Local governments in the Cowichan Valley are making it easier for people to express their opinions and ideas to them.
The Cowichan Valley Regional District and its member municipalities have recently launched PlaceSpeak, an online citizen-engagement platform intended to make it easier to connect with local residents on an ongoing basis.
PlaceSpeak provides a single stop for residents to engage with the issues that directly impact their communities.
Once a resident has signed up for PlaceSpeak, they will automatically be notified of new public consultations based on their chosen notification distance.
The platform’s unique geo-verification technology ensures the CVRD, City of Duncan, Town of Ladysmith, Town of Lake Cowichan and the Municipality of North Cowichan are hearing from residents within the specific boundaries of their jurisdiction.
“Engaging with our residents is a key priority,” said North Cowichan mayor and CVRD board chairman Jon Lefebure.
“PlaceSpeak is a powerful new tool that is convenient and offers greater accessibility for Cowichan residents to engage with their specific municipality, even on their mobile devices. It makes it easy for residents to connect with us, so they can share what really matters to them.”
To start familiarizing residents with the platform, an initial socialization topic has been launched to share favourite local highlights in the region.
Residents are encouraged to share their favourite spot in the Cowichan region and are encouraged to post comments, photos or videos, or pin their favourite locations on a map.
Those who sign up by Jan. 31 will be entered into a draw for a $100 gift certificate to the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre.
Local government staff have already had information booths to help answer questions, help residents sign up for PlaceSpeak, and share more information about the platform on Jan. 21 and 23, and there is a third one planned for the Downtown Duncan Farmers Market on Feb. 18.
To start participating, visit www.placespeak.com/Cowichan.