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  • 1 | What are the goals of the Renovate the Public Hearing Initiative?
    The Renovate the Public Hearing Initiative aims to improve and modernize the current public hearing process. We are looking at ways to improve public engagement and participation, enhance transparency, improve accessibility and inclusivity, and promote more equitable and effective land use decision-making processes. As we trial alternatives to the current public hearing process, we will be evaluating the challenges and successes to create an evidence-based list of recommendations to be considered by the Province of British Columbia for changes to the current legislation for public hearings and community-based tools for municipalities to employ.
  • 2 | Who is funding the Renovate the Public Hearing Initiative?
    This project is funded by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) through the Housing Supply Challenge.
  • 3 | What is the Town of Gibsons Residents Assembly?
    The Gibsons Residents Assembly (also known as a community assembly) is a collaborative project convened by Renovate the Public Hearing Initiative, hosted by Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, in partnership with the Town of Gibsons. This project aims to understand how this engagement model functions in a smaller community setting. This partnership was unanimously supported by the Town of Gibsons Council on November 7, 2023. Council endorsed this initiative to gather feedback from a representative sample of Town residents regarding the Official Community Plan update (OCP), which sets the long-term vision for managing the Town’s growth. The Assembly will bring together a representative body of 25 residents who will meet over five Sundays to learn and hear from their neighbours, experts, and other community voices, while working through trade-offs and engaging in deliberative dialogue to create recommendations for the Town of Gibsons new OCP.
  • 4 | What is an Official Community Plan (OCP)?
    An Official Community Plan is a document that sets out the long-term vision, goals and policies for land use and development within a municipality or region. It provides a framework for managing growth and development while considering various social, economic, and environmental factors. The OCP typically includes land use designations, transportation plans, housing strategies, environmental protection policies and guidelines for future development. Public input is always sought during the preparation or amendment of an OCP.
  • 5 | What is a Residents Assembly?
    A residents assembly (also referred to as a community or citizens' assembly) is a group of individuals selected to broadly reflect the full diversity of their communities. They will come together to learn, reflect, discuss, and present actionable recommendations to decision-makers. These processes use modern engagement approaches to address key issues often overlooked with traditional methods by: Seeking out participants who reflect the full diversity of their communities Creating conditions for learning and informed input Building empathy Presenting actionable recommendations to decision-makers that can increase the quality, democratic legitimacy, and social consensus for municipal actions
  • 6 | Why is the Town of Gibsons having this Residents Assembly?
    Gibsons is the third largest community on the Sunshine Coast. It has a population of just under 5,000 with a total area of 507 hectares (approximately 4 km²), which is small when compared to most other municipalities within British Columbia and stresses the need to carefully plan for a limited land base. The Town of Gibsons is updating their Official Community Plan (OCP) to guide and manage growth between now and 2050. This plan will set out the long-term vision, goals and policies for land use and development within Gibsons and will guide the Town on topics around: Housing Environment (Climate Change) Transportation Community Facilities Servicing and Infrastructure Reconciliation/UNDRIP
  • 7 | What is the intended goal or outcome of this Residents Assembly?
    The goal of this Assembly is to make recommendations for the Town’s new Official Community Plan. The Assembly will also build public understanding and capacity, engage in dialogue with the broader community, invest deeply in relationships, advance principles of equity and support the Town’s commitments to Truth and Reconciliation.
  • 8 | Will Assembly members receive compensation?
    Yes, participants will receive complimentary meals during attendance, along with an honourarium (payment) of $225 for each full-day meeting. This recognizes the considerable time and commitment of assembly members to participate in the process, particularly participants who may have to miss work or face other financial barriers to democratic participation. The project will also reimburse reasonable accessibility accommodations, such as transit tickets, childcare and eldercare.
  • 9 | Will the names of Assembly members be publicly disclosed?
    The names of Assembly Members will remain confidential throughout the Assembly process to ensure that members are not subject to unwanted attention or pressure during the Assembly. After the Assembly, the names of Assembly Members will be published in the final public report. The report will be published on a Council agenda once finalized.
  • 10 | How will the results of the Assembly be shared?
    After Assembly Members have developed their final recommendations for the Gibsons Official Community Plan, these recommendations and an accompanying report will be presented to the Town of Gibsons, who is responsible for final approval of the Official Community Plan. The Town of Gibsons Mayor, Council and Staff have committed to receive and respond to the Assembly's recommendations, with the aim of ensuring the process is transparent and accountable. The recommendations and report will also be independently published by the Renovate the Public Hearing Initiative.
  • 11 | What other opportunities are there to engage in the Town of Gibsons?
    The Assembly is the first of several engagement opportunities that will take place to update the Official Community Plan. Future public opportunities to participate will be announced by the Town this summer to ensure they hear from the entire community. In addition to the public engagement on the OCP Update, these are other projects that the Town has been and will continue to engage the community on: The Urban Forest Plan The Active Transportation Network Plan Budget 2024


To stay informed about further opportunities to engage in the Town of Gibsons, subscribe to the Town of Gibsons newsletter at or check the website regularly at

Contact Us​

SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue

3300-515 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC

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