s going to make it easier for you to engage?
  • What info do you need to engage?
  • What barriers do you have to engaging?
  • What don’t I know that I need to know?

Second, you can embed stakeholders into an engagement planning committee or team. Jessica took part in a committee design workshop on opioid substance use that invited patients into the planning team, asked them how to make participants more comfortable, and shaped the process around their input. “They helped us understand that there are many different patient voices going through different journeys. We needed to understand that we were not serving patient populations but a lot patients within a population.”

One practical example was that many people recovering from opioid addiction used methamphetamines to help in the process. The use of methamphetamines raises the core body temperature. Jessica and her team kept the room colder than usual to ensure that participants would be physically comfortable during the workshop. This was just one of many insights the patients on the planning team provided. Other advice provided on the engagement design level included timing for breaks, location, and special requirements for those in the program.

Speak the language

Cheryl Hilvert

Another way practitioners can seem foreign to the communities they enter is with the language they use. Talking about the MX-II zone or Bill HDC-4739J can be alienating. Cheryl talked with me about how important it is to her to take a bit of time to explain the project and the terms that were going to be used in the discussion. Make people feel like they are equipped to participate and provide a sense of self-efficacy.


One way Cheryl did this on a larger scale was to create a citizens leadership academy, a 10-week program to provide education to citizens about the community they live in. The program educated participants on how government is structured, how decisions get made, the highest tax generating businesses, how economic development is organized, and the purpose of community development. Each class consisted of 25 students. Cheryl and her team went out of their way to invite people who weren’t typically supportive of the city.

Cheryl said the best outcome was that community members were now armed with information out in the community helping other citizens understand what was happening in their city. These people became ambassadors in the community. They went on to conduct their own independent citizen education around initiatives in the community. This program empowered people to take what can seem like a foreign language and bring it home.

It’s not enough to put the information up on a website or send out a press release when the community needs to be involved. P2 practitioners have a responsibility to learn how people want to be engaged and then reach out to provide the information they need to do just that. Mary embodied this philosophy in what may be my new favorite quote:

“Telling people the information is on the website is kind of like telling people it’s somewhere in the Library of Congress.”


This article is the third in a series of articles about the Core Values. Keep an eye out for the next article in upcoming newsletters.

Do you have a Core Values story to share? Please tell us about it here!

Many thanks again to those who spent time talking with me.


Are you a highly motivated person who would like to be involved in developing and implementing a successful IAP2 event?  Here’s your opportunity!

We are inviting people to join the Steering Committee for the 2018 IAP2 North American Conference. The conference will be held on September 5-7 in Victoria, British Columbia. As a Steering Committee member, you will support the development, planning and implementation of the conference, including the creation of subcommittees to assist in the delivery of this popular conference. The committee members will work with the local Chapter, IAP2 Canada staff, and make recommendations to the Board.

In early fall, there will be opportunities to be part of subcommittees including Program, Local Fun Committee and Sponsorship. Position descriptions will be posted later this summer.

Interested? Check out the Steering Committee job description for more information and submit your Expression of Interest by June 30, 2017.  Anyone, from anywhere, can serve on this committee.  Questions? contact Anita Wasiuta,  IAP2 Canada’s volunteer coordinator, at

How to hit the P2 Sweet Spot

Core Values_Article 2_canada-01

“It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settling a question without debating it.” – Joseph Joubert

Let’s see if we can’t do both. In order to successfully debate a question and settle it we need Core Values 3 and 4, which tell us to include everyone who may be impacted by the decision and to use their input to reach a sustainable decision. To fully explain the role these Core Values play, I’ll be sharing three stories that were told to me when I interviewed Susanna Haas Lyons, Wendy Lowe, and Doug Sarno.

Core Value 3: Public participation promotes sustainable decisions by recognizing and communicating the needs and interests of all participants, including decision makers.

Core Value 4: Public participation seeks out and facilitates the involvement of those potentially affected by or interested in a decision.

In explaining how these Core Values operate, Wendy described a venn diagram that is used in the IAP2 training manual illustrating the attributes of potential solutions during a decision-making process. Once circle includes options that are affordable, the second includes ones that are technically sound, and the third options that are publicly acceptable. “What we as P2 practitioners are trying to do is to find the sweet spot.”

The Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project

The US Department of Energy was dealing with a volume of waste in Idaho that was hazardous and radioactive. The DOE prepared an environmental impact statement to find the most appropriate, affordable, and technically sound. They engaged the public throughout Idaho and, four years and lots of money later, decided that an incinerator would be the best way to proceed.

