The Office de consultation publique de Montréal (OCPM) would like to thank all of its collaborators who contributed to the promotion of Office activities in 2018.
The OCPM would also like to take this opportunity to thank the groups, organizations, citizens, civil servants and developers who participated in the various public consultations.
The Office owes the success of its public consultations to the involvement of borough and central department employees, professionals, management personnel and elected officials, who gave their help and expertise to help citizens and commissioners to understand the projects and issues involved.
Without everyone’s good will and co-operation, the OCPM’s public consultations would not have achieved their primary goal of providing Montrealers with pertinent information and data on the various projects, with a view to gathering their opinions and comments.
Montréal’s democratic vitality continues to grow, as reflected in many of the projects led by the Office and other relevant players. The increased public interest in integrating elements of participatory democracy into governance tools, the popularization of various methods of online contribution, and the citizens’ appropriation of devices such as the right of initiative provided for under the Montréal Charter of Rights and Responsibilities are but a few indicators of that growth. The people increasingly expect to be involved in defining changes that affect their living environment. At the same time, the municipal administration, from elected officials to public servants, seems increasingly open to citizens’ involvement in City affairs. Calls for citizen contributions are on the rise.
Independent public consultation holds an enviable position among mechanisms giving citizens a voice. With its reputation as a neutral independent body attuned to the needs of all parties interested in development projects under public examination, the Office continues to enjoy a greater level of trust from citizens and elected officials regarding major issues in Montréal. The large number of files entrusted to us and the record number of participations documented over the past few years attest to it.
However, beyond those wonderful successes, the year that just ended seems to herald an important new step in the development of the Office, which will have a significant effect on the organization.
In addition to the increased number of mandates over the past year, we also observed a significant change in the type of mandates entrusted to us. While in its first years of existence the Office intervened primarily in the case of real estate projects, it now increasingly receives mandates pertaining to land-use planning and public policy, which are carried out upstream of the decisionmaking process and aim to identify needs, a vision, and orientations. That type of consultation calls for the establishment of practices decidedly more complex than simple information sessions followed by presentations of briefs. They require more resources and more time, as it is often necessary, in the absence of concrete projects, to deploy an arsenal of tools to explain the issues involved, generate consensuses, and get people involved by meeting them in their own living environment.
In its first years of existence the Office intervened primarily in the case of real estate projects, it now increasingly receives mandates pertaining to land-use planning and public policy, which are carried out upstream of the decision-making process and aim to identify needs, a vision, and orientations.
Moreover, experience has taught us that the documentation accompanying that type of mandate is often incomplete. In order for those consultations to be fully productive and to generate constructive suggestions, a major course of reflection is required to determine the type and amount of documentation that must accompany them and to ensure that the consultation itself arrives at the right moment in the decision-making process.
We must also give technological evolution its due. It is increasingly leading us to virtual spaces to visualize projects, initiate discussions, and take the pulse of the population on specific subjects. It is also responsible for a good part of the increased participation observed this year. At the same time, we must acknowledge the fact that virtual participation leads to increased real-time participation. The number of participants in the information sessions and the average number of opinions presented to the commissions have also experienced strong growth since the advent of virtual spaces in the consultation process.
In 2014, during the Wikicity event initiated by the OCPM in cooperation with the Bureau d’audience publique sur l’environnement, we caught a glimpse of the potential of digital means to inform a larger number of people. However, it was more difficult for us at the time to identify the elements required for a good public debate using digital means. Four years later, our various activities have led us to redefine the traditional division of skills between experts and citizens. By creating opportunities for learning, education and information, the use of digital tools adds a new dimension to citizen participation. Despite a certain immediacy, they reveal an increasingly precious use-based knowledge. We are faced with the fact that our paradigm has changed, and that the issues raised no longer involve countering the risk of going adrift, propaganda or misinformation during a consultation, but rather putting to good use a vibrant citizen energy that is now equipped to contribute, to intervene at the design stages of projects and even, ultimately, to co-create them. That leads us to rethink the sequence of the consultation process and to redefine the way that information it brings to light enriches the report.
