Notes on Amalgamation Data

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  • 8/3/2019 Notes on Amalgamation Data

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    Notes on this Data:

    The group Greater Victoria Amalgamation Conversation strongly believes that

    community engagement on all levels is necessary to ensure vital, relevant, and

    visionary decision making.

    For this reason, we chose to invite the public to engage in convivial conversation

    about their thoughts and ideas around the topic of amalgamation. At the meeting,

    the attendees were promised that their concerns would not go unheardthat the

    group would ensure that a report would be prepared on the basis of their comments

    and presented to councils, interested groups and individuals, regardless of whether

    the group continues in its current form, or not.

    This report is written to honour our promise to the many people who attended the

    Community Conversation, discussed their ideas passionately and respectfully and who

    took the time to write for themselves and others, these thoughtful comments.

    Consequently, what we see emerging as a public involvement discourse here was

    formed or guided by two very simple questions: what dont we know? And what

    can we share? These questions were presented in the hopes that the attendees

    would be able to transcend dualistic pro/con discussions. And, judging from these

    insights, the questions were successful. In that sense, the comments and ideas in

    this report came from a relatively pure, undiluted raw public involvement exercise.

    It is important to note that this report does not claim any scientific objectivity or

    statistical representation of the populace of Victoria. While it can be considered

    embedded, social action research, its findings are in no way indicative of the relative

    importance of the issues, nor does this report claim any particular legitimacy as a

    basis for future decision making. The report does, however, provide a snapshot of

    what issues, concerns and ideas that some engaged citizens, who were willing to

    devote their evening to having a conversation on how best we can work together,

    concluded.

    There were no people invited specificallyother than conversations we may have had

    with members of the public. All attendees probably learned about this meetingthrough either print or radio media. There was also an advertisement placed in the

    Times Colonist on the Saturday prior to the event and posters distributed to

    communities.

    At the most basic level, the Greater Victoria Amalgamation Conversation could have

    fulfilled its commitment by presenting the actual white poster papers as the report.

    However, we were mindful that rolled poster papers are bulky, unorganized and

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    impractical to engage with.

    Consequently, we have decided to present the results in a series of mini-reports:

    Where Attendees Reside Currently, comments left on smaller pieces of paper are in

    the document Questions/Comments and the bulk of the responses came in from

    the tables, these can be found, labeled both numerically and alphabetically in no

    particular order in the document table writings: A, B . The editing process here was

    non-existent, since the objective was to get the undiluted input from the community.

    Two people entered the data from the sheets and this accounts for the conflicting

    labeling.

    In the interest of transparency, we have also decided to allow free access to the

    original poster papers to anyone who would be interested in viewing them. Our group

    believes strongly that the key to good decisions in the long term will be the ability to

    collaborate and to harness the knowledge capital of our residents. This report is a

    first step in this direction. Consequently, the original brainstorming papers will beavailable to anyone who is interested in viewing them. In the interests of

    transparency, the papers will be photographed and available in the longer term. For

    the next few weeks, they will also be available in the originals. Requests can be made

    via email to Shellie Gudgeon (gudgeon@shaw.ca).

    When reading the report, we recommend that the reader be aware that the

    comments were harnessed from a group ranging in size from eight to eleven around a

    table. We suggest that while reading the thoughtful results of a creative

    conversation, that we all need to become more comfortable with ambiguity,

    ambivalence and begin to look to create harmony within apparently divergent views.