However, when they went to get their permit to build the incinerator, they had to check in with the Department of Environmental Quality who asked the DOE which way the wind would blow. That was the moment when the DOE realized they’d more or less forgotten a category of stakeholders: the State of Wyoming. Specifically Jackson, Wyoming where the citizens would be bearing the brunt of the environmental externality. Jackson held a public meeting attended by 500 people that raised $500,000 and killed the incinerator overnight.

This story demonstrates how when you leave out one of the affected parties you cannot know what options are in the publicly acceptable bubble, and can reach solutions that are unable to sustain themselves.

Interestingly, the phrase “including decision makers” wasn’t added to Core Value #3 until 2005 when the Core Values were reviewed. This was one of few substantive changes, but the committee doing the review felt that without this wording the deck would be stacked in favor of the stakeholders. Decision makers are important because they hold the institutional knowledge that populates the options in the bubbles of what is affordable and what is technically sound.


In 2007, California was undergoing health care reform under Governor Schwarzenegger. Susanna, working for America Speaks, helped convene a statewide forum in which over 300,000 people participated, including many undocumented immigrants. The forum looked at two proposals for reforming health care, what they offered, and the major choices that had to make when deciding between the two. This forum enabled legislators (the decision makers in this instance) to see what their constituents supported and make more informed decisions.

The next step in the process is reaching a sustainable decision. Doug said to me, “Making decisions is pretty easy, implementing them and making those decisions work is where the hard part comes in.” A sustainable decision is the difference between getting public buy-in versus public ownership.


A former uranium processing facility needed to be closed and its waste disposed in Ohio. There was a huge waste site with wastes that were more or less hazardous scattered throughout. The local community had felt pretty firmly that they did not want this to remain in their backyard. One member of the community in particular, Lisa, was quite vocal about this. And when a workshop was held that used chips for participants to allocate to on- or off- site disposal, Lisa swept all the chips off the board. “I don’t want any of it to stay here.”

Doug told her that was an option, but now it was time to run the math. The facilitators had programs set up that would calculate the number of expected truck trips, traffic accidents, greenhouse gas emissions, etc. that would result from moving all of the waste from Ohio to Nevada. As Lisa watched the numbers populate she turned to Doug and said, “We can’t do this.”

In the end about 90% of the waste by volume remained in an on-site disposal facility. Most of the more hazardous material was moved off-site. The area is now a 900-acre wildlife preserve and education center. There is also a history museum on site that includes a description of this notable public participation process.

Doug described this as “the most fundamental aha moment I’ve had in my career” watching the public participation process move a participant from a “them” to a “we” mentality. This is the full expression of all three circles of the venn diagram. It hits the sweet spot and reaches a sustainable solution that the community not only accepts, it owns.

cv2 speakers


This article is the #2 in a series of articles about the Core Values. Keep an eye out for the more features in upcoming newsletters.

Do you have a Core Values story to share? Please tell us about it here!

Share your Story

Learn more about IAP2’s Core Values

Lauren Wirtis

By: Lauren Wirtis
IAP2 USA Intern

CHAPTER NEWS – June 2017

St Lawrence / Saint-Laurent

ST-LAURENT - LAURENCE AND JOANAL’assemblée générale annuelle de la section Saint-Laurent a eu lieu le 16 juin. Deux invitées sont venues de la France pour faire une présentation : Laurence Monnoyer-Smith (à gauche), commissaire générale au développement durable, et Joana Janiw, ancienne membre de la Fédération AIP2, discutaient la nouvelle « Charte de la participation public ».  Lire leur PowerPoint ici.

L’assemblée entière a été enregistrée, et peut-être écoutée ici; le PowerPoint peut-être lu ici.

Le conseil de la section pour 2017-2018 a était élu, soit :

  • Marcello Bursztein – Ottawa
  • Janis Crawford – Montréal
  • Guy Grenier – Montréal
  • Krista Kagume – Ottawa
  • Joseph Thornley – Ottawa
  • Louis-Michel Tremblay – Saguenay
  • Peter Wilton – Ottawa
  • Hugo Mimee – Montréal (président sortant)

Les positions seront déterminées à la première réunion du nouveau conseil, ou en juillet ou en août.

En terminant son titre de président, Hugo nous dit : « Pour ma part, j’ai terminé mon mandat à titre de président. Et je laisse la place à quelqu’un d’autre. Je demeure toutefois impliqué pour an à titre de président sortant. Ma plus grande réalisation au cours de ce mandat est d’avoir organisé bon nombre d’événement, notamment Des Consultations municipales qui ont du mordant! en mars 2016 et bien entendu la conférence nord-américaine de Montréal en septembre 2016. Je continue mes efforts afin de faire plus de bilinguisme à AIP2 Canada et d’entretenir un réseau de bénévoles (membres et non-membres) qui s’impliquent d’une façon ou d’une autre auprès de l’AIP2. »

The St Lawrence Chapter held its Annual General Meeting on June 16.