Another new development is that three mandates entrusted to the Office over the past year have been the result of citizens’ interventions under the right of initiative. In the first instance (the removal of private-vehicle through-traffic on Camilien-Houde Way and Remembrance Road), the petitioners agreed to withdraw their request and trust the mechanisms of the Office to evaluate the pilot project. That was an entirely new situation for us.
In the second case (Assomption-Sud/logistics park), the by-laws in force at the time – which have since been amended – did not allow recourse to the Office, despite strong demand on the part of citizens. The new project submitted for consultation therefore followed in the wake of two other consultation exercises already carried out by the borough, and posed a specific challenge in terms of consultation design. In the third case, dealing with issues of systemic racism and discrimination, almost 30,000 paper signatures were collected by petitioners. As the City Council has recently amended the right of initiative by-law to allow the collection of electronic signatures, we can expect a significant increase in the number of those types of files and situations.
Lastly, it is important to note that all of the experiments involving participation without exclusion and the removal of obstacles to participation carried out by the Office over the past few years came to fruition in 2018. It is safe to say that the diversification of means of consultation has allowed us to reach a new tipping point in terms of participation. From an average of a few dozen participations at the time of our founding in 2002, we now have thousands of participants who are making their voices heard using the various tools available to them. That new norm creates enormous expectations and leads to comparisons among processes in a universe where citizens’ participation in the decision-making process is an issue of variable geometry.
Montréal adopted its first public consultation policy in 2004. In January 2006, it also adopted the Montréal Charter of Rights and Responsibilities. The latter was revised in 2011 and is expected to be submitted for public consultation “from time to time” in order to be updated. Furthermore, the adoption by the Québec Government of Bill 122 in June 2017 obliges municipalities wishing to opt out of referendums to adopt a public consultation policy in conformity with the law. In view of all of the elements and evolutions presented above, it is time, in order to preserve openings to citizen participation, to further define consultation mechanisms available to Montrealers, to harmonize their application, and to better identify their ultimate goals.
The colloquium of the Institut des politiques alternatives de Montréal (IPAM) held in the fall of 2018 questioned Montréal elected officials responsible for participatory democracy on the subject and suggested, among other things, that the mandate of the OCPM be expanded to enable it to act throughout the existing territory of the Island of Montréal.
Furthermore, a number of speakers in various forums suggested that the OCPM should play a statutory role in the management of files affecting several of the agglomeration’s boroughs or cities and in the management of emblematic or strategic collectives (Old Montréal, downtown, Mount Royal, protected areas and sites, strategic policies, etc.).
We firmly believe that for participatory democracy to gain its full meaning, it must be entrenched in legislation making public consultations obligatory and better defining their framework.
Along the same lines, the OCPM has heard many invitations issued to the legislator to amend the law so that the various bodies on the island – in addition to the city council and executive committee, which are already authorized to do so – such as the agglomeration council, borough councils, and city councils of the reconstituted cities, have the authority to give us mandates to hold public consultations on matters that fall under their jurisdictions. To our minds, those matters need to be discussed.
One of the mandates of the Office is to recommend regulations aiming to govern public consultations, regardless of the municipal players conducting them. Two years ago, the OCPM challenged itself to play a more prominent role in accompanying and serving as a resource for boroughs and departments with a view to improving participatory democracy practices. The approximately one hundred public servants we have trained to date in the challenges of consultation clearly demonstrate that boroughs are increasingly concerned with involving their citizens. We are also called upon by a growing number of central city departments to assist them in developing participatory processes. Moreover, those awareness-raising and training activities are included in more and more action plans, for example the 2018-2020 Montréal action plan on homelessness, and the one on social development.
When resources allow, the Office is happy to get involved in those types of activities. However, if the short- or medium-term goal was to perpetuate that kind of support, the work would need to be reorganized, as a consulting resource represents a particular work object requiring specific skills and follow-up.
By supporting citizen participation, we firmly believe that we help to develop the feeling of belonging of all citizens as well as their desire to become a positive active force for the evolution of our city.
In our 2008 annual report, we underscored the difficulty that citizens have in measuring the impact of their participation in Office consultations outside of the public reports of the OCPM, as well as their difficulty in tracing the actions of the administration following the submission of those reports.
