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Women and environmental decision-making : A case study of the Squamish estuary management plan in British… Avis, Wendy 1995

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WOMEN AND ENVIRONMENTAL DECISION-MAKING: A CASE STUDY OF THE SQUAMISH ESTUARY MANAGEMENT PLAN IN BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA by WENDY AVIS B.A., Brock U n i v e r s i t y , 1992 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTERS OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDD2S (Department of Geography) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA April 1995 © Wendy Avis, 1995 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Department DE-6 (2/88) Abstract An analysis of the literature on sustainability reveals that community decision making is an important component in the definition and implementation of sustainability. Although the importance of participation by all members of a community is stressed in the literature, analysis of marginalized groups focuses mainly on class and culture. When gender lines are explored, it is mostly within the context of the developing world. The purpose of this research was to examine the nature of women's participation in defining and implementing sustainability. This exploration had three objectives: to define effective public participation in the context of local level environmental decision making, to identify barriers to women inherent in public participation processes associated with environmental planning decisions and to make recommendations which eliminate barriers to women's participation in planning decisions. Barriers to women's participation were divided into three categories: institutional, community and societal. This research used a case study approach with multiple sources of evidence to examine these barriers. The public participation process involved in developing the Squamish Estuary Management Plan was analyzed to explore the nature and extent of women's participation. Research methods included document and newspaper coverage analysis, interviews and workshops. These revealed that specific barriers exist which discourage and prevent women from participating in planning decisions. At an institutional level, these included lack of trust, centralized decision-making, poor communication structures, an atmosphere that was not child-friendly and the failure to present the Plan in a way which was relevant to women's lives. Community barriers consisted of the fear of retaliation and the large number of community issues. Societal barriers identified were the devaluing of women's voices, level of income and the restrictions caused by women's societal roles. These barriers reduced the effectiveness of the public participation process. Results were used to develop a series of recommendations about how to encourage women's participation in decision-making, ensuring that women in communities are involved in shaping and defining sustainability. Table of Contents Abstract ii Table of Contents iii List of Tables vi List of Figures vii Acknowledgments viii Chapter 1: Introduction 1 1.1: Research Objectives 2 1.2: Thesis Approach 3 Chapter 2: Sustainability and Public Participation 5 2.1: Sustainability 5 2.1.1: Women and Sustainability 10 2.2: Public Participation 13 2.3: Effective Public Participation 17 2.4: Barriers to Effective Public Participation 19 2.4.1: Institutional Arrangements 22 2.4.2: Community Barriers 24 2.4.3: Social Barriers 27 2.5: Conclusions 32 Chapter 3: Data Collection and Analysis 34 3.1: The Squamish Estuary Management Plan Documents 40 3.2: Newspaper Coverage 41 3.3: Interviews with SECC Members 42 3.4: Interviews with Women Community Leaders 42 3.5: Small Group Workshops with Women 44 Chapter 4: A History of the Squamish Estuary Management Plan 47 4.1: The 1982 Squamish Estuary Management Plan 48 4.2: The 1992 Squamish Estuary Management Plan 53 4.3: Public Participation in the Squamish Estuary Management Plan 64 Chapter 5: Research Findings and Analysis 72 5.1: The Squamish Estuary Management Plan Documents 72 5.2: Newspaper Coverage 77 5.3: Interviews with SECC Members 85 5.4: Interviews with Women 93 5.5: Workshops with Women 96 Chapter 6: Implications, Conclusions and Recommendations 105 6.1: Effectiveness of the SEMP Participation Process 105 6.2: Barriers and the SEMP Participation Process 109 6.3: Recommendations 112 6.4: Limitations and Extensions of the Research 115 iv Bibliography 120 Appendix A: Interview Questions for Squamish Estuary Co-ordinating Committee Member 128 Appendix B: Interview Questions for Women 129 Appendix C: Agenda for Workshops 130 List of Tables 2.1: Public Participation Mechanism Efficacy 2.2: Barriers to Participation Identified by the Literature Review 3.1: SECC Members Contacted for an Interview 3.2: Squamish Women Contacted for an Interview 5.1: Results from the Informal SECC Survey 5.2: Barriers to Participation Identified by the SECC Documents 5.3: Letters to the Editor by Gender of Author 5.4: Number of Newspaper Articles by Gender of Reporter 5.5: Barriers to Participation Identified by the Newspaper Coverage 5.6: Barriers to Participation Identified by SECC Members 5.7: Community Involvement of Workshop Participants 5.8: Barriers to Participation Identified by Women List of Figures 2.1: Principles of Sustainability 7 2.2: Arnstein's Ladder of Citizen Participation 15 2.3: Barriers to Citizen Participation 20 3.1: Location of Squamish, B.C. 35 3.2: Location of Squamish Estuary Management Plan Area 36 4.1: 1982 Squamish Estuary Management Plan Area Designations 49 4.2: 1982 Squamish Estuary Project Review Process 54 4.3: Membership of the SECC and SEMC 56 4.4: 1992 Squamish Estuary Project Review Process 57 4.5: 1992 Squamish Estuary Management Plan Area Designations 58 4.6: Comparison Between 1982 and 1992 Land Designations 59 4.7: Land Ownership Transfer 60 4.8: Habitat Compensation Works 61 4.9: Development Sites 63 4.10: History of the Squamish Estuary Management Plan 70 vii Acknowledgments I would like to thank Maureen Reed, Neil Guppy, Tony Dorcey, Margaret North and Alison Gill for their many helpful suggestions and comments during the course of this research. Special thanks to Maureen for her guidance and support. I would also like to thank the many people in Squamish who helped me with this research. Particular thanks goes to the women who volunteered their time to participate in the workshops and to be interviewed, the Squamish Public Library and the Howe Sound Women's Centre. I would also like to thank the members of the Squamish Estuary Co-ordinating Committee for allowing me to interview them. I would also like to acknowledge S.R. McEwan, Architect, for allowing me to use his maps of the Squamish estuary. As well, I owe a great deal of thanks to the many friends who helped me during this research; to Stephanie , to Ian for the frequent use of his car, to Mike for laughs by e-mail :-), to Catharine for lots of supportive phone calls, to Heather and Richard for lots of helpful advice, to Elizabeth for her understanding and to Marc for always cheering me up. Your support and belief in me helped me stay motivated and determined. Lastly, thank you to my family, Dad, Mom, Yvonne, Alison, Joe and Leo for your endless love and support (especially the financial support). Even though you are far away, you always seem close at hand. Special thanks to Yvonne, who is always ready to help no matter how big the favour and to Dad, who taught me the value of asking questions and the joy of finding answers. Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION Since the World Commission on Environment and Development released Our Common Future in 1987, most often referred to as the Brundtland Report, the term sustainable development has generated much discussion and raised many questions. Brundtland (WCED, 1987, p. 8) stated that, "Humanity has the ability to make development sustainable — to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." While the vagueness of this term has been criticized, it has opened up discussion to a wide variety of players from business and industry to environmental groups to local communities. In addition, the Brundtland Report (WCED, 1987) specifically emphasized the role of the community in grassroots solutions to development and environmental problems. It maintained that sustainable development should be implemented with the co-ordination of all levels of government (including local levels) and grassroots involvement. However, as various communities struggle to define sustainable development or sustainability, questions arise about how the concept can be put into practice. In the process, crucial issues involving the role which communities play in development and the nature of public participation are beginning to be explored. In order to have real grassroots solutions, all members of the community must be able to participate in a meaningful way in defining and implementing sustainability1. In many formal policy and decision-making processes it is mainly men who are involved. For example, the 1992 United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development included mainly male Heads of State. This results in a definition of sustainable development largely uninformed by the opinions, ideas and solutions of women. If half of the world's population is excluded from shaping * The debate regarding the use of the terms "sustainable development" versus "sustainable" is discussed later in the paper. sustainable development then it can never be truly sustainable because women's involvement is a necessary component of sustainability. Research on women and sustainability has tended to focus on women in developing countries. Women's roles in shaping the sustainable development debate in the developed world have not been systematically explored. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to examine the nature of women's participation in defining and developing sustainability. Participation is examined in the context of a planning process in Squamish, British Columbia, Canada. Qualitative research methods are used to analyze women's participation in the planning process associated with an estuary in this area. 1.1: Research Objectives There are many definitions of sustainable development and some of these are explored in this research. The accepted definition for this study is one which encompasses three components: social sustainability, economic sustainability and ecological sustainability. This definition is like a three legged stool, each leg must be present to establish the necessary components for sustainable development. When decisions are made about sustainable development, they must include grassroots participation. This participation should occur in a way which effectively allows all members of the community to participate, including women. The research suggests that barriers to this effective public participation may occur at the level of institutional arrangements, at a community level or at a societal level. Within each of these levels, barriers may have a disproportionate affect on women. Therefore, this research has three objectives: Objective 1: to define effective public participation in the context of local level environmental decision-making Objective 2: to identify barriers to women inherent in public participation processes associated with environmental planning decisions Objective 3: to make recommendations which eliminate barriers to women's participation in environmental planning decisions 2 A case study has been chosen to examine these issues. Located 50 kilometers north of Vancouver, the Squamish Estuary supports a diverse number of uses including fish and wildlife habitat, forestry and tourism. In 1992, a land use plan for this region was released for public consultation. The Squamish Estuary Management Plan (SEMP) provides an ideal case study for exploring these research objectives. The case study relies on multiple sources of evidence including the analysis of planning documents and newspaper coverage, interviews with policy makers and women from the community and workshops with women from Squamish. The data are analyzed to determine what barriers prevented women from participating in the SEMP participation process. Recommendations are made for making the planning process more inclusive to women ensuring that decisions about sustainable development include women's perspectives. 1.2: Thesis Approach Chapter 2 of this thesis consists of a literature review of sustainability development, focusing on the role of community involvement and women. Looking more closely at community participation, it details ideas about how the public participate in decision-making and what defines effective public participation. Barriers which prevent effective public participation are detailed with an emphasis on barriers that differentially affect women. Chapter 3 outlines the research methods used to understand the participatory mechanisms of the SEMP process. Research methods include document analysis, interviews and workshops. Chapter 4 gives a history of the Squamish Estuary Management Plan and the issues and concerns surrounding the use of the Squamish Estuary. A history of the public participation process associated with the SEMP is traced. Chapter 5 discusses the research findings and analysis. It explains what barriers were revealed using each research method and includes some comments on the success of the workshop method. Chapter 6 compares the barriers outlined in the literature review with the barriers revealed by the research, evaluates the effectiveness of the SEMP public 3 participation process and makes recommendations on how to ensure a public participation process inclusive, especially for women. 4 Chapter 2 SUSTAINABILITY AND PUBLIC PARTICEPATION This review of the literature is broken down into three main sections. The first section examines a number of definitions of sustainability with reference to the importance of full community participation. Questioning community participation necessitates defining what constitutes effective public participation. Therefore, the second section examines different definitions of effective public participation and provides criteria for evaluating effectivness. Finally, using this definition, possible barriers to achieving effective public participation are explored with an emphasis on how these barriers affect women's participation. 