The weather is changing, and we are refocusing on a new fall season. Beyond those normal excitements, people are realizing that significant municipal as well as provincial and federal decisions are affecting our economic and social well-being.
National pressures are looming with imminent local impacts that call for consolidated preparation and unified responses.
Canadians are beginning to pay more attention to their governance. Many are recognizing that they are not engaged in the politics that affect our lives, but they want their interests to be known.
They want to participate in responsible government and they want effective representation from those elected to the public service.
Democracy is described as a balanced agreement between public interest and the mandate to govern, i.e., our “social contract”. At municipal levels, this requires policies recognizing that:
• Regulations and bylaws must benefit the entire community.
• Declarations and mandates must be appropriately discerned and legally processed.
• Public infrastructure and technology must be managed to serve the public interest.
• Finances must be responsibly, transparently, and accountably reported.
Councillors, MLAs and MPs are not mandated to prescribe public consensus, and bureaucratic opinions and framed surveys simply cannot translate a full spectrum of public interest. Open Civic Forums can accurately inform Councils and track public interest concerning issues such as:
• Policies for social integrity and the freedom of personhood, property and economics.
• Accountable emergency mandates for health, environment or other reasons.
• Kids at risk by educational ideologies bypassing parental consent, funded by local taxes.
• Municipal liabilities from non insurable 5G electromagnetic and micro waves.
• Expenditures that reflect actual value and service to all the local taxpayers and residents.
• Undefined contract services that typically comprise as much as 30 per cent of town budgets.
• Housing policies that invite wholesome residential development.
Groups of citizens continue to form across the country in a variety of ways and with similar goals of building better futures for our families, friends and neighbours.
We all need fresh approaches to networking our communities with open and positive outlooks. Look for and join the development of dynamic engagement forums with your local government.
Fred Van Vliet,