Ten years later, the issue has yet to be resolved. To ensure that consultations are fair, equitable and productive for all parties concerned, we must ensure that retroaction becomes an intrinsic part of the consultation process. For the time being, the process is somewhat random and varies according to the departments or boroughs involved. Considering the importance of issues submitted to the Office in recent years, the more frequent recourse to upstream consultations, and the growing popularity of the rights of initiative, it is time to adopt an automatic response mechanism to the recommendations of the commissions. As we suggested in 2008, the mechanism could be something like what is provided for under the by-law regulating the right of initiative or what already exists for permanent commissions of the city council. In fact, when one of those commissions tables a report, the executive committee has a deadline for informing city council of the follow-up that will be carried out. That practice could inspire a procedure that also applies to the reports of the Office.
At the closing of 2018, which marked an increase in the pace of work and a diversification in the activities of the Office, I would like to reiterate our interest and enthusiasm in putting the expertise developed by the OCPM at the service of Montrealers. By supporting citizen participation, we firmly believe that we help to develop the feeling of belonging of all citizens as well as their desire to become a positive active force for the evolution of our city.
The mission of the Office de consultation publique de Montréal, created under section 75 of the Charter of Ville de Montréal, is to carry out public consultation mandates with regard to land-use planning and development matters under municipal jurisdiction, and on all projects designated by the city council or executive committee.
The Office de consultation publique de Montréal, in operation since September 2002, is an independent organization whose members are neither elected officials nor municipal employees. It receives its mandates from the city council or executive committee.
The work of the Office de consultation publique de Montréal is carried out in light of two sections of the Charter of Ville de Montréal, sections 83 and 89. They provide that the Office must hold consultations on mandates it receives according to criteria provided for under the Charter. They also mention that the Office must promote best public consultation practices, notably with Montréal authorities. The Charter also stipulates that the agglomeration council may give the Office a mandate to hold a consultation on its territory when a project targeted by section 89 of the Charter falls under the jurisdiction of the agglomeration.
The mandates involving amendments to the Master Plan and by-laws are usually given under section 89, while the examination of plans and policies is conducted under section 83. The latter also allows us to develop partnerships and provide advice and support for all consultations led by a City body.
A large number of consultations were held in 2018, some involving the continuation of projects that began in 2017. One example is the public consultation on the Master Plan for parc Jean-Drapeau, which will end in 2019. That consultation is one of the most important for the Office in terms of participation. Citizens and organizations took advantage of the many opportunities provided to express their opinions about the area’s current and future issues, with a view to drawing up a 2019-2029 management and development plan for the Société du parc Jean-Drapeau. Thousands of citizens and a good number of organizations took part in the consultation activities, either online or in person. The activities took various forms: public meetings; online questionnaires; and on-site presence of Office staff at events to take the pulse of park users. In total, the consultation registered over 7000 participations. The commission’s report will be submitted in the winter of 2019.
Many of the consultation projects entrusted to us are extremely important and complex. A good example is the project involving through-traffic on Mount Royal. The mandate we received was twofold: an evaluation of the pilot project to remove private-vehicle through-traffic along Camillien-Houde Way and Remembrance Road; and the development of a vision for the future of those access road to Mount Royal Park.
The file is unique in many respects. Firstly, we received the mandate in a context where citizens had already undertaken a process under the Right of initiative. The City Clerk had announced the admissibility of the citizens’ request when the Office was given the mandate. One of the first things it did was to set up a meeting with the petitioners to familiarize them with the process and procedures followed by the Office for that kind of project. In that context, the petitioners set aside their initial process to take part in the consultation that was just beginning. The other unusual element of the consultation is that it dealt with an evaluation process and that it was carried out before, during and after the pilot project, which was a new situation for the Office.