2.1 Sustainability Since the Brundtland Commission, there has been much debate over the difference between the terms sustainable development and sustainability. Our Common Future (WCED, 1987) used the term sustainable development and advocated a world economic growth rate of approximately 5% to close the gap between rich and poor nations. One strength of this term (and the vagueness of the WCED definition) is that it brings many different players into the discussion, who, given a less vague definition, might not have considered ideas of sustainable development. Lele (1991, p. 613) stated, SD [sustainable development] is a "metafix" that will unite everybody from the profit-minded industrialist and risk-minimizing subsistence farmer to the equity-seeking social worker, the pollution-concerned or wildlife-loving First Worlder, the growth-maximizing policy-maker, the goal-oriented bureaucrat, and therefore, the vote-counting politician. However, with many different players all working on their own definition of sustainable development there is the danger that the term will become meaningless. Critiques of the term 5 have often centered around the emphasis placed on the "development" part of the definition (Eckersley, 1990; Gardner and Roseland, 1989a). Believing that what is needed is a new kind of development which concentrates not on economic growth but on stable economic systems and social equity, many authors prefer to use the term sustainability to separate their terminology from the pro-economic growth connotations of the term development (e.g. Gardner and Roseland, 1989b). While the terms sustainable development and sustainability are open to a wide variety of interpretations, one common component in many definitions is the idea of grassroots movements and community involvement, either through direct reference or through the ideas of equity and self-determination. This research uses a definition of sustainability which includes the ideas of social justice and public participation. In Our Common Future, the WCED (1987, p. 43) stated that sustainability is "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." Gardner and Roseland (1989, p. 28) maintained that there are four main principles upon which sustainability rests: the fulfillment of basic human needs, the maintenance of ecological integrity, provision for social self-determination and the achievement of equity. Similarly, Dorcey (1991) defined sustainability as: maintaining ecological integrity and diversity, meeting basic human needs, keeping options open for future generations, reducing injustice and increasing self-determination. So while ideas of the importance of involvement at a local and personal level are not explicitly articulated, the concepts of self-reliance, equity and social self-determination reveal the importance placed on grassroots involvement and community-based decision-making. Robinson et al. (1990, p. 44) defined sustainability as, "the persistence over an apparently indefinite future of certain necessary and desired characteristics of the socio-political system and its natural environment". They divided sustainability into two components, 6 Figure 2.1: Principles of Sustainability Principles of Sustainability Basic value principles • The continued existence cf the natural world is inherently good. The natural world and its component lite forms, and the ability of the natural world to regenerate itself through its own natural evolution, have intrinsic value. • Cultural sustainability depends on tne ability of a society to claim the loyalty of its adherents through the propagation of a set of values that are acceptable to the populace and through the provision of socio-political institutions that make realization ol those values possible. , Definition of sustainability - Sustainability is the persistence over an apparently indefinite future of certain necessary and desired characteristics of the socio-political system and its natural environment. Key characteristics of sustainability • Sustainability is a normative ethical principle. II has both necessary and desirable characteristics. There therefore exists no single version of a sustainable system. • Both environmental/ecological and social/political sustainability are required for a sustainable society. • We cannot, and don't want to. guarantee persistence of any particular system in perpetuity. We want to preserve the capacity for the system to change. Thus sustainability is never achieved once and lor all. but only approached. It is a process, not a state. It will often be easier to identify unsustainability than sustainability. Principles of environmental/ecological sustainability • Life support systems must be protected. This requires decontamination of air. water and soil and reduction in waste flows. • Biotic diversity must be protected and enhanced. • We must maintain or enhance the integrity of ecosystems through careful management of soils and nutrient cycles, and we must develop and implement rehabilitative measures for badly degraded ecosystems. • Preventive and adaptive strategies for responding to the threat of global ecological change are needed. Principles of socio-political sustainability Derived from environmental/ecological constraints • The physical scale of human activity must be kept below the total carrying capacity of the planetary biosphere. • We must recognize the environmental costs of human activities and develop methods to minimize energy and material use per unit of economic activity, reduce noxious emissions, and permit the decontamination and rehabilitation of degraded ecosystems. • Socio-political and economic equity must be ensured in the transition to a more sustainable society. • Environmental concerns need to be incorporated more directly and extensively into the political decision-making process, through such mechanisms as improved environmental assessment and an environmental bill of rights. • There is a need for increased public involvement in the development, interpretation and implementation of concepts of sustaina-bility. • Political activity must be linked more directly to actual environmental experience through allocation of political power to more environmentally meaningful jurisdictions, and the promotion of greater local and regional self-reliance. Derived from socio-political criteria ' A sustainable society requires an open, accessible political process that puts effective decision-making power at the level of government closest to the situation and lives of the people affected by a decision. • All persons should have freedom from extreme want and from vulnerability to economic coercion as well as the positive ability to participate creatively and self-directedly in the political and economic system. • There should exist at least a minimum level of equality and social justice, including equality of opportunity to realize one's full human potential, recourse to an open and just legal system, freedom from political repression, access to high quality education, effective access to information, and freedom of religion, speech and assembly. Source: Robinson, John, George Francis, Russel Legge and Sally Lerner, 1990. "Defining a Sustainable Society, Values, Principles and Definitions" Alternatives. 17 (2), p. 44. environmental/ecological sustainability and socio-political sustainability (Figure 2.1). This is important because it again recognized that sustainability is not just about resource use but has a social component as well. Several of the socio-political principles emphasize the importance of increased public participation and the freedom to participate in a creative and self-directed manner. Further refinements of sustainability conceptualize it as a complex entity, containing ecological, economic and social components (Barbier, 1987; Robinson et al, 1990; and Manning, 1992). Ecological sustainability includes: biodiversity, and resource management. Social sustainability includes equity, public participation, social justice, freedom from political repression, access to education, and cultural diversity. Economic sustainability includes: satisfaction of basic human needs, and economic equity. All three components are equally important and sustainability necessitates that all three are considered. This three pronged conceptualization of sustainability is adopted for this research. But sustainability is not just an end result, it is also a process. The way that decisions are made about sustainability is also important. Social sustainability focuses more on the process involved in creating sustainability as opposed to the end result and makes it crucial to understand citizen participation in environmental decision-making and the importance of including women in this participation. Discussions of social self-determination within the sustainability literature concentrate on the ability of communities to create solutions using their own resources. Gardner and Roseland (1989b, p. 29) stated, From self-determination stems the potential for community self-reliance, cultural integrity, enhanced creative and problem-solving capabilities, and individual development and fulfillment outside of acquisitive materialism... All these factors increase the motivation and the ability of citizens and communities to take the initiative in meeting their own needs in a manner that maintains the integrity of ecosystems. 8 To date, writings on self-determination and equality in regards to women have concentrated largely on the developing countries. This literature focuses on the link between woman's poverty and unsustainability (e.g. Shiva, 1988; Jacobson, 1992). In the subsistence lifestyle of most developing countries, women's lack of access to resources needed to sustain the family (such as cropland and forests) results in environmental degradation. This literature stresses the need for women to have control over land ownership, commodity pricing and allocation of financial resources and access to education. Through these mechanisms, women would break free from the cycle of poverty which leads to environmental degradation. However, very little of this literature deals with how comparatively wealthy women in the developed world can gain access to decision-making about sustainability. And yet, the idea of full grassroots involvement in defining sustainability is a very powerful one. Redclift (1992, p. 397) stated, we immediately open up the exciting possibility that sustainable development might be defined by people themselves, to represent an ongoing process of self-realization and empowerment. The 'bottom line', in practical terms, is that if people are not brought into focus through sustainable development, becoming both the architects and engineers of the concept, then it will never be achieved anyway, since they are unlikely to take responsibility for something they do not 'own' themselves. In order to ensure that the whole community shares this sense of'ownership', it is crucial that women are involved in the process of defining sustainable development. This will require a degree of power sharing by those traditional decision-makers within the community. Gardner and Roseland (1989b, p. 29) stated that, "Power is best shared under conditions of peace, effective citizen participation in decision making, "human scale communities", and decentralization of management and political control — in other words, conditions of social self-determination." The challenge for sustainability is to share power within a community in a way which is fair and equal and allows all members of the community the opportunity to participate. 9 2.1.1 Women and Sustainability While the importance of women's access to processes which serve to shape sustainability is recognized, little is being done to increase this access. The 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), held in Rio de Janeiro, reinforced the view that the full participation of women is a critical component of sustainability. In the preamble to the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development (Agenda 21), principle 20 stated that, "Women have a vital role in environmental management and development. Their full participation is therefore essential to achieve sustainable development." (United Nations, 1992). Agenda 21 went on to make more specific recommendations in regards to women's participation in Chapter 24, "Global Action for Women Towards Sustainable and Equitable Development". This chapter stated that, "Effective implementation of these programmes will depend on the active involvement of women in economic and political decision-making and will be critical to the successful implementation of Agenda 21" (United Nations, 1992, Vol. 3, p. 5). Recommendations included in this chapter focused on the need to increase women's involvement in all aspects of the environment including decision-making, planning, advising, technical fields and the need to establish review policies and plans to ensure these goals are met. In addition, Agenda 21 (United Nations, 1992, Vol. 3, p. 5) stated that countries should, "consider developing and issuing by the year 2000 a strategy of changes necessary to eliminate constitutional, legal, administrative, cultural, behavioral, social and economic obstacles to women's full participation in sustainable development and in public life". The United Nations estimated that the average total annual cost globally of implementing these strategies would be approximately $40 million US. While making definite and concrete suggestions about women's involvement, decision makers at this conference were still largely male heads of state participating in a top-down approach to development. Women accessed the conference through one aspect of the UNCED conference, the large delegation of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's). Holding their own conference 10 entitled the Global Forum, these groups came up with their own set of alternative treaties using a process very different from the top-down approach of UNCED. The resulting treaties reinforced the importance of women's participation and stated, The participation of women — half the world's population ~ is indispensable in the conduct of daily life and policy-making, from the community to the national and international level. Everywhere, women are initiators and catalysts of environmental and developmental activism. Their perspectives, values, skills and diverse experiences must be brought into leadership and policy-making ... As activists in non-governmental organizations, we pledge to demand and work for gender balance in public policy analyses ... We call for the adoption of forms of governance which are decentralized and in which arrangements for natural resource management are centered on people and communities. (Global Forum, 1992, p. G-l). It is important to realize that the United Nations, and the UNCED document Agenda 21 have no legal status at an international or national level. Agenda 21 is merely a set of guidelines for sustainability, and implementation is left up to each individual country. Within Canada, the Green Plan reflects the national attempt to implement concepts of Agenda 21. In this plan, the role of women was considerably diluted, Women have played, and continue to play, a crucial role in issues related to the environment. Women have a unique and vital perspective on strategies for achieving sustainable development that must be taken into account. The Government of Canada recognized that women must be full partners in The Green Plan. (Green Plan. 1990, p. 136) However, the Green Plan does not make any suggestions or recommendations about how this partnership is to take place. In fact, this is the only mention of women's participation in the entire 174 page document. Moving to the provincial scale, documents from the British Columbia Round Table on the Environment and Economy (1993) stress the need to decentralize decision-making to the 11 community level as well as the need to develop community sustainability. Community sustainability is defined by five theme areas: ecological limitations, economic viability, social equity, sustainable governance and community self-reliance and responsible citizenship. Through social equity, individual members of the community have equal opportunities regardless of race, gender, religion, culture, ability or lifestyle. Although women are not specifically mentioned within the framework of community sustainability in these documents, the fact that social equity is an essential component of community sustainability should ensure that women have access to decision-making. Therefore, it is apparent that while the academic and government literature on sustainability is clear about the importance of women's involvement in defining and implementing sustainability it is unclear about the form which this participation should take. If, as shown above, one of the main principles of sustainability is that all people within a community, including women, should have the opportunity to participate effectively in defining and implementing the concept, then crucial questions arise including: What constitutes effective participation? How can women be involved in this process of power sharing? What kinds of barriers prevent women from having their many voices heard in the decision-making process? In summary, although definitions of sustainability are varied, one common component is the importance of community involvement in defining and implementing the concept. For this thesis, I have defined sustainability as incorporating three components, an ecological component, an economic component and a social component. All three are equally important but I have focused on the social component to the extent that it deals with inclusive processes about how sustainable options out to be crystalized in practice. The importance of grassroots involvement and the need for effective participation which allows and encourages women to become involved in the decision-making which helps to shape sustainability is clear. What remains unclear is how this is to take place. 