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    Why is public input needed?

    An Official Community Plan (OCP) Review involves significant public involvement from the beginning to the end so that goals and policies reflect community concerns and hopes for the future. During an OCP update, the review process is open, transparent, and requires broad input from residents, elected officials, staff, and stakeholders. It is the District’s priority to engage all residents in a wide number of activities over the course of the review.


    So why do residents get involved with the Community Planning Process? There are lots of reasons why people become engaged with Community Planning work. Here are some of the reasons we’ve heard from people in other communities:

    • I love my neighbourhood and I want it protected…
    • I want better parks for my kids to play in…
    • I’m afraid of losing the nice old buildings that exist…
    • we need to do a better job of dealing with environmental issues…
    • I want to make sure Council and staff knows about my concerns…
    • I want to see more affordable housing…
    • We need food security…
    • We need more living wage jobs…
    • We need more shops, so we don’t have to drive …
    • Because I like things just the way they are…

    So why should you get involved in a process that sets a path for our collective future in Port Hardy?

    1. Your opinion is important

    Community engagement is a vital part of developing or updating an official community plan. It results in better outcomes for all stakeholders, community ownership of the document, but more importantly, decision makers genuinely want to hear ideas and feedback.
    Community engagement is a two-way street between decision makers and stakeholders. Regardless of your qualifications or experience, everyone knows what they like or dislike about their community and has an opinion about what needs to be done and how certain priorities should rank.

    1. Many perspectives

    Community engagement can be one-sided with input from only those community members who have a strong opinion on an issue. Without other perspectives and ideas being aired, decision makers can find it more difficult to balance the community interest as a whole. Decision makers want to hear from you, so they get a balanced understanding of our community’s views. The more views gathered in the process of updating the OCP, the more likely the final product will meet the needs and address the most concerns possible. If you are uncomfortable in sharing your views publicly, you can do so anonymously.

    1. Key information

    Decision makers recognize that there are many people in the community with specialized knowledge or an awareness of certain issues that effect Port Hardy.  They recognize that there are citizens that can offer an intimate and unique relationship to certain parts of the community or issues that they don’t have. Because of this knowledge, community members can provide new information that needs to be considered during the OCP update. More information can make all the difference in making optimal decisions.

    1. Community ownership

    When the community is involved in an official community plan project, they have ownership of it and the decision-making process, which is key to a successful project outcome, even if not all individuals necessarily agree with the outcome.

    1. It’s rewarding

    When our Official Community Plan update has been completed and you can see the fruits of your labour, it feels good knowing that you were involved in something that benefits the community.

    We also often hear from citizens such comments as ‘why should I engage’, ‘no-one will listen,’ or ‘they will just do what they want!’.  Getting involved in our Official Community Plan update is the difference between a plan for the community and a plan by the community.

    1. It doesn’t take much time.

    There will several different ways to get involved and to provide input through out the OCP update process.  None of them require much time and your input is extremely important.  This can be as fast as under a minute with online input opportunities that enable people to text or email their ideas on specific issues.

    Contributing to community planning efforts is an investment in the livability of Port Hardy and there are many reasons everyone should get involved.