Numerous activities were held throughout the pilot project, some on the site itself, others taking the form of discussion workshops in boroughs surrounding the mountain. Exceptionally, a meeting was also held for residents of the City of Westmount. Digital tools were also used, notably questionnaires and an online consultation platform. Those means of participating in the consultation were very well received. The questionnaires were filled out by 6715 people, while the online consultation platform led to the creation of 2210 profiles generating more than 4000 contributions (votes or arguments) on the 20 proposals put forth by the City, or on the 103 new suggestions made by citizens. During the hearing-of-opinions period, the commission received over 680 opinions, orally or in writing. Furthermore, some 1200 opinions were expressed online. In total, there were more than 13,000 participations in the consultation, for which the report will be submitted in the spring of 2019. Those figures make this the consultation that has attracted the greatest citizen participation in the history of the Office.
In total, there were more than 13,000 participations in the consultation, for which the report will be submitted in the spring of 2019. Those figures make this the consultation that has attracted the greatest citizen participation in the history of the
We also carried out mandates focusing on planning for some areas, including two main ones. The first dealt with the creation of a large nature park in the Turcot and Saint-Jacques escarpment sector, and the second with a redevelopment project for McGill College Avenue, downtown.
In the case of the nature park, the commission held an information session followed by four creative workshops. The workshops led to the elaboration of almost a dozen development scenarios envisioned by citizens. Those proposals were the subject of a presentation during an evening reviewing the consultation. Later, the hearing-ofopinions phase allowed the submission of some 60 contributions from citizens. Lastly, an online questionnaire and the opportunity to submit mini-briefs online allowed the contribution of over 600 more citizens and groups. In total, there were over 1500 participations for this consultation, for which the report will be submitted in the winter of 2019.
As to the redevelopment project for McGill College Avenue, the consultation took several forms. It began with two information evenings, the first presenting the City’s plans, and the second offering complementary presentations. The Office also organized a series of on-site animation activities by closing off part of the street. Moreover, the Office was on site with a scale model and animation material, in the entrance halls of a number of the office buildings lining the avenue and in the surrounding area. That on-site presence aimed to gather opinions from the primary users of McGill College Avenue, i.e. the people who work in the office towers along the avenue. Those activities reached a broad spectrum of the people concerned. In total, almost 1500 participations were compiled for the consultation, two-thirds of which took place online, either by viewing information sessions, responding to the online questionnaire, or contributing an opinion online on the Office Web site. The report was submitted in February 2019.
Some of the consultation mandates received in 2018 will only be carried out in 2019, although the preparatory work for those files was done this year. Such is the case for the upstream process that will lead to the adoption of a Special Planning Program (SPP) in the Faubourgs area of the borough of Ville-Marie. It is a consultation to be held throughout a vast territory of the borough of Ville-Marie and involving multiple problems. The territory that is the focus of the consultation stretches east from Saint-Hubert Street to Fullum Street, and south from Sherbrooke Street all the way to the St. Lawrence River. It already comprises very densely constructed areas, but also areas to be redeveloped, such as the Molson/Coors plant, the Radio-Canada site, and the Porte Sainte-Marie sector. The main part of the consultation will be held in the first half of 2019.
The consultation file on the Lachine-Est sector follows a similar path. It also involves a vast sector, but one that is almost entirely to be developed. It is also one of the last of that kind remaining in proximity to downtown. There again, the public consultation activities will be held in the first half of 2019.
That is also the case for the vast upcoming consultation on systemic racism and discrimination, stemming from a right of initiative exercised over the summer. In that case, a preconsultation with 16 of the 19 boroughs was held in the latter part of 2018. The exercise allowed the commission to meet with City executives and employees, and with relevant partners in the community. A number of themes were addressed during those meetings, including issues of governance, social development, housing, employment, and the fight against poverty. The major part of the consultation will be held in the first half of the coming year.
The situation is a little different in the case of the consultation for the sector of l’Assomption- Sud, where the initial mandate we received was revoked over the course of the year to be replaced by another version over the summer. We received the basic document required to launch the consultation from the City departments responsible for the file in January 2019.
Everyone applauded the Sisters’ exceptional gift to the community, and the project was fairly well received.
