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Community Talk

We all want a healthy and vibrant community. But life isn’t always easy – sometimes it’s complicated.

This engagement was about creating space for honest conversations to discuss how we can best support each other, at all levels of community. Find out more about why we are renewing our social framework.

8,000 Thank you's 

Thank you for being part of the Community Talk conversation where 8,000 people throughout Strathcona County recently shared thoughts and opinions on how we can best work together to build a supported, safe and connected community.

Remarkably, nearly 10% of eligible residents over the age of 11 provided input to Community Talk from October 18 - December 31, 2016. This participation level as is unparalleled in Strathcona County's history of public consultation. 

WATCH:

Find out what local residents had to say about the Community Talk conversation and what they are most hopeful about.

 

These important conversations took place with the support of:

  • 220 local businesses
  • 33 community agencies
  • 25 faith communities
  • 102 school classrooms
  • 10 community hall associations
  • 7 service clubs
Did you know?
  • 7,815 people shared their thoughts and opinions by responding to the survey
  • 622 people participated in 48 community conversations in both urban and rural areas
  • Close to 50 community events incorporated Community Talk into their celebrations and programs

 

What we heard

The purpose of the engagement was to broadly test six goals and their relevance today. The full report is available below: 

 The survey sought to determine if, as a community, people in Strathcona County:

  1. Feel like they belong and are connected to others.
  2. Feel safe and are free from physical and emotional harm.
  3. Are valued, respected and treated fairly.
  4. Are healthy (physical, mental, spiritual and emotional wellness).
  5. Work together to make our community stronger.
  6. Have all their basic needs met (eg: adequate income, education, childcare, housing and transportation).

Overall:

  • 9 out of 10 respondents agreed it is important to achieve all of the first five goals.
  • 7 out of 10 respondents agreed Strathcona County has reached these goals.

When asked about meeting basic needs (goal six):

  •  93% of respondents felt that meeting all basic needs are important to achieve as a community.
    • As part of meeting basic needs:
      • 40% of adult respondents agreed the community has reached the goals of attaining quality and affordable childcare and affordable housing
      • 83% of adult respondents agreed the community has met the goal of quality education
      • 73% of adult respondents agreed the community has met the goal of adequate income
      • 69% of adult respondents agreed the community has met the goal of reliable transportation 

The survey also asked respondents how the County can improve on any of the six stated goals. Analysis of the open-ended responses produced the following top eight themes:

  1. Affordability (housing, childcare, transportation, recreation, income)
  2. Need to work together for common goals
  3. Feeling of safety
  4. Fostering a sense of belonging and acceptance
  5. Improvements to the transit system (routes and frequency)
  6. More community events: neighbourhoods and County-wide
  7. Increase in mental health awareness and services
  8. Better access to programs and services

Similarly, four themes emerged from the second open-ended question asking ‘what can you do to help build a stronger community?’

  1. Citizenship
    • Volunteerism
    • Community involvement
    • Help one another (empathy)
    • Work with each other to reach common goals (collaboration)
    • Neighbourliness
  2. Respect others and accept differences (inclusion, diversity, equity)
  3. Community awareness
  4. Voice important issues (advocacy)

Read all the responses (2.7 MB) that were provided in the survey and the notes taken during community conversations..

Digging Deeper

Thank you to the community members who explored the themes that emerged from Community Talk. Great conversations took place and many ideas were generated on how to build a safe, supported and connected community. While no single person, organization or level of government can tackle social issues alone; some individuals are working together to realize some of the ideas that were generated during Digging Deeper.

Do you have an idea that supports the community and strengthens neighbourhood connections? Community Small Grant

Next steps

The Community Talk engagement, completed in late 2016, is just the start of a collective journey together.

A group of community leaders from local school divisions, non-profit organizations, Chamber of Commerce, Alberta Health Services, RCMP, faith communities the library and County staff came together to review the feedback and develop recommendations on how to move forward with the social framework.

All information collected will inform the creation of the new social framework for Strathcona County. This renewed framework is anticipated to be presented at the May 16, 2017 Priorities Committee meeting.

The intent is for the renewed framework to become the entire community’s roadmap to how we can best create a supported, safe and connected community – together.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are we doing this?

It’s time. Strathcona County’s Social Sustainability Framework was adopted by Council in 2007. Since then, there have been significant demographic, social and economic changes for residents. Strathcona County is beginning the renewal of its social framework through public engagement with the community. The renewed framework, titled Community Talk, aims to create a shared vision of social priorities in Strathcona County, clarify outcomes and roles, coordinate activities and align policies and provide overall direction to social planning and decision-making.

What are the timelines?

Strathcona County led public engagement to rekindle discussions around the County’s Social Sustainability Framework from October 18, 2016 until December 31, 2016. The ‘What We Heard’ report was presented to Priorities Committee on February 14, 2017. Next steps include deeper community discussions on the findings to form the basis of the renewed social framework, which leads into presentation of the draft Community Talk framework scheduled for the May 16, 2017 Priorities Committee meeting.

Who can I contact for more information?

Please contact Strathcona County Family and Community Services at 780-464-4044 or by emailing communitytalk@strathcona.ca for more information.

Can you relate? 

WATCH a 3-minute video about issues friends and family are facing right now in Strathcona County. Find out more about Amir, Susan, Jack and Natasha’s story.

Want to find out more about Amir, Susan, Jack and Natasha?

 

For more information:
Phone: 780-464-4044
Email: communitytalk@strathcona.ca

Last updated: Friday, March 24, 2017
Page ID: 49347