1 2 2.2 Public Participation Having shown that community involvement is a crucial component of sustainability this review turns to the question of what and who defines the community. Truman and Lopez (1993, p. 292) defined community as, "an entity attempting to reproduce itself socially and biologically as a group through time using its culture as a creative tool for the solution of collective problems and the satisfaction of its own primary material and spiritual needs". They view the community as an organization with three components, the public sector of governance (the political), the private sector of resource allocation and control (the economic) and the religious sector (the ritual). This religious sector in western society is characterized by a technical or personal perspective rather than an expression of the larger society developed through dialogue. Interestingly, Truman and Lopez (1993, p. 292-3) saw participation as crucial to this organization and stated, Characteristically, the congruence among these three sectors was maintained by a process of participation and consensus building among the members of the community. Through time these three sectors have become increasingly separated in terms of analyzing, planning, and implementing actions that affect the members of the community. This fragmentation has produced inconsistencies and contradictions in the goals of planning and in the impacts of plans themselves. Truman and Lopez (1993) believed that the increasing industrialization of western society has resulted in the emphasis being placed on individual action at the cost of community solidarity and that the consequences have been the loss of a sense of belonging in a community and the ability to problem solve as a group. They advocated for a balance between individual action and community solidarity which can be achieved through mechanisms which allow effective participation in group decision-making. Historically, the literature on public participation in Canada dates back to the post World War II period when community development was first introduced. The Community Planning Association of Canada (CP AC) was formed to, "Promote the advantages of planning for Canadian cities and towns with citizens, local government officials, other levels of government, and the business 13 community" (Hodge, 1986, p. 349). In 1955, the United Nations issued a report entitled Social Progress Through Community Development, which stated, "Community development can be defined as a process designed to create economic and social progress for the whole community with its active participation and the fullest reliance upon the community's initiative" (Lotz, 1987, p. 42). During the 1960s theories of public participation emerged. In 1969, Sherry Arnstein developed a Ladder of Citizen Participation which illustrated the various levels at which communities could participate in decision making ( Figure 2.2). The bottom rung, manipulation, consists of organizing participation to educate and persuade citizens to accept preconceived plans. The next level, therapy, involves engaging citizens in diversionary activities which will 'cure' them of their concerns. Informing occurs when information is supplied to the public but the citizen response is rarely sought. In consultation explicit means are used to obtain the views of citizens, such as surveys and public meetings. However, little effort may be made in ensuring that both sides clearly understand the issues and concerns. Withplacation citizens are given the opportunity to . be heard but may not be heeded. These first five rungs illustrate methods which range from essentially non-participation (manipulation and therapy) to various degrees of tokenism (informing, consultation and placation). The top three rungs enable citizens to engage in some degree of citizen power. The sixth rung, partnership, involves an agreement to share responsibility through joint policy boards or committees. In delegated power, citizens dominate the decision making responsibility for a plan. And, in citizen control, citizens govern a program in all its policy and management aspects (Arnstein, 1969). Arnstein's ladder provides a useful way to look at decision-making because it focuses on degrees of power-sharing. For women, the higher up Arnstein's ladder participation takes place, the more opportunities women will have to make meaningful input if they are present in significant numbers and they participate in framing and shaping the discourse. However, if participation does not involve a high degree of power sharing, women are likely to be prevented from having input into 14 Figure 2.2: Arnstein's Ladder of Citizen Participation Citizen control Delegated power Partnership Placation Consultation Informing Therapy Manipulation Degrees of Citizen power Degrees of Tokenism Nonparticipation Source: Arnstein, Sherry, 1969. "Ladder of Citizen Participation" Journal of the American Institute of Planners, 35, pp. 217. 15 decision-making processes since there are fewer women in positions of power. For example, at the present time, only 53 out of 295 Members of Parliament in Canada are female. Within the Federal Cabinet, only 4 out of 22 Cabinet posts belong to women (Vancouver Sun, Oct. 27/93, p. A-4). In the province of British Columbia, only 19 of the 75 MLA's are women and of the 19 cabinet positions, only 7 are held by women (Province of British Columbia, 1993)1. Therefore, using Arnstein's ladder we can see that women have access to decision-making processes only if they are members of decision-making bodies or if citizen participation takes place at the level of citizen power-sharing. Lotz (1987, p. 44) states, "In Canada, public participation has been very conservative, rather than innovative, and has favoured the rich, the well-informed and those with access to the corridors of power". Since women have not historically been well represented in these groups, we can conclude that women have been restricted from public participation. However, Arnstein's Ladder has been criticized because it views public participation in terms of power (Smith, 1987, Kasperson and Brietbart, 1974). Smith (1987) stated that this view does not advance the theory of public participation because Arnstein's ladder does not address reasons why those in power, the "have's" would want to share it with the "have not's". However, research indicates that the "have's" benefit from power-sharing because it makes implementation easier. In 1974, the B.C. Provincial Task Force on Citizen Participation stated, When it comes to implementation of policy, decisions which have been reached with maximum public involvement are most likely to have minimum opposition, thus reducing friction, easing implementation and perhaps avoiding expensive reversal of decisions. Arnstein's ladder helps to identify the types of power relationships which may take place in a public participation process. In addition, it helps to illustrate what expectations people may have about a public participation process. Expecting to be involved at a level of real power-sharing, citizens may become disillusioned when faced with mere token power-sharing. 1 For similar information on countries other than Canada, see Hessing, 1993. 16 2.3 Effective Public Participation Using the Ladder of Citizen Participation, Arnstein (1969, p. 216) suggested that the purpose of public participation is to enable power to be shared between the "have's" and "have not's". She stated that, "participation without redistribution of power is an empty and frustrating process for the powerless". Presumably, then, the higher up the ladder participation takes place, the more power will be redistributed to the powerless and the more effective the public participation will be. Mitchell (1989) proposes three components which provide for good public participation. First, information must be disseminated to those whose views are sought so that they understand the participation goals. This is called the information out stage. Correspondingly, there is an information in stage whereby information is received from the public. Mitchell contends that because most planning processes occur over a long period of time, mechanisms must exist to facilitate the continuous exchange of information between managers and the public. Mitchell ranks the effectiveness of various public participation mechanisms as shown in Table 2.1. Mitchell emphasizes that it is the mechanism of achieving public participation which determines its efficacy and not the degree to which power is shared from resource managers to the public. Both Mitchell and Smith (1984) reject the idea of one single mechanism for garnering public participation and instead contend that successful public participation uses several different methods. Smith (1984, p. 256) stated, "it has been realized that successful participation involves the utilization of a number of techniques in a compatible sequence and that no one technique can be effective when used in isolation". In developing a schema for the evaluation of public participation, Smith (1987) defines effectiveness in terms of 6 criteria. These are: the focus on the issues, the representativeness of participants, the appropriateness of processes, the degree of awareness achieved, the impact and influence of participation, and time and cost. The focus on the issues deals with the extent to 17 Table 2.1: Public Participation Mechanism Efficacy Mechanism Representative-ness Information In Information Out Continuous Exchange Ability to Make Decisions Public Meetings Poor Poor Good Poor Poor-Fair Task Force Poor Good Good Good Fair-Good Advisory Groups Poor-Good Poor-Good Poor-Good Good Fair Social Surveys Good Poor Fair Poor Poor Individual/Group Submissions Poor Good Poor Poor Poor Litigation Poor-Fair Good Good Poor Good Arbitration Poor-Fair Good Good Poor Good Environmental Mediation Poor-Fair Good Good Fair Good Lobbying Poor-Fair Good Fair Good Fair Source: Mitchell, Bruce, 1989. "Geography and Resource Analysis" Essex, England: Longman, Scientific & Technical, p. 119. 18 which the objectives of the participation agree with the goals of the participants. The participants should represent all interests relevant to the issue and processes should suit the goals and objectives of both the participation mandate and the participants involved. Effective public participation should also raise the awareness and education of those involved in the process. The participation should clearly have an influence on the final decisions and upon later concerns. Lastly, time and cost should balance the equity and accountability of the participation. While this is strictly a qualitative analysis of effective public participation, it allows for judgments to be made in a systematic method about the credibility of a public participation process. Therefore, it is these criteria are used to evaluate effective public participation in this research. 2.4 Barriers to Effective Public Participation Accepting Smith's criteria for effective public participation, it is important to consider the barriers which serve to prevent the public from becoming involved in any planning process and reducing it's effectiveness. Drawing from work done by Mitchell (1987, 1989) and Truman and Lopez (1993) these barriers can be classified into three categories, 1) barriers arising from institutional arrangements; 2) community barriers and; 3) societal barriers (Figure 2.3). Barriers arising from institutional arrangements are a result of the planning process and include: cost, high expectations of the public, lack of trust, centralized decision-making, frequent transfers of personnel, inappropriate public participation methods, inappropriate attitudes, values and skills of the planning personnel and inappropriate systems of evaluation. Barriers which may exist within the community include: factionalism across different interests, the lack of appropriate local leadership and organization skills, the role of interest groups, lack of facilities and corruption. Societal barriers include: political factors, laws , bureaucracy, level of education, level of income, the restrictions of social roles and the devaluing of women's voices and knowledge (Table 2.2). 19 Figure 2.3: Barriers to Citizen Participation Figure 2.3 illustrates what barriers may inhibit public participation. Barriers arising from institutional arrangements include: cost, high expectations of the public, lack of trust, centralized decision-making, frequent transfers of personnel, inappropriate public participation methods, inappropriate attitudes, values and skills of the planning personnel and inappropriate systems of evaluation. Barriers which may exist within the community include: factionalism across different interests, the lack of appropriate local leadership and organization skills, the role of interest groups, lack of facilities and corruption. Societal barriers include: political factors, laws , bureaucracy, level of education, level of income, the restrictions of social roles and the devaluing of women's voices and knowledge. The circles are nested to illustrate that some barriers may act at more than one level. For example, lack of child care facilities at a public meeting may prevent women from attending because of women's primary role in child care. This barrier is experienced at the community level. However, since women's primary responsibility for child care is a societal role, the barrier is classified in the research as a societal one. Table 2.2: Barriers to Participation Identified by the Literature Review Barrier Type Literature Review Institutional Arrangements • cost • high expectations of public • lack of trust • centralized decision- making • frequent transfers of personnel • inappropriate public participation methods • inappropriate attitudes, values and skills of personnel • inappropriate systems of evaluation Community • factionalism across different interests • lack of appropriate local leadership and organization skills • role of interest groups • corruption • lack of facilities Societal • political factors • laws • bureaucracy • level of education • level of income • restrictions of social roles • devaluing women's voices Some women may experience additional barriers in this category including lower education and income levels, the devaluing of women's voices and knowledge, underrepresentation in positions of power and the restrictions of accepted societal roles for women. These additional obstacles then serve to exacerbate barriers within the institutional and community spheres. Sadler (1977, p. 7) stated, "Non-participation typically mirrors social and economic inequalities and is reflected most tellingly in groups at the periphery of society, such as minorities and the disadvantaged". Each of these categories of barriers is discussed in turn, with special attention to the implications for women. 