Lastly, we received only one mandate pertaining to a by-law this year, under section 89 of the Charter. It involved a repurposing and conversion project for the mother house of the Sisters of St. Anne, in the borough of Lachine. The project submitted for consultation called for the construction of a new on-site residence for the Sisters, and of a new wing onto the existing buildings. The height of the two new constructions would not exceed that of the current buildings. Some 450 residential units would be added, including 150 for the Sisters and 240 for seniors ages 75 and over or with loss of autonomy. The plan also provides for keeping and rehabilitating the chaplain’s house, converting the chapel into a multi-functional room available to the public, enlarging the parking lot along Esther-Blondin Street, creating office space, maintaining and enhancing existing green spaces, and developing a public park on the site.
The public consultation addressed a draft bylaw authorizing the demolition, construction, transformation and occupation of buildings for residential purposes on the land of the mother house of the Sisters of St. Anne. The project required a number of variances from the zoning by-law of the borough of Lachine, notably in terms of maximum number of storeys and parking ratio.
More than 200 people attended or participated in the information and hearing-of-opinions sessions. The entire information session was viewed and followed, on a live or recorded webcast, by more than 500 people, in addition to those present in the hall. The commission received 16 written contributions, nine of which we also presented orally, as well as an oral presentation without the filing of a brief.
Everyone applauded the Sisters’ exceptional gift to the community, and the project was fairly well received. However, the participants expressed reservations regarding some aspects of the project, pointed out important issues, and proposed changes.
While it recommends that the project be favourably received, the commission believes that several amendments to the draft by-law are required, notably to protect the important heritage involved, to ensure that the intentions of the Congregation are respected, to promote the project’s insertion into its environment, especially its interaction with the Duff Court sector, a precarious, closed off area, and to increase its financial viability by examining densification hypotheses for the site. In the eyes of the commission, those changes are essential in order to address the issues raised during the consultation and to increase the quality of life throughout the area.
In total this year, we counted 24,000 participations in Office activities, either by attending consultations, asking questions, filing briefs, or participating using the digital tools increasingly employed by the Office.
Furthermore, the Office organized and held a number of events, including public consultation training addressed to professional civil servants from the boroughs and central departments. The training was provided within the framework of the activities of the Comité mixte de développement professionnel (CMDP), under the joint responsibility of the union of professionals and the Direction des ressources humaines. Some 60 participants benefited from the training. We have begun a public consultation training cycle for elected officials, as we do after every general election. The first session was held in December 2018, in cooperation with the Ombudsman’s office, and two others were held in February 2019.
The Office also continued its participation in an operation to promote the City’s consultation practices, organized by the Bureau de la présidence du conseil municipal. The activity, known as the “Caravane de la démocratie,” allows citizens from a neighbourhood to learn about the City’s public consultation mechanisms and to talk with the people in charge. In addition to the Office, the caravan includes a number of other members, such as the Ombudsman, advisory councils, and council commissions.
In closing, it should be noted that one mandate is still pending. It involves a consultation on the report of the interdepartmental committee on the use of surplus buildings of the university health centres of the Université de Montréal (CHUM) and McGill University (MUHC). In the absence of the document that is to be the subject of the consultation, no action has been taken regarding the mandate, which was entrusted to the Office by the executive committee in September 2013.
The year 2018 was one of atypical consultations and major participation successes. Although the spectacular increase in participation is attributable to the ever growing number of ways to participate on line, it was also clearly apparent that increased online participation contributed to increased in-person participation. As online participation also promotes the reception of e mails, the Offi ce saw its distribution list double in one year, reaching almost 6000 people subscribed to our newsletters.
The year 2018 brought us unprecedented, atypical consultation mandates, requiring us to devise different communication strategies. In order to conduct two major metropolitan consultations of unusually long duration, we developed strategies aimed at maintaining people’s commitment over time.
While the consultation processes had been developed to create synergy between in-person events and online tools, they required the support of sustained information and feedback campaigns. To that end, lists of interested people were drawn up during the implementation of those processes, through the use of various digital and organic means. Later on, those people received invitations to participate in the various phases of the consultation, in addition to receiving regular updates of available information.
In the case of more traditional consultations (fewer steps and more limited timeframe) social networks are generally the main channels of communication to identify citizens interested in the issues, inform them of the consultation, and encourage them to participate. The social networks allow us to reach citizens directly, to generate commitment, and to recommend short-term action, such as attending an event or contributing on line.
