FAQs

What if I live just outside the Grandview-Woodland study area, can I still be involved?

Yes. You can contribute to the process by:

  • Attending the three public roundtable meetings hosted by the Citizens’ Assembly
  • Attending the open sessions of the Citizens’ Assembly
  • Submitting ideas on the Citizens’ Assembly website for the members of the Assembly to consider
  • Following the progress of the Citizens’ Assembly on its website
  • Participating in City led sub-area workshops, which will report back to the Citizens’ Assembly

Where will the Assembly’s meetings take place?

The Citizens’ Assembly meetings will take place at one of two venues:

1) Croatian Cultural Centre, 3250 Commercial Drive, Vancouver BC.

2) Vancouver Opera, 1945 McLean Drive, Vancouver BC.

How were the Terms of Reference developed?

The Terms of Reference for the Assembly were developed through research and consultation undertaken by the City. This included:

  • Best practices research into other Citizens’ Assembly processes
  • Expert interviews
  • Community workshops
  • Online questionnaire
  • Supplemental focus groups

In total, several hundred community members participated in the various engagement activities related to the development of the Terms of Reference.

What is the purpose of the Terms of Reference?

The Assembly’s Terms of Reference  give clear directions to the Assembly. They outline the scope, tasks and processes of the Assembly, as well as the roles and responsibilities of each party involved. The Terms of Reference also create a means to evaluate whether the Assembly has lived up to its promise.

What is the budget for the Citizens’ Assembly?

In September 2012, Vancouver City Council allocated $275,000 to support a range of activities related to the development of the Grandview Woodland Community Plan, including the Citizens’ Assembly.

What is the role of the Citizens’ Assembly after it releases its final report?

The work of the Citizens’ Assembly will officially conclude after its final report is presented to Vancouver City Council on or before June 30, 2015.

Members of the Assembly will be asked to complete a special online survey to gauge their satisfaction with the draft plan. Results of this survey will be made public before the draft Community Plan is submitted to Vancouver City Council for consideration.

Are there any limits placed on the work of the Citizens’ Assembly?

The Citizens’ Assembly is empowered to make any recommendation it sees fit in its final report. However, for the Assembly’s recommendations to be incorporated into the Grandview-Woodland Community Plan they must:

  • Be broadly consistent with the City’s planning principles and professional planning practices
  • Take care not to contravene City policy, and
  • Avoid placing an undue fiscal burden on the City or area residents.

Vancouver City Council will also have the final authority to accept, modify or reject specific recommendations from the Assembly at its discretion.

How will the Citizens’ Assembly represent all Grandview-Woodland residents, business owners and property owners?

Members of the Citizens’ Assembly will not simply represent their individual interests or the interests of their particular community. Instead, members will be asked to represent the interests of all Grandview-Woodland residents, business owners, and property owners.

To ensure that members are able to consider the diverse perspectives of Grandview-Woodland, the Assembly design team will:

  • Design a balanced curriculum that reflects the issues and concerns of the community
  • Invite people from under-represented groups to speak to the Assembly
  • Host focus groups for under-represented groups (such as youth or recent immigrants)

Will there be an opportunity for community groups to provide input to the Citizens’ Assembly?

Yes. Community groups and organizations will be able to participate in the Public Roundtable meetings, and will also be invited to submit their ideas for the Citizens’ Assembly’s consideration on the Assembly’s website. Community groups and organizations may also be invited to make presentations to the Citizens’ Assembly.

How will the topics and speakers for the Citizens’ Assembly be chosen?

The topics and speakers for the Citizens’ Assembly will be selected during the summer of 2014 by the Assembly team. The Assembly team will draw from previous community consultations conducted by the City of Vancouver and community responses to the draft Emerging Directions. The Assembly design team will also be seeking input from the community on the curriculum on its website and through interviews with community members.

The Assembly design team will also rely on the advice of the Advisory Committee to ensure that it has developed a balanced curriculum that will provide the members of the Assembly with sufficient information to prepare their report. This curriculum, like all materials provided to members of the Assembly, will be made public and posted on this website.

What is the role of the Advisory Committee? How will the Advisory Committee be selected?

The role of the Advisory Committee is to provide guidance to the Chair and Assembly Design Team to ensure that the Assembly’s curriculum is balanced and that the conduct of the Assembly is consistent with good democratic practices.

The members of the Advisory Committee will be selected by the Chair and will include representatives with expertise in deliberative processes and urban planning. The Advisory Committee will not comment on the recommendations made by the Citizens’ Assembly.

Meet the Advisory Committee.

What is the role of the Chair of the Citizens’ Assembly? How will the Chair be selected?

It is the Chair’s responsibility, with the support of the Assembly Design Team, to:

  • Oversee a fair and representative member selection process.
  • Develop a balanced learning program that involves residents, community organizations and experts to provide a range of perspectives.
  • Support respectful dialogue and deliberation amongst members.
  • Ensure that regular updates concerning the Assembly’s proceedings are made publicly available.
  • Provide opportunities to inform and convey perspectives from local residents and stakeholders to Assembly members.
  • Produce and deliver a Final Report concerning the Assembly’s activities and recommendations to City Council in Spring 2015.
  • Exercise discretion in ensuring the integrity and sound conduct of the Assembly.

The Chair is the lead facilitator for the Assembly and is responsible for the conduct of the facilitation team. Consequently, the Chair does not exercise a vote during the proceedings of the Assembly. The Chair will remain neutral with regards to the recommendations and direction of the Citizens’ Assembly.

