Folder Planning Methods – Engaging and Building Trust

Building public trust through collaborative planning and engagement.

Venue: Artist Studio

Moderator: Nick Grzybowski BSc., MADR - Yukon Land Use Planning Council, Associate Consultant.

Note: Chloe Dragon-Smith's presentation used a variety of approaches, but none that were easily captured in a document.


pdf Towards a Facilitated Planning Approach for the Northwest Territories Popular


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HWiebe_NPC Presentation_Feb16-16.pdf

Heidi Wiebe – Senior Environmental Planner, Stantec Consulting Ltd

Regional planning is a long, expensive, political process that takes considerable time and commitment to complete, so it’s critical that those efforts result in a plan that can be approved. A comparison of methods used in the 2006 Draft Dehcho Plan (not approved), and the approved Sahtu Plan (2013) demonstrates the benefits of a collaborative approach. This talk will explore a new planning approach based on facilitated workshops.  

The traditional planning approach used in the Northwest Territories is for the planning body to solicit input from each stakeholder group individually, and decide how best to reconcile those diverse interests. The result often lacks buy-in from participants because they didn’t create it. This was the case in the Dehcho Plan, and interim stages of the Sahtu Plan. It wasn’t until we initiated multi-stakeholder technical workshops towards the end of the Sahtu planning process that solutions came together that all parties could support, because they created the solutions. The role of the planner changed from “expert” – the one creating the solutions – to facilitator – helping others create the solutions.

What would happen if we ran an entire planning process as a series of collaborative workshops, each one designed to accomplish a step in the planning process (e.g. vision and objectives, issue scoping, information gathering and review, options, draft, final) or resolve a specific planning issue? A facilitated planning approach will be explored, including the strengths and weaknesses of this approach, opportunities and potential challenges, such as how to manage broader participation and engagement.

pdf Multiplying mistrust: Consultation and expertise in hydraulic fracturing governance Popular


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NPC2016 - Neville.pdf

Kate Neville, PhD. – Assistant Professor, University of Toronto, Political Science and the School of the Environment & Contribution from Erika Weinthal, Duke University

Hydraulic fracturing (or fracking)—a process for extracting unconventional oil and gas—has provoked a flurry of controversy over its environmental, health, and social impacts. Trust, understood as a relational, conditional, action-inducing judgment necessary for accepting perceived vulnerability, has notably been lacking in these debates. Even more strikingly, trust has been eroding through processes that are intended to increase transparency and engage the public.

In Canada’s Yukon Territory, a government committee was tasked with assessing the risks and benefits of fracking. Yet, instead of information access and public hearings fostering an open dialogue, these two channels appear to have further polarized the debates. In their work, we observed the absence of trust in two distinct areas, which we argue are linked: reservations about the status of “experts,” and doubts about the process of consultation. Our work reveals two underlying causes: first, the unintentional outcomes of weak participatory processes; and second, the strategic fostering of mistrust by actors on both sides of a polarized issue. We further argue that these two areas of mistrust are mutually reinforcing, and have spillover effects for other negotiations.
These findings have implications for planning processes in the north: without confidence in expertise or consultations, the resulting decisions tend to be challenged by citizens in the courts and streets. Consequently, finding governance mechanisms that build and rebuild trust is needed for making decisions that will be seen as legitimate by stakeholders.