This year, the nature of the mandates, and especially their duration, forced us to develop more complex strategies. Firstly, to cut back on costs, we reserved advertising for direct action (reserving one’s place at an event, answering an online questionnaire, etc.), and for targeting new interested persons, focusing on the transmission of regular newsletters (emails) to provide continuous updates on the progression of the file and to maintain the commitment of interested citizens.
The complexity of the files we handled, and the development of best practices in terms of using online questionnaires to complement more traditional consultation activities, led us to develop shorter questionnaires, with better targeted subjects. Our work in 2018 therefore involved a greater number of short thematic questionnaires disseminated at various times during the process. For example, the consultation on the future of parc Jean-Drapeau involved five of them: an introductory questionnaire, followed by four thematic questionnaires. The fine-tuning of our methods, best practices that inspire us and to which we contribute through the various iterations of our own strategies, allow us to achieve completion rates very often higher than 95%. With that type of questionnaire, one out of every two respondents usually agrees to receive our newsletters post participation.
In 2018, the Office also published a public notice in a daily newspaper and issued 16 press releases and media invitations. Also, for every public consultation, an advertising campaign was conducted on Facebook. In addition to the notices, the Office sends out, as required, invitations directly to citizens and organizations concerned with the ongoing consultation project. Usually, the Office distributes an information flyer announcing the consultation to the people affected by a given project. Depending on the consultation, the distribution may cover from 1500 to 68,000 homes. Last year, more than 70,000 flyers were distributed in areas neighbouring projects that were the subject of a consultation. Flyers and posters were also distributed to concerned organizations and posters were put up on sites at parc Jean-Drapeau and on Mount Royal.
The Office makes sustained use of social networks to promote its activities with Montrealers. We regularly use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and Flickr.
Facebook remains our most dynamic community and effective means to interact with Montrealers, inform them, and encourage their participation. The advertising tools it provides, including ads on Instagram, allow us to precisely target citizens concerned with the subjects of our consultations. We ended 2018 with 9251 subscribers to our Facebook page, and some 25,000 people interacted with our page this year, while the total reach of our publications was over 732,000, i.e. the number of people who saw content associated with our page (the last two figures compile unique users/day).
This year, we opted for professional webcasting that allows us to transmit information sessions, including the public question period, on Facebook and the Office Web site and, since the end of the year, on Twitter/Periscope. We had been broadcasting all the presentations made in information sessions since 2017, but many citizens were asking that we also show the question periods. We have received many communications from Montrealers expressing their satisfaction on that subject. We have learned through experience that allowing people to follow meetings on line does not empty the consultation halls (this was a concern for many), but rather encourages more people to participate. The viewing statistics for 2018 are telling: almost all of the events were full. Although it remains necessary to attend the meetings in person to participate in discussions, allowing people to watch live or recorded webcasts of information evenings clearly allows us to reach a greater number of citizens. In 2018, live and recorded webcasts of our information sessions had 4369 views, compared with 2077 in 2017. Video archives of those presentations are also available on Facebook and on our YouTube channel.
This year, the Office Web site continued to grow at the sustained pace of the consultations, as the number of visits and mass of documentation markedly increased. More than 45,000 visitors consulted the site’s pages, with a large majority (about 84%) being new visitors on our platform.
With the diversification of its consultation methods, the Office strove to transform the presentation of its message and activities when mandates called for a more complex process.
For example, the consultation on the future of parc Jean-Drapeau was handled differently than others in terms of Web usage. With a view to presenting the information clearly and concisely, the Office developed parcjeandrapeau2028.com, a site providing information on the consultation and relevant process in an attractive illustrated format, on a single page. Since its launch, the site has received 2350 visits.
For the consultation on Mount Royal access roads, we used a cooperative platform driven by Cap Collectif to support discussions among participants and the development of opinions. More than 2200 profiles were created and over 4000 contributions collected. The site acces-mont-royal.com, which provided access to the online consultation platform, was visited by almost 9500 unique users over the year. It was the second time that the OCPM used the Cap Collectif participatory tool; the first was during the consultation on reducing Montrealers’ dependence on fossil fuels, in 2015-2016. The major advantages of that type of cooperative tool is that it allows direct interaction between citizens and that the evolution of the debate is completely transparent, in real time, which, in tense situations, helps to develop the participants’ trust in the process.
