Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The process begins

There hasn't been much news from the Saskatchewan NDP's policy review since last fall's consultation meetings. But the official website went live yesterday, along with more information about the process to come:
“New Democrats are at our best when we are reaching out to people across Saskatchewan and listening to their concerns, their ideas and their dreams,” Saskatoon Massey Place MLA and Chair of the Policy Review Task Force Cam Broten said. “That’s exactly what this is all about: it’s about listening to Saskatchewan people, engaging in a conversation about the future of this great province, and then moving forward to turn those dreams into reality.”

The public phase of the Policy Review follows an internal consultation with party members about how best to move forward with such an initiative. The process will include:

* Policy gatherings in communities throughout Saskatchewan, involving guest speakers and breakout discussion groups;
* A website containing video and relevant documents from the policy gatherings;
* Kits available so that groups of people could host discussions on their own and feed information back into the process; and
* Opportunities for input by email and mail.

Key themes for discussion will include:

* The jobs of today and tomorrow;
* Energy, environment and the economy;
* Farming and the rural economy;
* The role of government in the economy; and
* Kitchen-table issues for Saskatchewan families (including health, education, and social programs).
The first Policy Review gathering will occur in Moose Jaw on Saturday, March 6th from 12:00 to 3:00PM and will focus on kitchen-table issues for Saskatchewan families. Further details will be announced at www.saskndp.ca/policyreview.
For now, the biggest news (alongside the appointment of Cam Broten to chair the process) looks to be a heavy focus on the economy as compared to social issues, as well as a plan to use online media primarily as a distribution mechanism rather than an opportunity for live consultation.

But there would seem to be plenty of room for the review to take different directions depending on what it hears from Saskatchewan residents. So for NDP members - or other concerned citizens - looking to influence the province's policy direction, the meetings starting in March will offer a perfect opportunity to make one's case to a party eager to cultivate new ideas.

No comments:

Post a Comment