The guest speakers were Laurence Monnoyer-Smith (left), Secretary for Sustainable Development, and Joana Janiw. former member of the IAP2 Federation Board and responsible for public participation in France. They described the French government’s “Charter of Public Participation”.

Read the presentation PowerPoint (in French) here.

The AGM, including the guest presentation, was recorded and can be heard here. The accompanying PowerPoint can be found here.

The St Lawrence Chapter elected its new Board for 2017-2018:

  • Marcello Bursztein – Ottawa
  • Janis Crawford – Montréal
  • Guy Grenier – Montréal
  • Krista Kagume – Ottawa
  • Joseph Thornley – Ottawa
  • Louis-Michel Tremblay – Saguenay
  • Peter Wilton – Ottawa
  • Hugo Mimee – Montréal (past-president)

The executive positions will be determined at the new Board’s first meeting in July or August.

In stepping down as Chapter President, Hugo says, “I am stepping down in favour of someone else, but will continue as past-president for the next year. Over my term as president, my greatest accomplishment was to increase the number of events, notably “Municipal Consultations with Bite!” that we held in March 2016 and, of course, the 2016 IAP2 North American Conference in Montreal in September. I will continue to work to increase bilingualism in IAP2 Canada and to increase the network of volunteers – both members and non-members – working with IAP2 in one way or another.”


En mai, l’événement mensuel “3° mardi” mettait en vedette trois fonctionnaires fédérales, Laura Wesley du bureau du conseil privé, Mélanie Robert du Conseil du trésor du Canada, et Dhurata Ikonomi du Communauté des régulateurs fédéraux (et membre du conseil national de l’AIP2 Canada dès septembre proche). Elles ont donné une mise-au-jour sur le projet du Gouvernement ouvert.

Lire le « Twitter Moment » (en anglais) ici.

In May, the monthly “Third Tuesday” featured three Federal Government officials — Laura Wesley of the Privy Council office, Melanie Robert from the Treasury Board, and Dhurata Ikonomi of the Community of Federal Regulators – providing an update on the Open Government Project.

The event was captured in a Twitter Moment.


The BC Chapter’s “P2 Drinks” series moved out of the usual centres – Vancouver or Victoria – into Duncan, about 45 minutes north of Victoria. IAP2 BC Vice-President Lisa Moilanen, IAP2 Canada board member Mike Waters, and IAP2 Canada Executive Manager Amelia Shaw were among the dozen or so who met at a restaurant in Duncan.

The evening featured a lively exchange of ideas and views with frank and open conversation and networking, building the sort of support system P2 professionals need in order to advance the practice.

DUNCAN P2Natasha Horsman (standing, left) of the Municipality of North Cowichan explained how IAP2 principles are taking hold in its consultation strategy, although there is still work to be done to make it part of the culture around Municipal Hall. Also, municipalities in the Cowichan Valley Regional District – which includes Duncan and North Cowichan – are starting to combine efforts to reach out to more people.

Some of the “take-aways” from the event, according to Lisa Moilanen, included:

  • Local governments are on the cusp of change, and expectations are shifting
  • Politicians need to understand the demographics of their communities better, and note that different sectors have different expectations – which means it’s necessary to have different tools
  • Current discourse tends to be polarized and sometimes unreasonable
  • Everyone wins when you inform early – this can head off spreading of misconceptions and negative reaction, particularly in smaller communities
  • Influencers need to be given enough information to allow for deeper conversation within the community
  • Open Houses are the most known tool in that region of smaller communities, but they can be ineffective – especially if the topic is uncontroversial
  • People need to be “brought along”, that is, they need to be told that engagement is a process that works over time.

Wild Rose

Signature Event

For more than 20 years, the IAP2 Wild Rose Chapter has brought its members its Signature Event, a one or two-day conference stakeholder engagement professionals across Alberta. The successful semiannual event attracted roughly 80 attendees this year and focused on “Walking Together: Reconciliation and Public Participation”. Held on May 4th and 5th in Edmonton, Alberta, the conference sessions focused on Indigenous Engagement, reconciliation between Indigenous people and all Canadians, and the role the public participation profession can play and the contribution we can make to this important work.

A key highlight of the 2017 Signature Event was the Blanket Exercise, an interactive learning experience that shared the history behind Indigenous rights. The exercise took participants on an emotional and intellectual adventure and effectively increased their levels of understanding and empathy.

For more detailed information about on our Signature Event, click here.