This year, the opportunity to express one’s opinion on line during the hearing-of-opinions phase was extended to the consultations as a whole. New functional capabilities have been developed for the site to facilitate the posting of thematic forms and the publication of contributions.
We ended the year with the launch of a second dedicated site, faubourgs.ocpm.qc.ca, to initiate the consultation on the Faubourgs area. If the site follows the model developed for the consultation on the future of parc Jean-Drapeau, it will include an original interactive map presenting 13 areas for which a detailed record prepared by the borough is provided.
Lastly, the Office is maintaining its efforts to improve access to its Web tools, their userfriendliness, and their capacity to adapt to various mobile devices. In 2018, preparatory work began for the new version of the official site. The objective is to release it sometime in 2019.
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(in person + filing of brief)
|Sisters of St. Anne||201||632||833|
|Mount Royal access roads||1,555||11,641||13,196|
|Turcot nature park||375||1,149||1,524|
|Systemic racism and discrimination||315||0||315|
Since its establishment in 2002, the Offi ce has developed a network of contacts with organizations with missions similar to its own, contacts that have helped to improve the OCPM’s methods of operation. The external activities of the Offi ce promote skill dissemination, development and the sharing of Montrealers’ experiences.
Over the course of the year, locally and throughout Québec, the Office is asked to present its role and activities to various groups. Firstly, to the Commission de la présidence du conseil municipal, before which the president of the Office presents the report of activities and discusses the work and future orientations of the OCPM with the members of the commission. Meetings were also held with a wide variety of groups: students, groups of citizens interested in public consultation, in a number of boroughs, and groups from other organizations, such as the delegation we hosted from the City Council of Chambéry, in France.
In that category, we should mention the presence of our president as keynote speaker at the Forum sur l’acceptabilité sociale organized in Québec City by the citizens’ organization “votepour.ca.” She was also a member of a panel at the event.
We should also mention the half-day of training given by the president on communication and the fight against exclusion to the staff and commissioners of the BAPE and, on the same occasion, a meeting with the people in charge of public consultation for the Ville de Québec.
Also notable is the participation of the Office and its president in the Deuxièmes rencontres nationales de la participation, in Lille, France, where she participated in a workshop organized by the International Observatory on Participatory Democracy (IOPD), presenting the best practices of the Office. Moreover, the trip provided opportunities to meet with our partners of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and with the council of Loos-en-Gohelle, a community in the north of France that has adopted very innovative citizen participation practices. Our co-operation with the OECD continued this year with the president’s participation in one mission to Jordan and Egypt, and another to Morocco.
A visit and meetings between the president and the people in charge at ENDA-Africa were held in Dakar to discuss new developments in citizen participation in Africa. Those exchanges were held within the context of the meeting of ENDA directors for West Africa. ENDA is also the Africa regional headquarters of the International Observatory on Participatory Democracy, of which the Office is a member. The Office has maintained contacts with ENDA-Africa and its director, Mr. Bachir Kanouté, for many years.
In the winter, we received a visit from Mr. Frédéric Janssens, secretary general of the Walloon parliament. The meeting led to other opportunities over the course of the following months. The president of the Office was invited to sit on a panel held at the Walloon parliament in Namur as part of a meeting of the association of the regional parliaments of Europe. The association brings together 73 regional parliaments from throughout Europe.
The year 2018 was one of sustained communication with the Haitian municipal community. Firstly, in the month of March, the secretary general gave a presentation on the Office to a Haitian delegation of elected officials who were visiting Canada as part of the Municipal Cooperation Program established by the Canadian Federation of Municipalities (CFM), the Union des municipalités du Québec (UMQ), and the Ville de Montréal. The goal of the mission was to offer participants opportunities to learn the Canadian approach and, more specifically, the Québec approach to leadership and good governance.