2.4.1 Institutional Arrangements Barriers which arise from institutional arrangements are barriers which originate within the planning process itself. A turning point in public participation in planning decisions occurred with the Berger Inquiry into the MacKenzie Valley Pipeline in 1975 which raised many Canadians expectations in regards to public participation (Smith, 1987). Berger used three hearing types (preliminary, formal and community), funding of public interest groups, an open, accessible information bank and the employment of an independent participant counsel to solicit the views of Canadians. While successful in generating input, these precedent setting techniques were also very costly. Because of budget restraints subsequent public participation initiatives disillusioned a public with high expectations resulting from the example of the Berger Inquiry. Smith (1987, p. 224) stated, Thus, many management agencies find themselves in the horns of a dilemma. On the one hand they face rising expectations from a variety of citizens to be involved in a meaningful way. On the other hand they are constrained by budgetary restrictions and an unwillingness to risk the political consequences of a participation programme with an open mandate. 22 Smith's statement also points to the problems which can arise from the high expectations of the public. The expense associated with large-scale public participation may result in a narrowed focus in public participation programmes. These restrictions conflict markedly with the high expectations of citizens engaged in public participation and may lead to feelings of disillusionment and cynicism. A history of such disillusionment can lead to an environment of mistrust between the public and planning agencies. This mistrust may colour any new public participation programmes regardless of the planning staff involved. In addition, lack of trust can be exacerbated by other institutional barriers. Centralized decision-making can lead to mistrust and act as a barrier to participation when decisions are made behind closed doors and outside the community. Citizens may feel that outside planning agencies do not have the right to make decisions about their community. Frequent transfers of personnel may also add to a lack of trust and prevent participation. Planning decisions often involve long processes and some personnel changes can be expected. However, frequent transfers of personnel may result in mistakes as the new staff familiarize themselves with the process and require trust building to begin again with each new staff member. Inappropriate public participation methods also add to the mistrust and prevent participation as citizens become disillusioned with the process. For example, Smith (1984, p. 256) criticized the reliance on public hearings viewing them as poor facilitators of information exchange. He stated, hearings are poor evaluators of the 'public interest'. They are severely deficient as information receivers and poor facilitators of dialogue, as viewpoints tend to polarize, leaving little opportunity for accommodation or compromise. ... Hearings necessitate an equality of participation that is lacking in the Canadian context. In addition, public hearings differentially affect women because they are ill-suited to the way that women learn. In her book, A Different Voice, Gilligan (1982) showed that boys learn to function through goal-oriented linear perspectives which emphasize independence and separation and that 23 men learn a pattern of communication which centers on contesting dominance in a hierarchical group. Girls learn through a perspective which is process-oriented, relational, contextual and based upon intimacy and closeness. Thus, the way in which information is disseminated in a public hearing and participation which includes the isolating experience of standing up in front of a group alone and speaking (often with a microphone and video camera) may be unsuited to women's needs. In an interview about her public participation, one woman stated, "It was real different for me, a real change to suddenly be walking into congressional hearings. It wasn't real easy. There were lots of times when I was so unsure of myself (Warren, 1992, p. 32). The choice of an inappropriate participation method may be a result of the inappropriate attitudes, values and skills of the personnel. This may include a lack of knowledge and experience with different public participation methods or the view that public opinion is not a valuable input into the planning process. As a result, the public may not be encouraged to participate or may feel that their participation made little difference. The degree to which participation can be seen as successful is dictated by the goals and objectives set out by the participation mandate. Inappropriate systems of evaluation may result from a failure to define these goals. At the end of a public participation process, both the participants and the managers must be able to use these objectives to decide the success of the participation. Otherwise, managers might feel that the public participation was a success while participants may be left disillusioned, disappointed and less likely to participate in the future. These feelings may contribute, again, to a lack of trust. 2.4.2 Community Barriers Barriers which exist at a community level may also result in a lack of trust within the community. Factionalism across different interests can polarize a community. This may result in animosity and confrontation and may discourage citizens from becoming involved. Participation may also be prevented due to inappropriate local leadership and organization skills. Inexperienced 24 leaders may not have the skills necessary to mobilize community involvement. Such skill include working with the media, public speaking, motivating volunteers, fund raising and networking skills. As a result, well-organized community interest groups often serve to facilitate the participation of individuals. Cloke and Little (1990, p. 232) stated, The need for high levels of technical expertise, and the availability of considerable resources in the form of time and money, means that it is much more realistic and rewarding for the interests of the individual to be represented through community action or pressure groups Interest groups or non-governmental organizations (NGO's) are an increasingly popular way of trying to access some of the power and influence of decision-makers. Greenpeace membership in Britain rose from 10,000 in 1980 to 411,000 in 1991, the National Wildlife Federation's membership doubled since 1970 and now stands at 5.8 million (Seager, 1993). NGO's may be large, national or international organizations with many issues or small community groups with a single interest. The prominent role played by organized activist groups (Sadler, 1978) and women's under-representation in the leadership of these groups limits women's participation in environmental decision-making, instead of providing a way for women's voices to be heard and validated. For example, Greenpeace, formed in 1972 by David McTaggert, has a present day operating budget of $27.5 million and has main offices in 20 countries. However, the executive director of Greenpeace International and the executive directors of all 20 offices are men. In addition, as of 1989, no woman had ever held the post of national Executive Director (Seager, 1993). This is especially ironic given that Greenpeace prides itself on being outside of the mainstream environmental movement. The high proportion of men in positions of power within environmental groups is even more striking when we consider that 80 percent of those involved in environmental activism are women (MacDonald, 1994). 25 By following hierarchical power regimes, these groups restrict women's participation. In his book entitled Inside the Environmental Movement, Donald Snow (1992, p. 213) recommended that environmental NGO's should redouble their efforts to bring qualified women into key positions and that, Efforts need to be made to expand the national constituency for conservation through deliberate recruitment of leaders from minority and low-income communities and through focused efforts to address environmental issues of particular concern to these communities. In an article on women and sustainability, Melody Hessing (1993, p. 18) suggested that this under representation of women in environmental decision making is reflective of a larger structural and procedural gender bias. She stated, it is not just the paucity of women in positions of power that is problematic for women. Even in environmental groups, where women are very visible as members and activists, they are underrepresented in top managerial positions. While it it true that women are visible as members of these groups, it has also been suggested that the empowerment of interest groups can serve to disempower individuals, including women. Kubiski (1992, p. 12) stated, When power is held primarily by groups, individuals come to be represented by an involuntary proxy. When a leader of a powerful ethnic group speaks out for the "ethnic community," for example, s/he tends to be heard as speaking for all people in the community. This type of proxy representation then becomes enshrined by government as total representation in public consultations, on boards and other processes. At the extreme, a myth of total representation comes into play, whereby government believes (for example) that it has achieved representation of all persons with disabilities by having one person with one disability on one committee... And of course, people who choose not to see themselves as part of a group also need their opportunity to speak. 26 Thus, this results in the problem of tokenism, where one token woman is present on a board or committee and it is assumed that the views of all women are included. In addition to the problems with interest groups, corruption within the community may limit participation. This corruption may take place within NGO's or community institutions such as Municipal councils or planning departments. For example, a development company may exert undue influence upon a Municipal council. Actual or perceived corruption will discourage participation if citizens feel that their participation will be ineffectual. Participation may also be restricted by a lack of appropriate facilities. This may mean that there is no place within a community to hold a public meeting. Even if a facility is available it may prevent certain segments of the community from participating. For example, it may not be accessible to physically challenged citizens or to those who rely on public transportation. This barrier is partially a result of the marginalization of these groups by society. 2.4.3 Societal Barriers The structure of our society results in other barriers as well. Political factors which prevent participation include policies developed by all three levels of government as well as the desire of governments to make decisions which are politically popular. There may be laws within society which prevent public participation in some decisions. For example, property laws may preclude citizen participation in land use decisions. Also, the bureaucracy of our society could discourage participation in decision which may be snarled in "red tape". In addition to these barriers, some societal barriers may affect marginalized groups, including women, more significantly than the mainstream. A participant's level of education is one such barrier. Cloke and Little (1990, p. 231) stated, 27 By virtue of the way in which it is carried out and publicized, participation in planning demands a relatively high level of education. Language and terminology help to exclude those without the appropriate background and confidence, and ensure that participation is left largely to the more articulate, assertive, and educated sections of society Education is a barrier which affects women more than men since generally men are more likely than women to obtain a university education. According to the 1991 census, 13% of Canadian men and 12% of Canadian women have completed their High School education (Statistics Canada, 1993 a). However, while 17% of men have completed University, only 10% of women have a University education. Within Squamish, BC (the focus for this research), 28.7% of men and 24% of women have some post-secondary education (Statistics Canada, 1993b). Parenteau (1988) suggested that one of the ways in which public participation is filtered is through the recognition of the participant as legitimate through professional expertise and education. In an article entitled "Heeding Rachel Carson's Call, Reflections of Home-Making Eco-Crusader", Helen MacDonald (1994, p. 24) stated, Last summer, in response to an opinion piece I wrote about waste (mis) management for a local newspaper, the chair of the Region of Durham expressed these sentiments in a letter to the editor, labeling my commentary as "both antiquated and non-researched by engineers and scientists," and adding that he looked forward to "Helen having more informative writings, not creative." Thus, women's views and experiences are dismissed because they lack the validation of scientific credentials or the backing of scientific inquiry. However, scientific papers are often not written in a form which is accessible to lay people. While this presents a barrier to both women and men, for women it is exacerbated by the fact that women generally have lower levels of education than men especially in the science field. For example, according to the 1991 census, in Squamish, BC while 28.7% if men and 24% of women have a post-secondary education, 65.3% of the men's degrees are in the field of engineering and applied science, while only 0.06% of the women's degrees are in this field (Statistics Canada, 1993b). Margherita Howe, founder of Operation 28 Clean (Niagara) stated, "God, it was tough at the beginning, trying to get even a glimmer of understanding from the technical terms they use" (Scott, 1987, p. 8). Smith (1993) suggested that stakeholder involvement would be more effective if the reliance on professional judgment in decision making were replaced by the use of consensual decision making. In addition to education, a low level of income may also act as a barrier to participation. Cloke and Little (1990, p. 231) stated, "participation generally requires a significant commitment in terms of time and money ... these resources are much more likely to be at the disposal of the middle rather than the working class". Since women in Canada have a lower level of income than men, these resources are also more likely to be available to men. According to the 1991 census, men's average annual income was $24 140 while women's was $20 316. Within Squamish, however, men's average annual income was $35 609 while women's was $15 140 (Statistics Canada, 1992). This lower income may be a result of several factors including lower salaries and the inability to earn an income due to child care responsibilities. The social role of women in Canada may also limit participation in more direct ways. For example, if a public meeting is held in the evening and no provisions are made for child care, this process will restrict anyone who has child care responsibilities in the evening. Since women are over represented in this category, they are unequally shut out. In 1991, there were 627,735 female led lone-parent families in Canada and only 111,015 male led, lone-parent families (Statistics Canada, 1993). Traditional reliance on such methods as public meetings has exacerbated this barrier because they are usually held in the evening and are not very child-friendly. For example, in a recent series of Open Houses held by the Fraser Basin Management Board the male to female ratio of participants was 72% to 28% (FBMB, 1993), This was in spite of the fact that Open Houses were held in the afternoon as well as evening. 