Following the legalization of cannabis in Canada, municipal governments in Ontario could opt out of allowing private cannabis retail stores by passing a resolution prior to January 22, 2019. Municipalities could opt in at a later date, but once they had chosen to opt in, they would not be able to opt out.
The Town of Aurora wanted to hear from residents to determine whether to allow private cannabis retail stores. The Mayor created a Facebook poll on his Page asking whether private cannabis retail stores should be permitted. However, the poll responses were distorted by people who had created additional Facebook accounts to vote multiple times and by people who resided in other municipalities.
Given the unreliable Facebook poll results, Council needed a way to gather defensible and actionable feedback that could inform their decision-making. PlaceSpeak’s unique ability to authenticate participants to their location (i.e. physical address) ensured that only Aurora residents were eligible to participate in the online discussion.
“The subject was extremely contentious and garnered a lot of attention from the community,” said Stephanie Mackenzie-Smith, Corporate Communications Manager at the Town of Aurora. “With social media, anyone can engage on the issue multiple times even if they aren’t actually a resident. Knowing that PlaceSpeak allowed us to have a place where residents were verified before submitting their comments helped us have confidence in the information we were bringing before Council.”
To learn how PlaceSpeak can help you engage more effectively with your community, contact us.
Mary is the Communications Manager at PlaceSpeak. She was attracted to PlaceSpeak’s innovative approach in using verifiable, location-based technology for citizen engagement and hyperlocal governance. In her spare time, Mary enjoys dog videos set to ’90s hip-hop.