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Ken Hardie becomes first MP in Canada to use PlaceSpeak for online citizen engagement

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ahead of his Fleetwood-Port Kells constituency office open house on Thursday, April 27, Liberal MP Ken Hardie launched a discussion on PlaceSpeak to engage with his constituents in the Surrey riding. By adopting PlaceSpeak, Hardie becomes the first MP in Canada to use the innovative online citizen engagement platform.

Vancouver-based civic technology startup PlaceSpeak facilitates open and transparent dialogue between residents and government, while protecting individual privacy. This innovative location­-based platform renders feedback gathered online legitimate, defensible, and actionable.

Hardie hopes that by connecting with his constituents on PlaceSpeak, he will be better able to address their concerns and represent the views of the community.

“As an early adopter of PlaceSpeak about five years ago, I’ve earmarked it for use in our riding since the election last fall”, says Ken Hardie, Liberal MP for Fleetwood-Port Kells. “Because it lets me know what’s important to people right at the neighbourhood level, everyone in Fleetwood-Port Kells will have a voice on their unique issues. Because it promotes civil, constructive conversations, I’ll be able to trade ideas on problems such as crime and disorder, and more effectively promote our community’s interests in Ottawa.”

Given PlaceSpeak’s unique geo verification approach, the platform ensures participants are real people and live within the Fleetwood-Port Kells riding boundaries. This not only allows Hardie to engage specifically with his riding constituents, but also acts as an antidote to trolling and inappropriate online behaviour.

“PlaceSpeak makes it possible to consult with people online within specific geographical boundaries, in this case, the Fleetwood-Port Kells Federal Riding”, says CEO and Founder, Colleen Hardwick. “At the same time, it protects individual privacy and does not share information such as street or email address. This combination is perfect for obtaining reliable place-based feedback while deterring trolls, sock-puppets and other online disruptions that undermine legitimate dialogue.”

As a Privacy by Design ambassador, PlaceSpeak ensures that participant information remains private and secure. Individual privacy measures have been designed into the very architecture of the platform and personal information is never sold, exchanged, transferred, or given to any other company for any reason. The dual emphasis on authentication and privacy by design renders PlaceSpeak unique in its approach to building legitimacy in the online process.

Residents of Fleetwood-Port Kells can sign-up to PlaceSpeak from their computer or mobile device. Office staff and PlaceSpeak representatives will be available at the constituency office open house to help residents register and participate in the discussion. PlaceSpeak will also provide a general introduction and demonstration on how to use the platform.

To learn more or participate in the discussion, visit http://placespeak.com/KenHardieMP

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About PlaceSpeak

PlaceSpeak is a location­-based public consultation platform launched in 2011 and developed with the support of the National Research Council of Canada. PlaceSpeak solves the problem of how to consult with people online within specific geographical boundaries, while simultaneously protecting individual privacy. Use of the platform has expanded beyond Metro Vancouver, throughout British Columbia and across Canada, with initial consultations beginning in the USA, Northern Ireland, UK and Tasmania, Australia. For more information, please visit http://www.placespeak.com.

Media Contacts:

Mary Leong
Communications Manager, PlaceSpeak Inc.
604­-336-­6977
[email protected]speak.com

Kamron Bajwa
Constituency Assistant to Ken Hardie, Member of Parliament
604-501-5900
[email protected]

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