Public Engagement and Publicity around the Ion

When we were in China, our guide proudly told us that subway extensions are built in one year. The land is expropriated and the people moved and that’s it. No public input. Quite different here, where it has taken 10 years to get to the point of building the LRT.

Some people have said that the Region isn’t doing enough to publicize or engage the public over the building of the LRT. Please remember, we’ve been publicizing this issue for 10 years, three election cycles.

This is just what has been done  in 2011 and 2013 and doesn’t include all the public meetings, newsletters, etc, etc before the 2010 election.

2011:

In 2011, prior to Council¡s decision on the preferred approach to rapid transit ( remember, council had already approved the LRT once, before the 2010 election, this was the relook), the Region held a variety of community relations activities and events, including:
25 public consultation/information centres (2,650 participants);
20 consultations with local businesses and agencies (550 participants);
two formal public input meetings at Council (101 participants);
a live webcast (139 participants);
1,760 written comments from the community. (On top of this, I got 1000 individual emails in support of the Ion, the most emails on any topic ever and way more than the anti-emails which were around 100)

2013:

Appendix A ¡V Complete list of ION presentations
City of Cambridge Economic Development Committee ¡V January 9, 2013
City of Cambridge Revitalization Advisory Committee ¡V January 9, 2013
Tri-TAG Meeting  January 17, 2013
Grand River Accessibility Advisory Committee ¡V January 24, 2013
LPGA Organizers ¡V January 28, 2013
Downtown Kitchener BIA Networking Event ¡V January 30, 2013
City of Waterloo/BIA Update Meeting ¡V February 13, 2013
Preston BIA AGM ¡V February 20, 2013
UpTown Waterloo BIA Update ¡V February 21, 2013
Galt BIA Update ¡V March 8, 2013
Public Art Advisory Committee ¡V March 11, 2013
Reurbanization Community Advisory Panel ¡V March 25, 2013
University of Waterloo Employee Lunch & Learn ¡V March 27, 2013
Downtown Kitchener BIA Networking Event ¡V March 27, 2013
Wonders of Winter Meeting ¡V April 2, 2013
UpTown Waterloo BIA Networking Event ¡V April 4, 2013
University of Waterloo School of Architecture ¡V April 10, 2013
Galt BIA AGM ¡V April 23, 2013
UpTown Waterloo BIA AGM ¡V April 24, 2013
Downtown Kitchener Action and Advisory Committee ¡V April 25, 2013
Waterloo Wellington Museums and Art Galleries Network Meeting ¡V May 6, 2013
City of Waterloo Fire and Rescue ¡V May 6, 2013
Reurbanization Community Advisory Panel ¡V May 6, 2013
City of Waterloo Fire and Rescue ¡V May 7, 2013
Kitchener Economic Development Advisory Committee ¡V May 22, 2013
Waterloo Rotary Club ¡V May 23, 2013
Alliance for a Grand Community ¡V May 25, 2013
Building Downtown Kitchener 2020 Vision Event ¡V May 29, 2013
Downtown Kitchener BIA Networking Event ¡V May 29, 2013
Belmont BIA Annual General Meeting ¡V June 12, 2013
Tri-TAG Update ¡V June 13, 2013
Terrance on the Square ¡V June 14, 2013
UpTown West Waterloo Neighbourhood Association ¡V June 17, 2013
City of Kitchener Arts and Culture Advisory Committee ¡V June 18, 2013
Public Art Advisory Committee ¡V June 21, 2013
UpTown Waterloo BIA Walking Tour ¡V June 21, 2013
King & Northfield Business Owners ¡V June 25, 2013
Downtown Kitchener BIA Networking Event ¡V June 26, 2013
Grand River Accessibility Advisory Committee ¡V August 22, 2013
Cambridge Rotary Club ¡V August 23, 2013
Wilfrid Laurier University Get Involved Fair ¡V September 4, 2013
UpTown Waterloo BIA Walking Tour ¡V September 9, 2013
Oktoberfest Meeting September 9, 2013
UpTown Waterloo BIA Networking Event  September 9, 2013
City of Waterloo All Staff Lunch and Learn  September 11, 2013
Waterloo Park Advisory Committee  September 11, 2013
City of Kitchener All Staff Lunch and Learn  September 12, 2013
Region of Waterloo All Staff Lunch and Learn  September 13, 2013
City of Waterloo/BIA Update Meeting  September 18, 2013
Public Art Advisory Committee  September 26, 2013
Central Frederick Neighbourhood Association  September 28, 2013
Grand River Accessibility Advisory Committee October 10, 2013
UpTown Waterloo BIA AGM  November 6, 2013
Mary Ellen Neighbourhood Association  November 7, 2013
City of Waterloo Economic Development Committee November 14, 2013
Grand River Building Manager¡s Association  November 19, 2013
Tri-TAG Meeting  November 28, 2013
Reurbanization Community Advisory Panel ¡V December, 2013
Public Works Association  December 9, 2013
UpTown West Taskforce Committee  December 18, 2013
Community Building Strategy
Waterloo (Knox Church)  February 20, 2013
Kitchener (The Tannery)  February 21, 2013
Cambridge (Cambridge City Hall)  February 25, 2013
Rapid Transit Brand Name
Cambridge (United Kingdom Club)  January 10, 2013
Waterloo (Knox Church)  January 14, 2013
Kitchener (School of Pharmacy)  January 15, 2013
Grand River Hospital  Entrance and Intersection Modification
Waterloo (Knox Church)March 20, 2013
ION Stop Design Concepts
Kitchener (Regional Headquarters)  June 19, 2013
Cambridge (Chamber of Commerce)  June 20, 2013
Waterloo (Knox Church)  June 25, 2013
Northfield Drive at Highway 85  Intersection Modification
Waterloo (Albert McCormick Arena) June 27, 2013
City of Waterloo Transportation Summit
Waterloo Recreation Complex  October 30, 2013
UpTown Waterloo Streetscape
Waterloo Recreation Complex  November 13, 2013
Ottawa & Mill Street  Intersection Modification
Concordia Club  December 4, 2013

This does not include the Regional newsletter that goes to every household in the region, the monthly Ion newsletter, the LRT website, social media, the visit of the train mock up, etc. etc.

Here are some of the events for 2014

While ION staff continue to refine the community relations and communications
initiatives planned for 2014, a series of major activities and events have already been
indentified. They include:
Funding agreement signing with the Province (Winter/Spring)
To highlight Ontario¡¦s investment in ION
Start of Hydro One construction (Winter)
Along the hydro corridor near Fairview Park Mall
Neighbourhood Advisory Panel (Spring)
Nominations to be collected in the spring; meetings to begin in the fall
Focus on providing information to residents, overall updates, input, etc.
Name the ION stops contest (Spring)
To collect feedback in order to finalize the name of each ION stop

Funding agreement event with the federal government (Spring/Summer)
To highlight Canada¦s investment in ION
Stage 1 LRT contract signing (Spring)
Celebrate the signing of the Project Agreement with the team selected to
design, build, finance, operate and maintain Stage 1 LRT in Waterloo
Region
Start of LRT construction (Summer)
Groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of ION LRT construction
 Stage 2 LRT consultation (Summer) (That’s the Cambridge LRT Cambridge Mayor Doug Craig says will never exist. Hmmm)
Public engagement begins on the route, stops and alignment for Stage 2
LRT (Cambridge to Kitchener), in advance of the Environmental
Assessment
Start of ION aBRT construction (Summer)
Groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of aBRT construction
ION aBRT service launch (Fall/early-2015)
To celebrate the start of aBRT service in Waterloo Region

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