Daily News Thursday, October 26, 2006
TVO Brings 'Citizens' Assembly' to Ontarians
system, or adopt a new one? This is a question that 103 ordinary Ontarians are grappling with through the Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform. The group
of volunteers, each representing an Ontario electoral riding, is tasked with reviewing and recommending whether or not we should change the way we choose our provincial elected representatives. As the official media partner, TVO wants to create opportunities for all Ontarians to get involved in this important and historic public policy discussion.
With this in mind, TVO has launched www.tvo.org/citizensassembly, an online community where people can become fully informed on how electoral systems work, track the activities of the Assembly and actively engage in dialogue about the process.
"As Ontario's public, educational media organization, we're ideally positioned to engage the citizens of Ontario in the complex issues facing our
society," said TVO's CEO Lisa de Wilde. "By harnessing our media capabilities, we can both document this process, and provide a platform for people to learn about, comment on, participate in and shape it."
As the Assembly's 103 members explore electoral systems in Ontario and around the world during the initial Learning Phase, TVO is working with Seneca
College of Applied Arts and Technology students to film the proceedings.
Coverage of the lectures, panel discussions and Assembly members' workshops is now available both as live video streams and edited archives on the site.
Users can comment on the videos, share their views on the process, engage in online discussion and debate, and contribute to a rich, blog-style knowledge base for Ontarians.
When the Assembly heads into Ontario Communities for the public consultation meetings between November 20 and January 25, TVO will work with journalism students from Community Colleges across the province, who will file e-journals and video reports on each of the town hall consultation meetings to
the web site. "One of the many benefits of involving students at every stage of the partnership is the opportunity to engage young people in the
discussion," said de Wilde.
Plans are also underway for TVO to document and stream the final Deliberation Phase of the process next winter.