Public Participation - Principles and Best Practices for British Columbia

What is Meant by "Public Participation" and Why Does it Warrant Attention?

When a government reaches out to industry, other organizations or directly to citizens, it is said to be engaging in public participation, sometimes known as consultation or engagement. Typically, those taking part in the process are lobbyists, interest groups and citizens who are most likely to be affected by the matter under consideration.

"Getting public participation right is essential, including striking the right balance amongst competing priorities of government; being clear to the public about what can and what cannot be accomplished in the short term. Getting it wrong simply frustrates all participants - government and the public - and requires time to rebuild the trust required to engage successfully."

- John Doyle, Auditor General of British Columbia (October 2007- May 2013)