Ben Henderson
Citizens's Panel

Citizen’s Panel – Amazing Work!

The Edmonton Citizen’s Panel recently invited me for a brief look at the work they are doing.   I was very impressed with what I saw.  Such a wide range of people coming from all stations of society, not just the usual suspects talking to each other as sometimes happens. This group started with very different at very different expectations and experiences, with diametrically opposed points of view. And their job: to come to agreement about what values need to be reflected in city spending.  How to make the kind of city that Edmontonians expect and pay for.  This group was to be as broadly reflective of the public as possible.

Over six weekends this group worked diligently to come to some conclusions they could agree on.  Many of them were very doubtful they could agree with those other people on such personally held beliefs.  How are we as a city going to reach our goals? Are there ways we need to change in order to get there? Or as they say “How We Spend Our Money Reflects Our Values”.

And they did come to some conclusions, several points that are each important components of a workable socially and economically viable medium-sized city. The report is now being written and I am very excited to see exactly what the focus will be.  Some areas such as transportation, community safety, community living, and planning issues are all touched on in some way.

Watch the City’s website for the final report. Go to and enter “citizen panel” in the search box. 

As well as a very good exercise in citizen democracy in Edmonton, I expect the report to make a real contribution to our thinking