Transparency and citizen engagement


Community participation is critical to finding meaningful and innovative solutions. Engagement and communication are keys to success.

June 26, 2018: In accordance with the Municipal Elections Act, the Kingston Election Compliance Audit Committee will be established for the 2018-2022 term of City Council.

June 1, 2018: Following successful launch of Open Data Kingston at the Eastern Ontario Municipal Data Roundtable, project team looks to collaborate with Communications to develop communication and engagement plans in anticipation of launch to public in Q3. Goals include: building awareness and interest for platform while engagement looks to encourage feedback and suggestions for meaningful data sets.

February 6, 2018: In a special meeting, council agreed to include a referendum question about Ranked Ballot Voting on the 2018 municipal election ballot.

December 19, 2017: A large number of open government initiatives were undertaken in 2017, including:
  • • Publication of five additional open data sets including live transit location data and cycling facilities bringing the total open data sets available to 23. The data sets are downloaded on average 800 times a month and have been used to create many value-added applications including “SC Transit.”

  • • Sourcing of an Open Data Portal to be deployed in 2018. It will provide more flexible access to the City’s open data sets and open a two-way dialog with the open data community on what data is made available and how it is used.

  • • Endorsement of a comprehensive Information Management Strategy which defines a corporate framework for information management and provides a roadmap for future initiatives that will ensure the City’s information is effectively managed through its lifecycle (create, use, retain, archive, destroy).

  • • Implementation of Phase 1 of the Customer/Citizen Relationship Management system and consideration of a future Enterprise Content Management system will support the corporate information management strategy.

  • • Council and senior staff were provided with a high-level training session on the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) principles, strategy and approach to public engagement which are the basis for the City’s adopted public engagement framework. In 2017, public engagement opportunities have included the Third Crossing, Official Plan Update, Sign By-law, Airport land use, North King’s Town Secondary Plan, Kingston Penitentiary and Portsmouth Olympic Harbour visioning, development of the public engagement framework, etc.

  • • Amendments to the planning applications process included an additional opportunity for the public to provide input on applications at the time of a comprehensive report being presented at the Planning Committee. A Planning Advisory Working Group has been established to facilitate greater collaboration and exchange of ideas between Council and the public.

  • • The City was involved in various youth engagement initiatives such as: Beyond the Classroom events, National Youth Week, Local Government Week, the Kingston Youth Forum, and Escape from City Hall. Several presentations and events were organized by City staff at local elementary schools to engage and educate the city’s youth on municipal government, services and council priorities.

More details are available on pages 39 to 42 of the Strategic Priorities Update Report Number 18-006.

October 4, 2017: a new public engagement platform at It offers a variety of ways to engage residents online – and a place to find information on in-person engagement opportunities.

October 3, 2017: Council endorsed the Public Engagement Framework and Charter.

June, 2017: Public input was received on the revised draft of the public engagement framework and worksheets.

June 20, 2017: Council received Report 17-192 and approved a public education/communications strategy to ensure that the electorate is aware that a referendum question is proposed to be included on the 2018 ballot, how Ranked Ballot Voting works, and how much a Ranked Ballot Election would cost. In early 2018, four open houses are planned across the city (one in each of the west, central, east and rural areas of the city). The City will also use its website, signage, print media, social media, news releases and a video to explain how Ranked Ballot Voting would work and how the votes are distributed based on the rankings on each ballot. Further open houses will be held in September 2018.

June 20, 2017: Approved the creation of a citizen committee to review council remuneration.

May 15, 2017: Held byelection to fill vacant council seat for District 1- Countryside. The new councillor is Gary Oosterhof.

May 2, 2017: Approved the release of City-developed software to Queen’s University and the Open Source community.

April 4, 2017: a status update on implementation of the Open Government workplan was approved by council (see Report 17-064).

March 29, 2017: The City’s Conflict of Interest Policy was reviewed and a new Council Code of Conduct was approved at a special meeting of council. A process to retain an integrity commissioner on an ongoing basis has since been established and an RFP is being issued.

February 7, 2017: Council passed a bylaw to hold a byelection to fill the vacant council seat for District 1 – Countryside. The by-election will be held on May 15, 2017.

December 6, 2016: A multi-year work plan with a range of strategies and actions has been identified organized around the following four main Open Government themes against which to measure progress and achievements.

Open Engagement - enhancing the manner in which the City engages and consults with residents, businesses and stakeholder groups through meaningful, productive and open dialog;

Open Governance - providing information, education, transparency, and improvements in community outreach to make City Council activity and decision making more accessible and inclusive to all;

Open Programs and Services - simplifying the manner in which City programs and services are accessed by residents and businesses, and collecting data that can be used by Departments to drive better decision making and efficiencies in the delivery of City programs and services; and

Open Data - making more information about city programs and services available and usable by businesses and the general public while respecting security, privacy and accessibility concerns.

Throughout 2016, these themes have been embedded in the priorities and work plans of a number of departments. Tangible progress has been made in all areas, with highlights including:
  • Community consultation on public engagement and customer service;
  • Community outreach and education on civic issues focused on schools and youth, Council meetings in the community, and web streaming of Council/Committee meetings
  • Corporate Information Management Strategy to guide processes and technology required to ensure the quality, reliability and integrity of information which is critical to good decision-making in the provision of municipal government services.
A number of significant deliverables nearing completion, such as an Engagement Strategy, a Customer Experience Strategy, an Open Data Policy and online Data Catalogue/Portal, are described in Council Report Number 17- 003 , beginning on page 33.

December 6, 2016: Based on public sessions and a survey conducted in June, a draft framework for City engagement is underway.

July, 2016: Based on public sessions and a survey conducted in June, a draft framework for City engagement is underway.

June 16, 2016: A survey to validate information from the public sessions to develop an engagement strategy and a tweetchat were conducted.

May 11, 2016: Three public workshops were held across Kingston to begin development of a vision and values for citizen engagement.

October 20, 2015: Kingston city council approved the work plan for the City to move forward on the open government priority. Read the council report.

April 2015: The City launched a survey to ask about residents’ communication and engagement preferences.

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