Why are we piloting participatory budgeting in the West End?

    It is a part of the follow up to the West End Parking Strategy implemented in 2017, which resulted in additional parking revenue being collected. The West End is an ideal neighbourhood to pilot the participatory budgeting process because of its manageable geographic size and rich community networks

    Through this pilot, we hope to test and evaluate the process for possible future use with other projects in other areas of the city.

    What are the benefits of participatory budgeting?

    An effective, meaningful and measurable participatory budgeting process can increase civic involvement by:

    • Allowing members of the public to practice empowered decision-making for their community
    • Creating opportunities for the community to discuss local needs
    • Delivering projects that reflect the needs of the majority of residents.

    How are the projects for the Community Vote decided?

    After setting the Rulebook for this participatory budgeting pilot, the community-led WE Choo$e Impact Team launched an idea collection phase during the spring of 2019. Over 1700 community ideas were gathered, which were then reviewed based on eligibility and feasibility. With the help of City staff and local organisations, the Impact Team and project proponents* refined the ideas down to the 14 that were shortlisted for the community voting ballot.   

    (*Project proponents are volunteers from the community who conduct the bulk of the project idea reviews, and work in subcommittees covering topics of: arts and culture, health, parks and recreation, safety and environment, schools and education and transportation.

    Where is the funding for these projects coming from?

    The projects are being funded by new permit revenue generated by the West End Parking strategy, implemented in 2017. We made the commitment to re-invest this additional revenue in the community through a participatory budgeting pilot.