Here is a message from Dialogue Partners: October 16th Think Tank workshop cancelled
The public engagement process for sector planning was to have included an event on October 16th, to bring together a variety of participants from different organizations to discuss creative ways to work together going forward.
We've heard from many participants that they have concerns about the timing of this meeting, which was to have been two days before the civic election. We have also received complaints from participants about Trustee Candidates and an existing Trustee campaigning and/or attempting to influence discussion at workshops.
Based on this input, we have decided to cancel this session. After the election, we will ask the new Board of Trustees for their input on how they would like to proceed.
I have repeatedly raised concerns about the timing of this event. It seemed strange to try bring councillors and trustees together for an "out of the box" think tank two days prior to an election. Even if something productive were to come of the discussion, many of the participants would not be around three days later to follow through with the ideas. I was also concerned that it would turn into a last-minute campaigning session for candidates and quickly de-generate into sound bytes and accusations. Thinking outside the box takes courage, creativity, trust, openness, playfulness and hope. I am not convinced that those qualities will be in strong evidence two days prior to an election. So, I support the decision to cancel it. The timing of the decision, however, is poor. This event should have rescheduled long ago. To cancel it on such short notice feels disrespectful to those who were planning to attend and to leave its future status vague is unsettling.
I hope, in the flurry of activity post-election, the new EPSB board can find time to discuss this matter and confirm a date. The community has been asking for a conversation around alternatives to closure and cross-jurisdicational cooperation for a long time.