After two years of online-only public engagement events, the Regional District of Nanaimo board of directors approved a transition back to in-person opportunities.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the regional district shut down all in-person events related to collecting feedback on policies and strategies in the works. With the lifting of provincial public health orders such as mask mandates over the last month, adding in-person engagement back into the mix was deemed “appropriate,” a staff report presented at the April 12 RDN board meeting says. That will mean a return to booths and information tables at parks and community markets, among other events.
Staff says data indicates engagement from the public has not suffered over the period when online feedback has been the only option.
“Generally, we have found an increased volume of input and a more balanced range of opinions from engaged residents due to the flexibility and ease of online engagement,” the report says. “Having the option to resume in-person engagement will support our efforts to further increase public input.”
This year the RDN has already planned 50 public engagement events of various types.
Rachelle Stein-Wotten, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Gabriola Sounder