29 Furthermore, even if women do have access to the process of public participation, they may face resistance from other men involved in the public participation process as well as from fathers, husbands, brothers and sons. Seager (1993, p. 271) stated, This resistance is patently based in sexist assessments of appropriate roles for women; for many men, the notion of a woman activist is an oxymoron. Women activists are stepping outside the bounds of sanctioned feminine behavior, and the techniques which men invoke to put women back in their place are often entirely based on sexist "policing" ~ there can hardly be a woman environmental activist in the world, for example, who has not been called a "hysterical housewife". It is clear that when women walk out of their homes to protest a planned clear-cutting scheme, toxic-waste dump, or highway through their community, their gender and sex identity goes with them — in a way that is not true for men. Kristin Warren, in her thesis entitled, "Role-Making and Coping Strategies Among Women in Timber-Dependent Communities" discovered that while some women found political activism associated with timber communities empowering, it also caused stress within the family as women began to operate outside of the traditional sphere of the home. One women stated, "I have backed off. I got involved in this (political activism) for my family, and if I am going to ruin my family in the process of doing this then I need to back off a bit and decide what is a priority for me" (Warren, p. 31). Helen MacDonald stated (1994, p. 23), it is concern for the family and community that catapults women into action in the first place, but in a pragmatic sense, home duties may become secondary as women become more active. Children scrounge for clean clothes; mealtimes are irregular; the food is cold; the telephone never stops ringing; every tabletop in the house is covered with documents, briefs, newspapers and magazines, and an old clunker of a typewriter sits beside last week's unfolded laundry Therefore, women may be discouraged to participate because it causes them to act outside of the role prescribed to them by society. The problems that this may cause can serve to prevent them from participating. 30 Even if women can overcome the resistance to their presence in a public participation process, the devaluing of women's voices can be a powerful deterrent to women's participation. Reliance on a worldview which sees science as objective, mechanistic, male, value-free and linear serves to reduce the value of women's knowledge (Gilligan, 1982; Merchant, 1980; Griffin, 1989; and D'Souze, 1989). Dale Spender (1982, p. 24) stated, "Women have been kept 'off the record' in most, if not all, branches of knowledge by the simple process of men naming the world as it appears to them." Thus, women's knowledge, experience and intuitions can be dismissed as 'unscientific' or 'unprofessional'. Artemis March (1982), looking at sociological theories, suggests that women are made invisible in three ways. First, women are excluded because no data on women are collected or analyzed. Secondly, women are pseudo-included, where data appear to take account of women but interpretations are really drawn from men's viewpoints. Third, women are alienated, that is, data on women are fit into adrocentric theories. Shrecker (1994) used this framework to discuss environmentalism and how class is made invisible. He suggested that because it ignores or devalues the experiences of the economically marginalized, environmentalism reflects the perspectives of an economically privileged minority. Shrecker (1994, p. 36) queried, Can institutions be designed that would be conducive to a genuinely inclusive politics? How can they avoid favouring certain kinds of participants, reflecting a situated and privileged view of the way the world works? Perhaps more importantly, will those promoting expanded opportunities for public participation be concerned about selective or biased inclusiveness? These same questions should be asked about a definition of environmentalism which ignores and devalues the experiences of women. But it is not enough to allow a place in the public participation process for women's voices to be heard. An examination what it means for women to have a voice must take place. Susan James (1992, p. 59-60) states, 31 If I am to speak in my own voice, I must at least see myself as having an individual voice. But this capacity rests on two further requirements. In the first place, I must see myself as separate from others, for it is otherwise difficult to see how I can grasp the idea of a voice being mine. In the second place, I must see myself as possessing a voice that is mine. For there may be ways of perceiving myself as a separate individual, yet as lacking the ability to speak for myself. Thus, a sense of self-esteem is a necessary component in speaking in one's own voice. A participatory method which helps to empower women and foster self-esteem may help to ensure that women's voices are truly heard. 2.5 Conclusions Truman and Lopez (1993, p. 313) stated that, People at many levels of society, including the government, are beginning to recognize that new participatory planning processes are needed to solve the complex problems we are faced with today, and that the solutions to these problems must begin at the local level. The conditions, therefore, appear to exist for reempowering communities and local organizations to plan their own futures and development. In making this claim, Truman and Lopez have omitted a discussion of women. Therefore, they fail to recognize that solutions developed within a community will not empower women unless they are fully involved in these new planning processes. In summary, an analysis of the literature on sustainability reveals that community involvement in decision-making is an important component in the definition and implementation of sustainability. Although the importance of participation of all members of a community have been stressed in the literature, analysis of marginalized groups focused mainly on class and culture. When gender lines are explored, it is mostly within the context of the developing world. What is needed is an examination of how communities and individuals within communities in developed countries can participate in creating sustainability. 32 Turning to literature on public participation there is again a gap in the research. Public participation literature examines the evolution of the demand for more and meaningful participation. The research on what barriers prevent participation can be categorized into barriers which arise from institutional arrangements, community barriers and societal barriers (Table 2.2). However, research on barriers to participation has not explored the impact of gender. By examining this aspect, one can speculate on how women are differentially excluded from participation due to, for example, lower income levels and lower levels of university education. There is a need to go beyond speculation to determine empirically the barriers women face when trying to participate in community decision-making and in shaping ideas of sustainability. Consequently, the rest of this thesis evaluates one decision-making process, the Squamish Estuary Management Plan, to identify the extent to which women participated in this process and the obstacles that they faced in trying to make their many voices heard. 33 Chapter 3 DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS The Squamish Estuary and the community of Squamish are used as a case study for this research. Yin (1984, p. 23) stated that, "A case study is an empirical inquiry that: • investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real life context; when • the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident; and in which • multiple sources of evidence are used." A case study is appropriate for this research. The contemporary phenomena is the concept of sustainability. Choosing a case study allows for women's contribution to sustainability to be explored using a real life planning process. The boundary between the concept of sustainability and the SEMP process becomes blurred as the Plan works with its own definition of sustainability. Yin (1984, p. 20) stated that the case study approach has a distinct advantage when posing 'how' and 'why' questions about a contemporary set of events and that its, "unique strength is its ability to deal with a full variety of evidence - documents, artifacts, interviews and observations." A case study allows me to examine how sustainability is being defined and implemented in the present day in one example. Multiple sources of data will be used to access different points of view and groups within the community. In particular, this research will focus on the public participation process involved in the Squamish Estuary Management Plan. Squamish is a community of approximately 12,000 people and is located 50 kilometers north of Vancouver (Figures 3.1, 3.2). Squamish is situated at the head of Howe Sound where the Squamish and Stawamus Rivers enters the Sound. In the past, the economy of Squamish has been based primarily on forestry as evidenced by the sawmill, the pulp mill and the use of the Mamquam Channel for log handling. Associated industries such as the now closed Canadian Occidental Chlorine Plant, the Squamish Terminals port facilities and a BC Rail line have also 34 Figure 3.1: Location of Squamish, BC Source: Squamish Estuary Management Plan, 1992a. "Draft Plan, Squamish Estuary Management Plan, October, 1992" District of Squamish, p. 3. 35 Figure 3.2: Location of the Squamish Estuary Management Plan Area 37 contributed to the community. The Squamish Estuary Management Plan (SEMP) was originally put into effect in 1982 and was an attempt to settle conflict over land use on the estuary between development and conservation interests. The Plan was implemented by the Squamish Estuary Coordinating Committee (SECC) which consisted of nine representatives from various provincial and federal government agencies. A revised plan was released in 1992 and at this point public input into the process was sought. This revised plan was passed by Municipal Council in October, 1993. Squamish and the SEMP process were chosen for this research for four reasons. First, the SEMP process attempted to develop a sustainable land use plan for the estuary. The SEMP tried to balance environmental and economic concerns and had two aims, to ensure that: • ecological diversity and environmental quality are sustained in an intact ecological unit comprising physical and biological features representative of the original Squamish River estuary; • sufficient land and water area are allocated to enable industrial, commercial, recreational, transportation-related and other development to proceed with enough certainty to establish a secure economic base for the community. (SEMP, 1993, p. 6) In addition, SEMP stated that socioeconomic impact studies should be performed (when deemed necessary) on projects proposed for the estuary lands. Although, SEMP does not use the term sustainability, the identification of the three components, environmental, economic and social, represent an attempt to achieve sustainable use of the estuary. Second, the Squamish Estuary Management Plan is one planning process that focused on a specific resource issue (land use on the estuary) with a wide variety of uses and concerns associated with it. Concerned stakeholders in this issue included conservationists, recreationalists and several industries including tourism and forestry. This is important because each of these groups (as well as individuals within the community) had different ideas about what types of land 38 use should be allowed on the estuary. By including people in the public participation process, the SEMP attempts to address the component of social sustainability. Third, the Squamish Estuary provided a distinct geographical area to examine issues of women's participation in environmental decision making. One of the recognized problems in dealing with community based research is the difficulty which arises in defining what and who belongs to the community. These issues are not eliminated by using Squamish as a case study. However, they are simplified in that Squamish provides a geographically focused area to begin explorations of community definition. As well, the estuary provided a focus to identify the issues which were important to the community. Fourth, this process was chosen because it typified many public participation processes. Participation was encouraged mainly through the use of public meetings or open houses, and the acceptance of written submissions. The type of multi-agency committee set up under the SEMP is similar to other planning initiatives in this area of British Columbia including the Burrard Inlet Environmental Action Plan (BIEAP), the Fraser River Estuary Management Program and the Fraser River Action Plan (BIEAP, 1992). As well, many people expressed dissatisfaction with this process, something which is typical of many participation programmes. For example, comments taken from the document, "Summary of the Public Response to the Proposed Amendment of the Squamish Estuary Management Plan" included statements like, Although I am in favour of finalizing development of the estuary, I felt that the presenters were not entirely honest. Several people at the meeting felt uneasy as if the truth was not being told...Be more honest! I am concerned that the public was not involved the SEMP process before now. The perception is that it's a fait accompli and that the bureaucrats are telling us what's "good" for us. lam also concerned and very disturbed that the public review process is so rushed. 