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Has bad press led Vancouver to online public consultation?

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Vancouver’s mayor is dodging questions over whether a new online engagement system has been launched in light of bad publicity over the city’s public consultation process. It follows numerous projects that some say council has ‘steamrolled through’.

There have been complaints the Vision-dominated council has pushed its own agenda when it comes to projects like the Kitsilano separated bike lane and some high-density developments in the Marpole and Grandview-Woodlands neighbourhoods, among others.

“We are committed to doing our best consultation whether it’s live, whether it’s now online,” Mayor Gregor Robertson responded when asked if that’s why Vancouver is teaming up with Vision Critical to widen its public engagement scope. “It’s really about engaging people where they are.”

“We have a whole bunch of older institutions and structures for people to voice their concerns like council meetings, letters, emails, phone calls, but they don’t get most people’s opinions to the table for council to hear,” he adds.

TalkVancouver.com is open to anyone over 15 who lives, works, or goes to school in the city to give opinions and feedback on a range of  issues. Surrey did the same earlier this year.