2021 Award "Best Practice in Citizen Participation"
15th Edition 2021
Supports are subject to the following rules:
- You can support up to 5 proposals.
Participatory budget first edition (Ahuntsic-Cartierville / Montreal)
In 2019, the borough of Ahuntsic-Cartierville in Montreal launched its very first participatory budget. The goal of this process was to go beyond traditional consultations and allow residents to imagine, develop and choose for themselves the projects they considered most important to improve their living environment.
Residents were able to decide on the allocation of a portion of the borough's budget, namely $250,000. This amount came from the operating budget surplus, giving participants a great deal of latitude in the type of project that could be proposed (not limited strictly to development projects, unlike a participatory budget using money from the capital budget). In order to offer a process adapted to the reality of the borough, a steering committee composed of elected officials, local organizations, the two neighbourhood tables and borough staff was set up to formulate the principles that guided the entire process (transparency, accessibility and inclusion, development of the community and collective capacities, participatory democracy and power to act, and sustainable development), as well as the rules governing the exercise (the participatory budget charter).
The population was first invited to propose ideas for projects aimed at improving their living environment, during ideation workshops and at a large outdoor public event, in the form of a participatory kiosk. Then, with the support of borough staff, the participants discussed and prioritized the project ideas during a large forum. Just over 250 people contributed to these first stages of the participatory budget.
After a feasibility study (technical, financial and legal) carried out by the borough's services, the projects were submitted to a vote open to all residents of the borough aged 12 and over. In one month, more than 1,000 people took part in the vote online (on the RealisonsMtl platform) or in person (in the borough's libraries or community centres, at borough offices, or during mobile voting sessions in schools, sports centres or seniors' residences). Three projects were selected by the population. They are currently being carried out, are in progress or will be shortly:
- a winter outdoor initiation project;
- a glass recycling project;
- a small electric pleasure boat project on the Rivière des Prairies.
This project was the first in a recurring cycle of participatory budgets. Based on the lessons learned from this first edition, the borough of Ahuntsic-Cartierville is now implementing a second edition.
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