Thriving democracies are built on trust and collaboration. Yet civic engagement often serves to isolate people and perpetuate harm. Our electoral system does not reflect the diversity of voices in our city nor does it make it easy for them to be heard.
OneCity will continue to lower barriers for people who don’t often participate in decision-making processes. Most working people cannot take the time to engage in marathon public hearings where their rights to housing are too often up for debate. We’ll work to make democracy at City Hall, School Board and Parks Board efficient, transparent and equitable.
This election there will be 138 people on the ballot, the most by far of any city in Canada. Our incomprehensible voting system is one of the reasons voter turnout was below 40 per cent in the last election. It also results in the election of officials that are expected to represent hundreds of thousands of people and are therefore less accessible.
OneCity will engage Vancouverites about what residents want from their voting system and ask for suggested changes.
Too many Vancouverites are left out of the city’s decision-making because they either can’t determine how to engage or don’t have the time. When the people affected by decisions aren’t able to share their experience, it hurts our democracy. In the case of the Host Nations, they are not simply stakeholders participating in city processes but governments with decision-making authority in their territories.
OneCity will make sure all voices are not just heard but listened to.
Vancouver is the only city in the Lower Mainland where public hearings go on for weeks and hundreds of people sign up to speak about every development decision. Meanwhile, the city faces multiple urgent crises that demand bold action now. OneCity will respect the time of staff, elected officials and the public to find more effective ways to engage.