The Chair of the Citizens’ Assembly on the Grandview-Woodland Community Plan is Dr. Rachel Magnusson.

Find out more about the Team supporting Assembly members.

Who is designing and hosting the Citizens’ Assembly?

Following a competitive tender, the City of Vancouver contracted MASS LBP, an independent specialist in the design and delivery of deliberative programs, to lead the Citizens’ Assembly. MASS is responsible for the success and impartiality of the work of the Citizens’ Assembly, and will form an Assembly Design Team, which will include the Chair, program staff, and Advisory Committee. The City of Vancouver is funding the Citizens’ Assembly and will provide planning and logistical support to the Assembly Design Team.

Broadly, the design of the Citizens’ Assembly on the Grandview-Woodland Community Plan draws on the important democratic precedents established by the BC and Ontario Citizens’ Assemblies on Electoral Reform. In both cases an independent secretariat was created to lead a body of randomly-selected citizens through a three phase program that included significant time for learning, deliberation and the drafting of consensus recommendations.

Since 2007, MASS LBP has continued to build on this precedent completing twenty Citizens’ Reference Panels concerning a range of important policy topics in BC, Alberta and Ontario. To date more than 650 Canadians have served on a Reference Panel, representing more than 20,000 hours of public deliberation.

If I am not a member of the Citizens’ Assembly, can I attend Citizens’ Assembly meetings?

Throughout the 10 meetings of the Citizens’ Assembly there will be sessions that will be open to the community. These open sessions will take place during some of the learning portions of the Assembly. Community members will be able to listen and ask questions of speakers alongside Assembly members. However, to ensure that Assembly members are able to freely discuss and weigh difficult issues, not all Assembly meetings will be open to the public.

If I am not a member, how can I be involved?

We hope all Grandview-Woodland community members can contribute to the process by:

  • Attending the three public roundtable meetings hosted by the Citizens’ Assembly
  • Attending the open sessions of the Citizens’ Assembly
  • Submitting ideas on the Citizens’ Assembly website for the members of the Assembly to consider
  • Following the progress of the Citizens’ Assembly on its website
  • Participating in City led sub-area workshops, which will report back to the Citizens’ Assembly
  • and more!

Find out how you can contribute and follow along on our Get Involved Pages.

Will the Citizens’ Assembly have translation services?

Consistent with the practice of other large public processes, including the 2005 BC Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform, the working language of the Citizens’ Assembly on the Grandview-Woodland Community Plan is English. Because much of the work of the Assembly occurs in small group discussions, simultaneous translation is impractical and will not be available. However, efforts will be made to ensure that there are opportunities for non-English speaking residents to contribute to the process. We encourage residents to contact us to discuss their language needs by sending an email to help@grandview-woodland.ca
 

What are the six neighbourhood zones?

These six neighbourhood zones do not correspond to any existing sub-communities in Grandview-Woodland. They were created to ensure that there would be a proportionate distribution of Assembly members across all areas of Grandview-Woodland.

Six Areas

What are the boundaries of the Grandview-Woodland study area?

For the purposes of the Citizens’ Assembly, the Grandview-Woodland study area is defined as:

  • West to Clark Drive (east side of street);
  • East to Kamloops Street (west side of street);
  • North to Burrard Inlet; and
  • South to East 12th Ave (south side of the street between Clark and Lakewood), South to Grandview Highway (south side of the street between Lakewood and Nanaimo), and North Grandview Highway (south side of the street between Nanaimo and Kamloops).Six Areas

How were members of the Citizens’ Assembly chosen?

All residents, business owners, and property owners in Grandview-Woodland were invited to volunteer by July 31, 2014 to serve on the Citizens’ Assembly. Invitation letters were mailed to 19,000 area residents, property owners, and business owners in late June 2014. In addition, hundreds of invitations were handed out at street corners, community centers, service centers and other key locations in Grandview-Woodland.

On August 6, 2014, the 48 members of the Citizens’ Assembly were randomly selected during a blind draw from the pool of over 500 registered volunteers. The members were chosen to approximate the demographic composition of the Grandview-Woodland community, using the best available municipal and Statistics Canada data.

The blind selection process ensured:

  • an equal number of men and women;
  • representative numbers of members from six neighbourhood zones;
  • representative numbers of members from each age cohort;
  • and, representative numbers of members who rent their home, own their home or reside in a co-op.

Volunteers were asked to identify if they are Aboriginal to make certain we have representation from this community. In addition, two seats were reserved for business owners in Grandview-Woodland and one seat was reserved for a property owner who does not reside in the neighbourhood study area.

Review the official civic lottery package (pdf).

We recognize that the integrity of the selection process is essential to the legitimacy of the Assembly. The Civic Lottery process is based on the selection mechanism used by the BC and Ontario Citizens’ Assemblies and was a blind, automated process that was conducted without regard to the names of the applicants.  City staff were not informed of the membership of the Assembly until after all members of the Assembly were confirmed.

Meet the Assembly members.

Get the Final Report

Cover

(High Resolution)

The Grandview-Woodland Citizens’ Assembly put local residents at the centre of the community planning process. Forty-eight randomly selected local residents and business owners met eleven times over nine months to learn, listen and put forward their recommendations concerning the future of the Grandview-Woodland neighbourhood. Download their final report here.