“It’s only your plan if you participate” makes for a catchy headline, but what does it mean?
Citizens have an opportunity to be part of the background noise. Citizens have been granted a few days to offer their comments to what city staff and consultants have taken months to write, but that falls short, far short, of the meaning of participation.
The court of appeal has slammed the door shut to effective citizen participation, much to the delight of Whitehorse, to the satisfaction of the Association of Yukon Communities, and to the relief of the Yukon government and the opposition in the legislature. Decision-making power over land use matters in the Yukon is now safely back in the hands of the political elite and the development community. Citizen participation is comparable to the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games Ã great show, wonderful images, memorable quotes, but without influence of any kind on the results achieved during the Games.