39 I am disappointed that more effort was not made to explain to the citizens of Squamish and to assure positive support for the proposal at the "public" forum. These comments point to the dissatisfaction people felt about their participation in the SEMP process. Since the barriers confronted by residents and women in particular are the focus of this research, it was important to pick a case study which reflected a typical public participation process. As Yin (1984) stated, a case study is useful for pulling together many different types of data collection. For this research, the "official" story dealing with the public participation process was studied and compared to the "unofficial" story of the experiences of women in the community, some of whom participated and some of whom did not participate. This helped to identify ways in which the voices of women were prevented from being reflected in the final SEMP document. 3.1 The Squamish Estuary Management Plan Documents Documents produced during the SEMP planning process were analyzed with reference to the public participation process. Analysis revealed answers to the following questions: did the documents mention public participation? how was public participation viewed and discussed? was the importance of hearing from women raised? were concerns expressed by citizens at the public meetings incorporated into the documents? what mechanisms exist within the plan to ensured the participation of the community in further decision making regarding the estuary? These questions were aimed at identifying the barriers which residents faced at an institutional level. Documents examined included: 40 1) Draft Plan, Squamish Estuary Management Plan, October, 1992 2) Draft Plan, Squamish Estuary Management Plan, October, 1992 (Revised August 1993) 3) Summary of the Public Response to the Proposed Amendment of the Squamish Estuary Management Plan 4) In Transition, The Squamish Estuary Management Plan 1982-1992 5) You Asked, Responses to the Public Issues Raised during Revision to the 1982 Squamish Estuary Management Plan 6) You Asked II, The Second Round of Responses to the Public Issues Raised during Revision to the 1982 Squamish Estuary Management Plan 3.2 Newspaper Coverage Newspaper coverage dating from January 1990 regarding SEMP was examined to determine what information the public was receiving relating to the plan and what the public response was. Newspaper coverage included feature articles, letters to the editor and announcements of public meetings. Newspaper coverage was examined issues and by the gender of the writer to determine if women's voices were present in the newspaper discussions of SEMP. Newspapers are an important source of data at the community level because the dissemination of information to the public may affect participation at the institutional, community and social level. Inadequate coverage may hinder attempts by the SECC and Municipal Council to inform the residents of Squamish about the process and opportunities to participate. At a community level, the balance of the coverage may have an affect on the factionalism of interest groups within the community. For example, feature articles and letters to the editor concentrated on one point of view may pit interest groups against each other and serve to limit communication. The extent of the coverage may also serve to reinforce social roles. Letters from women may be trivialized by editorials or comments from subsequent articles and letters. 41 3.3 Interviews with SECC Members Semi-structured interviews were carried out with members of the Squamish Estuary Coordinating Committee to determine their perceptions and attitudes in regards to the public input process, how much weight was given to this input in the decision-making process and what, if any, measures were taken to ensure the participation of women (see Appendix A for interview questions). All the SECC members were contacted for an interview. Of the 9 members 6 were interviewed (Table 3.1). All the members were men because during the public participation process the SECC consisted entirely of men. Table 3.1: SECC Members Contacted for an Interview SECC Members Interviewed Reason for no interview Co-chair of SECC, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Yes Co-chairman of SECC, BC Environment Yes Member of SECC, District of Squamish Yes Member of SECC, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Yes Member of SECC, Ministry of Development, Trade and Tourism No no longer with Ministry of Development, Trade and Tourism, unable to track down Member of SECC, Mnistry of Land and Parks Yes Member of SECC, Federal Department of Environment No unable to contact Member of SECC, BC Environment No BC Environment decided only one person needed to be interviewed from Ministry Member of SECC, BC Rail Properties Yes 42 3.4 Interviews with Women Community Leaders In addition to the interviews with SECC members, interviews were conducted with women who were involved in participating in the revision process for SEMP and other issues involving the estuary. These women were interviewed about their experiences participating in the SEMP process and what suggestions they had for improving the opportunity for women to voice their concerns and suggestions (see Appendix B for interview questions). Women who were involved in the SEMP process in a role of community leadership were identified from the SEMP documents. Women contacted for an interview included: Table 3.2: Squamish Women Contacted for an Interview Women Contacted Interviewed Reason for no interview Past President of the Squamish Estuary Conservation Society and current Municipal Councilor Yes Manager of the Squamish & Howe Sound Chamber of Commerce Yes Mayor of Squamish No she did not believe she could contribute to the study Community Planner for the District of Squamish Yes Member of the Squamish Estuary Conservation Society Yes 43 3 .5 Workshops with Women In addition to the previous methods, data were collected through workshops or small focus groups with women community residents. Some of these women had participated in SEMP, while others had not. Burgess et al. (1988a, p. 311) suggested that small groups are, "valuable for qualitative research because they provide a forum in which people can share and test out their views with others rather than responding in an isolated interview." They used this method in several neighbourhoods in Greenwich, England to explore the meanings of open space and then used this information to design, conduct and analyze a questionnaire of 212 households within these neighbourhoods. Burgess et al. (1988b, p. 475) concluded that this method provided insight not possible with quantitative surveys and stated that, A kind of creative spontaneous combustion operates in the groups, as everyone is fired up in a process of communication and mutual discovery. To observe the chains of ideas and the power of the associations that people make in this form of uncensored, largely uncontrolled, conversation, is to cast terminal doubt upon the value of those conventional questionnaires which lead respondents through the researcher's 'logical' funnels and sequences of questions. Small group workshops were conducted to identify the barriers women face when trying to participate in planning processes. Each of 3 focus groups consisted of 4-5 women, residents of Squamish representing different interests. Some women were part of interest groups while others were not. It was important to have different interests represented because in a socially sustainable planning process all points of view should have the chance to be heard. It was hoped that members would consist of representatives from industry and business, conservation groups, members of the Squamish Nation, members of the Sikh community, newcomers to the area and longtime residents. Logistical difficulties occurred in obtaining this diversity (see Chapter 5). These groups met for one evening, for approximately 2.5 hours, and participated in various exercises to explore ideas about land use for the Estuary and public participation in the planning process (see Appendix C for workshop exercises). One group consisted of only women who 44 were not involved in the public participation process. This helped to ensure that women who have overcome obstacles and participated in the SEMP process would not overpower the voices of those women who had never participation in any public participation process (including workshops like these). Participants were solicited in the following ways: advertisements were placed in the local newspaper, The Squamish Chief asking for volunteers to participate in a workshop about SEMP. It was stressed that volunteers were needed whether they had participated in SEMP or not to ensure that the sample was not biased. Letters were sent to those people who filled in a questionnaire regarding SEMP as part of the public response, (163 responses were received, many of which have a name and address on them). Volunteers were solicited by letter and by phone from groups around Squamish including: the Squamish Estuary Conservation Society, the Squamish Nation and various women's church groups. Workshop research was chosen hoping that it would also serve to empower the women participating in the workshops. In the literature review, it was suggested that public participation needs to be encouraged for women in a way which serves to empower them and foster self-esteem. This thinking comes from writings on participatory planning and feminist advocacy planning. Leavitt (1986) suggested that feminist advocacy planning gives women a sense of power, confidence and strength and is educational in that women learn from each other. Through the workshops, women had a chance to voice their ideas and opinions and to meet other women within the community. A commitment was made to donate a copy of the completed thesis to the Squamish Public Library and to present the results to the community through presentations when requested. In these ways, it was hoped that something would be given back to the community aside from the actual written thesis. 45 In order to place this research within the context of the community of Squamish and the Squamish Estuary Management Plan, the next chapter provides an history of the development of the Plan and the issues and concerns raised by the community during the public participation process. 46 Chapter 4 H I S T O R Y O F T H E S Q U A M I S H E S T U A R Y M A N A G E M E N T P L A N The Squamish Estuary formed where the Squamish and Stawamus rivers flow into Howe Sound (Figure 3.2). Land covered under the Squamish Estuary Management Plan is approximately 850 hectares (2100 acres) in size. The Squamish river drains 3500 square kilometers of coastal rainforest while the much smaller Stawamus river drains 62 square kilometers (SEMP, 1992a). Estuary features include marshland, sand and mudflats. On the higher, periodically flooded land, mixed coniferous and deciduous trees grow while sedges, grasses and rushes grow on the low land frequently inundated with water. Uses of the estuary are varied. Located on the Pacific flyway, swans, ducks, shorebirds, eagles, hawks and songbirds use the estuary as a feeding ground or overwintering ground. Field mice, muskrats, rabbits, raccoons, deer, coyotes and black bears also feed on the estuary. The estuary also provides an important feeding area for fish. Juvenile fish use the estuary as a resting spot, growing accustomed to the salt water before heading from the Squamish river out to the ocean. Fish found in the Squamish river include chum, chinook, coho and pink salmon, steelhead trout, sea run cutthroat trout and Dolly Varden char. Partially as a result of this wildlife, the estuary is a prime recreation spot. It is used for hiking, bird watching and has a small craft marina. The strong winds on the estuary attract wind surfers from across North America. Rock climbers are also attracted to this area. Located right next to the estuary is the Stawamus Chief, the second largest granitic monolith in the world, after Gibraltar. The main highway in the area, Highway 99, runs through part of the estuary. This highway is the only road access between Vancouver and Whistler, BC, a world-class ski resort. Road traffic to and from these attractions is potentially problematic in the protection of the estuarine ecosystem. Concerns include noise, automobile pollution and the destruction of estuary habitat related to highway construction. 47 Aside from recreation and transportation, the estuary has industrial uses. The Squamish Estuary is one of the few places along the British Columbia coast where conditions are suitable for port facilities. The Squamish Terminals presently take advantage of these conditions and as the Port of Vancouver becomes increasingly crowded, the potential of the Squamish site may become more important. In addition, the forestry industry relies on the estuary for use as a log sort. The question of Squamish's port potential is a long one. In the 1970's, BC Rail considered using Squamish as a shipping point to transfer coal reserves in north-eastern British Columbia to outside markets. As a prelude to expanding the port facilities, BC Rail dredged the Squamish River's main channel and constructed a $24 million training dyke on the estuary. Concerned over the effect of this dyke on fish habitat and the estuarine ecosystem, the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the BC Ministry of the Environment commissioned the 1982 Squamish Estuary Management Plan (SEMP) to regulate land and water use in the estuary. 4.1 The 1982 Squamish Estuary Management Plan . The 1982 SEMP divided use of the estuary into three categories (Figure 4.1). The western part of the estuary was designated conservation and the eastern part designated industrial/commercial. These areas were buffered by a Planning Assessment Area which was an area which required more discussion and study before being designated either conservation or industrial/commercial. In order to implement the plan, the Squamish Estuary Co-ordinating Committee (SECC) was established. According to the SEMP, the "SECC is a multi-agency group whose purpose is to link government, industry and public interest in guiding land and water use in the Squamish estuary. It, therefore, reviews land and water use proposals within the management plan boundary and, in conjunction with the District of Squamish, determines whether they are detrimental to the areas and/or appropriate to and meet the expectations of the Plan, the District and the Province." (SEMP, 1992b, p. 2). The SECC was also mandated to review the 1982 SEMP. SECC members included representatives from the BC Ministry of Economic 48 Figure 4.1:1982 Squamish Estuary Managernent Plan Area Designations 49 Periodically flooded upland on the estuary, mixed coniferous and deciduous trees View facing east from the training dyke used by wind surfers to access the waterfront. Frequently inundated tidal flats in the background with sedges, rushes and grasses. 