I was pleased to attend an ad-hoc meeting of OCOP last evening. Fifteen people gathered on a cold evening to share their thoughts on how the Community Plan process is unfolding so far, and to consider options for the future. It was a lively and informed discussion. Some of the folks there have been involved almost from the beginning, but I was particularly pleased to see two or three newer faces willing to join the fray on behalf our neighbourhood.
OCOP has been quiet since before the election, but its members have been attending all the various workshops and City-run meetings over the winter. At last night’s gathering, there was, unfortunately, general agreement that the current Citizens’ Assembly and Sub-Area Workshop process is still largely broken. This is combined with a deep vein of cynicism that the “consultation” will, in the end, prove meaningless and the upper management of the Planning Department will push through the Plan they want.
It was suggested, by me amongst others, that OCOP needs to provide City Council with an alternative when time comes to consider the Planners’ Plan; it is important that we be positive and not simply complain about what they come up with. In a most productive session on this topic, we all agreed, I believe, that it would be better to try to influence the Planners before they present their case. However, the current process does not seem to allow OCOP much opportunity to achieve this.
OCOP will continue to meet in an attempt to work through this dilemma.