Wild Rose Board Update:

The Wild Rose Chapter is pleased to announce our Incoming President, Lauren Bartlette, and welcome the new 2017-2019 Board. Lauren, as well as the new Board members are excited to build on past successes, lessons learned and feedback from the member’s survey to exceed our member’s expectations this term. We would also like to thank exiting Board members Jennifer Wells, Rebecca Mcelhoes, Mariel Higuerey and Elizbeth Armitage for their time and dedication to the Wild Rose Chapter; your commitment to the profession is appreciated.

Welcome 2017 – 2019 Wild Rose returning Board members

  • Lauren Bartlette, President (2017-2018)
  • Gay Robinson, Treasurer (2016-2018)
  • Julie Carter, Secretary (2016-2018)
  • Amanda Kaiser, Past President (2017-2018)
  • Sue Blanchard (2016-2018)
  • Tom Schlodder (2016-2018)
  • Anne Huizinga (2016-2018)
  • Kevin Thorvaldson, Director at Large (2017-2019)
  • Mike Coldwell, Director at Large (2017-2019)

Welcome new 2017 – 2019 Wild Rose new Board members

  • Shawn Bravender, Vice President (2017-2019)
  • Annemarie Marshall, Director at Large (2017-2019)
  • Christine Waiand, Director at Large (2017-2019)
  • Kathryn (Katie) McKinnon, Director at Large (2017-2019)
  • Megan Mucignat, Youth Director (2017-2019)
  • Whitney McKenzie, Youth Director (2017-2019)

retreatThe Board gathered in Red Deer on June 9th, 2017 for their strategic retreat. The day was a great success, and provided an opportunity for new and existing board members to touch base on the Chapter’s vision and guiding principles, closely review the results of the member survey, break into the various committees and set priorities and action for the year ahead. The Board is eager to meet the needs of our members and volunteers while empowering them to achieve their public participation goals.


The Prairies Chapter hosted a Lunch-and-Learn in Winnipeg, featuring Certified Environmental Professional Somia Sadiq discussing Indigenous Engagement, and what to expect in light of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Persons. In particular, Somia, whose background is in mining, went into the full meaning of “Free, Prior and Informed Consent”.

The previously advertised Lunch-and-Learn on “Engagement, Traditional Knowledge and Environmental Assessment”, which had been scheduled for Saskatoon (and Regina, by web-conference), had to be postponed. No new date has been set.

Great Lakes

The Great Lakes Chapter held its Annual General Meeting on June 1. The new executive for 2017-2018 is:

  • President—Karla Kolli
  • Vice-president—Michelle Dwyer
  • Past-president—Donna Kell
  • Secretary—Jodi Ball
  • Treasurer—Chris Gurski
  • Members at Large—Kyal Butler, Tracey Ehl, Tracy Manolakakis

Message from Outgoing President Donna Kell

DONNA KELL-3This is my second year serving on the executive board of the Great Lakes Chapter of IAP2. It has been my privilege to work with people who truly want to engage with corporate and government partners to create better decision-making and a better outcome.

Looking back on 2016-17
The Great Lakes Chapter began 2016-17 with an insightful presentation from Eric Bergman, APR, ABC and Master Communicator. Eric has taken his formidable knowledge of communications and human behaviour and blended it with a passion for public engagement. This was the basis for a P2 presentation pilot program that got off the ground successfully. We were thankful for a sneak peek in June 2016 at our AGM in Toronto.

In 2016, we also invited IAP2 Great Lakes Chapter members to visit Mohawk Institute Residential School, including the Woodland Cultural Centre, in Brantford. This was a riveting experience for all of us, and made real the struggle of our First Nations brothers and sisters and deepened our understanding of their experiences. Understanding this key partner helps us to be better at engaging and better at communicating.

We used a survey to reach out to our membership to see how they wished to be reached and get involved. They told us to use more online tools and to maintain face-to-face opportunities.

Looking ahead to 2017-18
We have identified our challenges for 2017. One of the biggest is the size of our coverage area. The Great Lakes Chapter stretches from Barrie in the north, Lake Ontario in the south, Kingston to the east and Fort Erie to the west and includes Highways 401 and 400 and the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW). We will continue trying online ways, such as webinars and social media, to reach across our geography, maintaining that vital connection with each other and encouraging new friends to join IAP2 Great Lakes Chapter.

Emerging trends

In 2017, we will hear more about potential adjustments to the IAP2 Spectrum of Public Participation and will contribute when and where we can to this important tool.  We will also see more traditional public relations and communications professionals develop their engagement skills and look to IAP2 for some helpful hints. We welcome these colleagues and invite them to join IAP2.

Thank you to the Executive Team for your efforts during 2016-17. We have accomplished great things together. I look forward to continuing to build the profile of IAP2 Great Lakes Chapter and ensure practitioners have the engagement tools they need to make great things happen.


Donna Kell, APR
President, 2016-2017, Great Lakes Chapter, IAP2 Canada