50 Sawmill located in Squamish on the eastern side of the Mamquam Blind Channel Chlorine Plant in Squamish, now closed, located on the west side of the Mamquam Blind Channel Development, Small Business and Trade, BC Environment, BC Lands, BC Rail, the District of Squamish, Environment Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. In addition, an Information Bank was established in the Squamish Public Library. This Bank contained all the SEMP documents and studies as well as public comments received by the SECC. Over the next several years, it became apparent that amendments to SEMP were necessary to manage development on the estuary effectively (SEMP, 1992b). First, no budget had been created to implement and support SEMP. As a result, member agencies were paying for committee meetings and special projects and funds were difficult to obtain. Second, some public interest groups were not represented on the SECC, including many community groups. Third, SECC members concluded that the Squamish Estuary Advisory Committee (SEAC)1 could expand their role in the project review process thus streamlining this procedure (Figure 4.2). Fourth, due to the large size of the Planning Assessment Area, much of the estuary had not been designated conservation or industrial/commercial. Therefore, it remained unclear where and what type of development could occur in these areas. A review of the 1982 SEMP by the SECC resulted in the drafting of the 1992 Squamish Estuary Management Plan. 4.2 The 1992 Squamish Estuary Management Plan The proposed 1992 SEMP attempted to smooth out problem areas associated with the 1982 Plan. Several amendments were made. First, pursuit of funds to implement the 1992 Plan was made a priority although was not made clear from where this funding would come. In addition, the District of Squamish took over co-ordination of the plan, thus taking the financial burden off of other government agencies. Second, membership on the SECC was expanded to include a representative from local commercial interests, local conservation interests and the Squamish lThe SEAC consisted of technical staff with each government agency responsible for implementing the SEMP whereas the SECC consisted of policy makers within each government agency. In some cases, staff served on both the SEAC and SECC. 5 3 Figure 4.2: 1982 Squamish Estuary Project Review Process PROSPECTUS SUBMITTEO TO COORDINATING COMMITTEE COORDINATING COMMITTEE REVIEW AND DECISION REQUIRES FURTHER INFORMATION ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT COMMITTEE FORMED MANAGEMENT PLAN EIA PROCESS EIA TERMS OF REFERENCE PREPARED EIA CONDUCTED AND REPORT PREPARED EARP REFERRAL PROCESS ELUC GUIDELINES OTHERS APPROVE REJECT REGULATORY AGENCY REViEW AND DECISION PROPONENT NOTIFIED OF DECISION APPEAL PROCEDURE Source: Squamish Estuary Management Plan, 1992. "In Transition, The Squamish Estuary Management Plan 1982-1992" District of Squamish, p. 5. 54 Nation (Figure 4.3). The name of the committee was changed to the Squamish Estuary Management Committee (SEMC). Third, to streamline the development application process, the role of the SEAC was expanded. The SEAC was given more decision-making power allowing them to pass development proposals directly on to the District of Squamish. The development process was simplified requiring a proposal to proceed through fewer stages with more inter-agency co-operation before a decision is made. The SEAC was renamed the Squamish Environmental Review Committee (SERC) (Figure 4.4). Fourth, the size of the Planning Assessment Area was greatly reduced. Based upon further discussion and studies, the amount of land designated conservation increased by 18% and industrial/commercial land increased by 9% (Figure 4.5, Figure 4.6). As part of this redesignation, it was proposed that BC Rail transfer title to 344 hectares of land to the Crown in exchange for 65 hectares of Crown land (Figure 4.7). In addition, the conservation area on the west side of the estuary was expected to become a Wildlife Management Area under the Wildlife Act. As part of the 1992 proposed Plan, various habitat compensation works were to be undertaken to remediate specific sites now designated as conservation (Figure 4.8) which had previously suffered a loss in habitat. Site One involved the construction of two culverts in the training dyke. These culverts would allow fish coming down the Squamish River to have direct access to the central basin of the estuary. Presently, young fish are swept out into the Sound and have to make their way back up into the basin. Salmon, trout, and char will now be able to swim through these culverts directly into the central basin, thereby increasing their chances of finding the best habitat in which to grow big enough to better survive the ocean phase of their life cycle. The culverts will also increase the flow of freshwater into the central basin, improving the temperature and oxygen content of the water in its upper reaches. More freshwater flow means that a greater variety of plants and animals can flourish. (SEMP, 1992b, p. 7). Site two involves remedial work to two culverts existing in the training wall. These culverts were intended to increase fish and freshwater access to the central basin but were blocked by debris. 55 Figure 4.3: Membership of the SECC and SEMC 1982 1992 Squamish Estuary Coordinating Committee (SECC) Squamish Estuary Management Committee (SEMC) Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (2) Federal Department of Environment (1) District of Squamish (1) BC Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks (3) BC Ministry of Development, Trade and Technology (1) BCRail( l ) TOTAL: 9 Environment Canada (1) Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (1) BC Ministry of Economic Development, Small Business and Trade (1) BC Ministry of Environment (1) BC Ministry of Lands (1) BC Ministry of Forests (1) District of Squamish (1) BC Rail (1) Representative, Local Commercial Interests (1) Representative, Local Conservation Interests (1) Representative, Squamish Nation (1) TOTAL: 11 * number in brackets equal number of representatives 56 Figure 4.4: 1992 Squamish Estuary Project Review Process Applicant Submits Prospectus Information Bank Plan Coordinator Path 1 Path A SEMC District of Squamish SERC Path 2 Path 3 EIA Public <q ^ Process Inter-Agency Referral SEMC Recommendations Regulatory Authorities ±__ , Applicant Receives Decision + Source: Squamish Estuary Management Plan, 1992. "In Transition, The Squamish Estuary Management Plan 1982-1992" District of Squamish, p. 14. 57 Figure 4.5: 1992 Squamish Estuary Management Plan Area Designations Figure 4.6: Comparison Between 1982 and 1992 Land Designation 1982 Land Designation 1992 Land Designation Transporation Corridor 1% Conservation 60% 59 Figure 4.7: Land Ownership Transfer 60 Figure 4 . 8 : Habitat Compenstlon Works Howe Sound Site 1: construction of two culverts Site 2: remedial work on existing culverts Srte 3: construction of new rrabtiot channel Site 4: removal of dredge material •Site 5: phase out of existing tog sort operation 61 Site 3 is located on the border between the conservation and industrial/commercial areas. Road expansion in the industrial/commercial area may expand into Site H. In this event, the developer of Site H will be required to construct a new channel in the conservation area to compensate for any loss of habitat. Site 4 involves the removal of dredged sand along the training wall. Dredged from the main channel in the 1970's, removal of this sand will allow currently buried habitat to recover. Site 5 consists of a phase out of the dry land log sorting and dumping operation on this site and will eliminate this industrial activity from the conservation area. During the development of the 1992 Plan, several land use proposals were revealed by the SECC. These proposals have yet to proceed through the complete development process including approval by the District of Squamish Official Community Plan and the Zoning Bylaws (Figure 4.9). Site A is the proposed location for the back up yards for the port and rail expansion. A 60 meter treed buffer zone is proposed for the north end of the site, and a 30 meter zone for the south end to protect the riparian edge of the channel. Plans for site B involve dredging deep water moorage and filling in land to create an 80 acres deep sea port. Site D involves expanding the BC Rail yards and the development of a 30 meter buffer zone along the conservation area boundary. Site E and F also involve rail expansion and port back-up lands. Development in these areas must seek to maintain drainage and flood protection for Squamish. A 60 meter buffer zone along the channel in Site F will protect habitat and separate industrial and residential areas. The Squamish Official Community Plan calls for site H to contain expanded road and rail tracks. As this will require filling, this proposal is linked to the remedial measures proposed for Site 3 (see above). Site J is the location of the new Squamish Railway Museum and Site K, located in the Planning Assessment Area, is the subject of a Draft Study on the Mamquam Blind Channel by the District of Squamish. 62 Figure 4.9: Development Sites 4.3 Public Participation in the SEMP The development of the 1992 SEMP differed markedly from the development of the 1982 Plan. In the late 1970's several working groups were set up to help formulate the 1982 Plan. These included an Air and Water Quality Working Group, a Habitat Working Group, and Land Use Working Group, a Recreation Working Group and a Public Interest Working Group (PIWG). In addition to public forums and written comments, interested citizens could join the PIWG or express concerns to its members. All of the members of this group lived in the community of Squamish. The 1982 Plan set up the SECC. Once this body was established in 1984, all the working groups disbanded. Thus, when the SECC reviewed the 1982 Plan and proposed the 1992 Plan, public involvement was less direct in the initial stages because there was no representative from the public interest on the SECC. In order to solicit public opinion the SECC held a public forum on November 18, 1991 at 6:00 PM. Written submissions were accepted until December 2. Over 150 people turned up to this forum. At this time, the SECC revealed details of the proposed 1992 Plan including the land swap between BC Rail and the Crown as represented by the Ministry of Lands. Reaction from the public was mainly negative with people expressing concern over the lack of notice about the meeting (a notice in the paper, one week earlier), inconvenient meeting time (dinner hour) and the feeling that a secret deal had been worked out between BC Rail and the Crown to allow BC Rail to fast-track the development of a newly proposed port facility (Site B). In an editorial in the Squamish Times, citizen reporter Mike Yates (1991, p. A-13) stated, Now, if you wanted to ram through a stinky deal and make sure you can tell your superiors that, yes, you asked for public input and the public blessed it — without media heat and insurance that the public would not show up, when would you choose to have your public meeting? Day: Monday. Everybody know that both papers paste up on Monday and there's no way they can cover a Monday evening meeting and meet the Tuesday delivery deadline. Time: What time of day is almost everyone in Squamish unavailable or disinclined to be anywhere but home? 1800 hrs. 6pm. DINNERTIME. 64 What time is our public meeting? 6pm Monday, November 18. We all know you can scam all of the public some of the time, but are we really so collectively dense that we don't see through this bully and bureaucratic and transparent ruse?" Concerns over the proposed amendments and the land swap reflected a general feeling of mistrust of BC Rail and of a decision-making process carried out largely by government agencies outside of the community of Squamish. Failure to keep the Information Bank up-to-date (since 1987) did not help. In a letter to the editor, Jim Wisnia (1991, p. A-8), the then President of the Squamish Estuary Conservation Society stated, "Dismay over the process leads to suspicion about content.". In addition, the Squamish First Nation raised issues concerning land claims. Dale Harry stated at meeting that, It is my opinion we had a land claim for the area [designated for port development]. It was taken away from us by the railway and it is my belief when the railway discontinues use of that land for which it was intended, that property reverts back to the original owners. BCR continues to try and sweep us under the rug and pretend we don't exist. But we will continue to exist and we won't allow port development for industrial purposes." (cited by Busch, 1991a, p. A-1,2) Despite the negative reaction at the meeting, response to an SECC questionnaire distributed a the meeting indicated that 77% of the 163 respondents were positive response toward the new SEMP. When asked if they were in favour of balancing environmental and economic concerns, 93% of respondents replied yes. However, this balancing could mean different things to different people. Does a balance mean no more industrial development in order to compensate for previous habitat destruction? Or does it mean allowing industrial development to continue in specific areas while preserving estuarine habitat in others? When reporting these findings in the Squamish Times, Busch (1991b, p. A - l 1) stated, SECC cannot consider these two respondents as seeing eye-to-eye, yet in the summary they are in agreement, both having checked in the affirmative for a 65 balanced approach to dealing with the environment and the economy. But it is doubtful if the two could get along very well in the same playground. The SECC, while shocked by the negative response at the public forum, were pleased by the amount and caliber of written submissions and responses. Dennis Deans, co-chair of the SECC stated, "There were some very negative responses but on the whole people are saying there just needs to be some adjustments. We've gotten some constructive criticisms on the remarks and we are now continuing on with the public process" (Busch, 1991b, p. A - l 1). In January of 1992, Squamish Municipal Council endorsed the Plan in principle noting the large number of positive responses from the questionnaire survey. In October 1992, the another draft of the 1992 Plan was released. In the October 20, 27 and November 3rd editions of the Squamish Chief, the SECC published the released documents including "You Asked, Responses to the Public Issues Raised During Revision to the 1982 Squamish Estuary Management Plan", "In Transition, The Squamish Estuary Management Plan, 1982-1992" and "Draft Plan, Squamish Estuary Management Plan, October, 1992". Also in the November 3rd edition, the Squamish Estuary Conservation Society published a special section entitled "Ours to enjoy Not to destroy". A second public open house was held on November 4, 1992 from 3:30 to 9:30 pm. In addition, the SECC met with Squamish Council on October 16 to address questions from the council and the media. Written submissions were accepted until November 25. While the SECC made a greater effort to inform and involve the public, divisive lines had already been drawn as a result of the previous public meeting. Viewing the additions to the SECC of public interest representatives as too little too late, Bishop (1992a, p. A-6), in an editorial in The Squamish Chief stated, "As it stands now, however, there is a rift as deep as middle of the Howe Sound fjord among the local interests and the SECC. Many questions remain about whether a very different plan might have emerged with more input from those who live, work and play near the convergence of rivers, the Squamish Estuary." 