Later, we received a visit from Mr. Emmanuel Mareus, who is in charge of communications for the Communauté des municipalités de la Région des Palmes. The meeting culminated in a training mission to Haiti by Office associate Guy Grenier, also carried out under the Cooperation Program of the CFM, UMQ and the Ville de Montréal. The training initiative, attended by communication officers and civil society groups, dealt with good practices in matters pertaining to public consultation and citizen participation.
We hosted in our offices a citizens’ consultation organized by the French Consulate General in Montréal within the framework of president Macron’s vast consultation on Refounding Europe. The consultation was inspired by the tools we had developed for the Vert Montréal project.
We also welcomed Mr. Roberto Maia, director of the bureau of coordination and promotion of LGBT+ rights and racial equality for the City of Joao Pessoa, Paraiba, Brazil. Within the framework of our theme “participation without exclusion,” we held discussions with Mr. Maia and organized meetings for him with the people responsible for those files at the City of Montréal and with the main organizations of Montréal’s LGBT+ community.
This year, we continued our important collaboration with MTElles, a project initiated by Concertation Montréal. In partnership with the Coalition montréalaise des Tables de quartier and Relais-femmes, MTElles supports the implementation of innovative practices within the borough councils, city councils (Montréal agglomeration), Montréal consultative bodies, and Tables de quartier. The aim is to promote the equal participation in democratic and community life of women of various origins and from all social and economic backgrounds. The initiative, launched in 2017, will continue over the coming years.
The Office also provides a presence at various international forums focusing on issues of participatory democracy. The most important of those forums is the International Observatory on Participatory Democracy, the IOPD. The Office has been a member of the network for many years. In 2018, the Office participated in the 18th conference of the IOPD, held in Barcelona, where it released the Minutes of the 17th Conference, held in Montréal in June 2017. The Office was also in charge of a workshop with a panel focusing on participation without exclusion. On that occasion, the president presented the main advances of the OCPM in that area. Mr. Roberto Maia, our colleague from Joao Pessoa, who visited us this year, also sat on the panel and outlined the activities organized by his city to fight the exclusion of LGBT+ communities, as did Mr. Sébastien Keiff, a specialist in the development of co-constructed territorial observation and animation systems. Since 2008, he has integrated the Mission Agenda 21 of the Conseil départemental de la Gironde as the person in charge of citizen participation and the evaluation of public policies. He is also a member of the network Together International, and a SPIRAL animator: a rising construction process of programs of co-responsibility for the well-being of all. The panel was brilliantly moderated by Ms. Danaé Moyano Rodriguez of the Commission nationale du débat public, the CNDP.
Lastly, in addition to sitting on a panel during the IOPD Conference, where he presented the Office, the secretary general of the Office participated in the Ciudades Democraticas, a conference held in Madrid focusing on the opportunities that technology provides to promote citizen participation.
The following is a breakdown by major category:
(Scroll from left to right to see the content)
|Transportation and communications||$130,000|
|Professional and administrative services||$950,000|
|Rent and maintenance||$340,000|
In compliance with the Charter of Ville de Montréal, the city council provides the Office with the funds required to carry out its mandate. Under sections 83 and 89 of the Charter, the Office must hold all consultations requested by the executive committee or city council. The financial statements of the Office are audited by the auditor of the city and presented to city council.
In 2018, the number of mandates received and the scale of the various activities of the Office resulted in the funds allocated at the beginning of the year in the annual City budget being insufficient to carry out all of the mandates. Consequently, the executive committee granted the Office additional credits of $650,000, as provided for under section 82 of the Charter of Ville de Montréal. It is the second time since 2013 that additional credits were required during the course of the year, but the sixth time in the history of the Office. However, a number of consultation projects were not carried out in 2018 owing to delays in the production of basic documents by the City. Consequently, a significant portion of the additional credits was not used.
Legal deposit - Bibliothèque et archives nationales du Québec, 2019
Legal deposit - Library and Archives Canada, Canada 2019
ISBN 978-2-924750-47-6 (imprimé)
ISBN 978-2-924750-50-6 (PDF)
Electronic version available at : www.ocpm.qc.ca
Version française papier disponible sur demande
Version française PDF disponible sur le site Internet