66 Attendance at the public forum was very high with over 400 written response forms being taken. The Squamish Estuary Conservation Society was denied a table inside the meeting room (paid for by BC Rail) and had to distribute information outside. At 7:00 PM, the Squamish Estuary Conservation Society and the Squamish Nation staged a protest using placards. Outstanding concerns at this point included the development of the port facility, First Nation issues including land claims, the omission of Site A (a unique area in the estuary where upland meadow borders on forest scheduled for development) from the area designated conservation, lack of public access to the decision-making process, and the tax-exempt status of BC Rail. In addition, at a November Municipal Council meeting, the Squamish Estuary Conservation Society (SECS) had presented the council with a 700 name petition calling for the rejection of the Draft Plan. The Squamish Times stated, "The estuary conservation group asked council not to endorse the management plan as it stands, and instead pay attention to two issues: the need for inclusion of Site A in the conservation zone, and the concern for products that would be shipped through a new port facility built on the estuary." (Bishop, 1992b, p. A-l) . Community organizations who attended the Council meeting to support the Plan included the Squamish Chamber of Commerce, the Sea to Sky Development Commission and the Squamish Windsurfing Society. With the community clearly divided, the SECC again took the public comments and concerns and continued to amend the Plan. On September 10, 1993, the SECC released a new draft version of the SEMP which contained three changes. First, it recommended that a representative from the Ministry of Forests be added to the membership of the SEMC. Second, it recommended that socioeconomic impact studies be carried out as necessary for development proposals within the Plan area. Third, it recommended that an environmental assessment of Site A be carried out by BC Rail should an application to amend the Squamish Official Community Plan be submitted. The purpose of the environmental assessment would be, "to determine mitigating measures that will protect features determined to be critical to the sustainability of the estuary" (SEMP, 1993b, 67 p. i). In addition, the SECC released another document addressing questions which had arisen as a result of the November 1992 public forum (SEMP, 1993 a). The SECC recognized two significant, unresolved issues with the new Draft. These were: i) lack of acceptance of the Plan by the Squamish Nation and insufficient involvement due to their inability to meet with the SECC; and ii) disagreement by segments of the public as to which areas should be designated for conservation or development with particular emphasis placed on lands west of the BCR spur line. (SEMP, 1993c, p. 4) The SECC asked for endorsement for this draft from the Squamish Municipal Council at their meeting on September 14, 1993. The mayor at the time, Egon Tobus stated, "having the draft plan presented to councilors on Sept. 10 and expecting them to make a decision on Sept. 14 is unacceptable" (Enns, 1993a, p. 3). The council voted 4-3 to table the draft Plan for 30 days to allow for a public meeting and more community input. A third public forum was held on October 6, 1993 with an open house at 6:00 pm and a question and answer period at 7:30 pm. Approximately 100 people attended the meeting. At this meeting, three areas of concern remained; the lack of participation by the Squamish Nation, the designation of Site A as industrial/commercial, and the feeling that the community concerns were being ignored by outside government agencies. In a letter to the editor in the Squamish Chief, Lloyd (1993, p.9) stated, How much different would the Squamish Estuary Management Plan be, if local groups had had the opportunity to determine, not just comment on, its content? What would it look like if the Squamish Nation, the chamber of commerce, conservation groups, tourist groups, other business organizations, and others who live here, had gathered in a series of forums to create the future that we, not Ottawa or Victoria or Vancouver, want? ... The concerns brought to the Coordinating Committee over the years by the Squamish Estuary Conservation Society and the Squamish Nation have had little impact on the plan; in general they have been "noted", and set aside [including the concern about who is deciding these things, and why], [emphasis added] 68 As a result of the approaching Municipal Elections, which took place November 20, 1993, some citizens were concerned about the appropriateness of having the Municipal Council make this important decision. Questions were raised about whether the Council, so close to the end its mandate, still accurately represented Squamish. While it also true that making a decision so close to an election would force the councilors to "live or die" by the decision, some councilors were not running for re-election. As a result, some call was made for this issue to be put to a referendum to be added to the election. Meg Fellowes, president of the Squamish Estuary Conservation Society stated, "This should be an election issue, which is not an outrageous request. November is not that far away" (cited by Enns, 1993b, p.l). Kevin McLane, a Squamish citizen, stated, "Admitting [the Squamish Estuary Co-ordinating Committee] should be struck differently is a reason it should go to referendum" (Enns, 1993b, p. 1). The issue did not go to a referendum and on October 12, 1993 after a small wording change in the document, the Squamish Municipal Council voted to approve the 1992 Plan. Since that time, it is unclear what progress has been made with the Plan because it must be approved by each of the government agencies involved in the SECC. None of these agencies have given their approval because the decision has been affected by the change in Federal government and complications arising from the land claims negotiations taking place between the Federal government and various First Nations groups including the Squamish Nation. In the meantime, one element of the plan has been implemented. Two culverts, proposed in the habitat compensation works for Site 1, were constructed in the training wall. In the beginning of September 1994, the first of five twin culverts was installed (Enns, 1994, p. 1). Therefore, despite 3 years of work by the SECC and the community of Squamish the 1992 Plan has not replaced the 1982 Plan and development proposals still follow the 1982 Plan. This entire process is summarized in Figure 4.10. 69 Figure 4.10: A History of the Squamish Estuary Management Plan DATE EVENT 1912 • BC Rail granted title to land 1960's • Northeast coal development • BC Rail proposes Squamish as port 1972 • training dyke constructed • fish stocks begin to decline • Department of Fisheries and Oceans becomes concerned 1979 • government forms multi-agency group to develop land use plan 1982 • 1982 Squamish Estuary Management Plan (SEMP) 1991, November 18 • public meeting about revising 1982 Plan • written submissions accepted until December 2, 1991 1992, October • 1992 SEMP Draft Plan released 1992, November 4 • public meeting about Draft Plan • written submissions accepted until November 25, 1992 1993, September 10 • amended Draft Plan released 1993, September 14 • Squamish Municipal Council asked to endorse Draft Plan • Council votes to hold another public meeting 1993, October 6 • public meeting sponsored by Squamish Municipal Council 1993, October 12 • Squamish Municipal Council endorses Plan 1993, November 20 • Municipal elections 1994, September • construction of two culverts in the training wall, see Site 1 Having detailed the history of the Squamish Estuary Management Plan and the public participation process associated with it, the next chapter explains what barriers to public participation were identified by the various research methods; analysis of the SEMP documents and newspaper coverage, interviews with SECC members and women community leaders in Squamish and small groups workshops with Squamish women. 71 Chapter 5 RESEARCH FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS Using the research methods detailed in Chapter 3, this chapter analyzes the official story of women's participation the SEMP process according to various SEMP documents, newspaper coverage and interviews with SECC members and compares it to the unofficial story, as revealed by interviews with women community leaders and small group workshops with women from Squamish. 5.1 The Squamish Estuary Management Plan Documents Documents produced concerning the SEMP were examined to see how public participation took place in relation to the 1992 revised Plan, what mechanisms existed within the 1992 Plan to ensure future participation, and the nature and scope of women's participation. Documents examined, as listed in Chapter 3, included one document on the transition between the 1982 and 1992 Plans, the two Draft Plans (October 1992 and August 1993), two documents produced answering questions raised by the public (entitled "You Asked") and one document summarizing the results of an informal SECC survey. According to one SECC member, documents were written to a Grade 6 reading ability. "In Transition" (SEMP, 1992b) focuses on the changes between the 1982 SEMP and the proposed 1992 SEMP. During the 1982 process, several working groups were set up including a Public Interest Working Group (PIWG). This group consisted of 11 citizens from Squamish elected by the community. Various interests were represented on this committee including the yacht club, local amateur sports, the Squamish Rod and Gun club, the Steelhead Society, the Squamish Nation, Independent Loggers, the Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce and the Squamish Estuary Nature Centre Committee (Griffiths, 1980). It was their job to co-ordinate public comments on the Plan. After the adoption of the 1982 Plan, this group was disbanded with 72 no mechanism set in place within the 1982 Plan to ensure public involvement in implementation. "In Transition" noted that the lack of public interest group representation on the SECC had emerged as a problem. It also noted that the lack of designated funding was a problem although it does not mention how this was a problem. The two documents, "You Asked" (SEMP, 1992c) and "You Asked II" (SEMP, 1993a) answered questions raised during the public process involved in amending the 1982 Plan. These documents divided questions into six segments, estuary management, site specifics, environmental concerns, industrial concerns, First Nations' concerns and the public process. The concerns raised in "You Asked" in the public process section include the process of amending the 1982 Plan and seeking public comment, a gap in the Information Bank, poor publicity of public meetings, insufficient preparation time for comments and issues of confidentiality related to the fact that SECC meetings were held behind closed doors. In "You Asked II" new concerns raised included more representation on the SEMC and the demand for a public referendum on the 1992 SEMP. In the section on issues carried over from the first round of consultation, no public concerns were listed. Results from the informal survey conducted by the SECC were used in several cases as proof of the public's acceptance of the proposed 1992 Plan (most notably by the Squamish Municipal Council when voting to accept the Plan in principle). Results of questions one through four, those questions which did not have open-ended answers, are listed in Table 5.1. In particular, in results for question three, "Overall, what is your reaction to the new Squamish Estuary Management Plan?", a positive response was reported in the newspaper and used by Municipal Council to indicate support of the 1992 Plan. However, it is unclear whether feeling positive about the Plan is the same as being in favour of adopting the Plan unmodified. In addition, vague questions such as, "Are you in favour of balancing environmental and economic concerns?" tell us very little about public opinion about specific options. However, this survey 73 Table 5.1: Results from the Informal S E C C Survey Questions Answers Question One Yes o/o1 No % N / O 2 % Total Are you in favour of balancing environmental and economic concerns? 153 93.9 5 3.1 5 3.1 163 Question Two Environ % Econ. % Equal % Which concerns (environmental or economic) should be given first priority? 55 34.8 13 8.2 90 57.0 158 Question Three Positive % Negativ e % Neutral % Overall, what is your reaction to the new Squamish Estuary Management Plan? 124 78.0 20 12.6 15 9.4 159 Question Four Yes % No % N/O % Do you believe the current proposed Squamish Estuary Management Plan improves on the 1981 version? 121 72.9 16 9.6 29 17.5 166 percentage rounded to nearest decimal N/O = no opinion 74 was used to gauge public opinion. In addition, there is no indication that respondents to this survey are representative of the larger community. Changes proposed in the 1992 Plan to allow for public participation in decision-making included the addition of one community representative on the SECC from each of local commercial interests, local conservation interests, the Squamish Nation and the B.C. Ministry of Forests. It was not explained how these representatives were to be chosen or whether they were to be financially compensated. The Project Review Process was streamlined to include a public process to be held in conjunction with proposals which undergo Environmental Impact Assessment. An Information Bank was also added to this process although this was set up in 1987 as part of the review of the 1982 Plan. The 1992 revised Plan (SEMP, 1993b) proposed that a socioeconomic impact study be carried out for proposed projects as deemed necessary. It was unclear whether a public process would be part of such a study. Within the framework outlined in Chapter 2, it appears that most barriers identified in the SEMP documents occurred at the institutional level (Table 5.2). Cost was identified as a barrier in two ways. First, issues of compensation for community representatives appointed to the new SEMC were not dealt with. Second, the lack of specific funding for the public participation process limited the degree and extent of public consultation. The centralized decision-making process also was identified by the public as a barrier because meetings were held behind closed doors in Vancouver. Calls for more community representation on the SECC indicate that some community members felt shut out of the decision-making process. SECC survey comments stated, "I believe that any changes, guidelines or plans regarding the community should be made by citizens of the community" (SEMP, 1992d, p. 11), and, "It is politically unacceptable to have a committee of well-intentioned and probably well-qualified, bureaucrats making political decisions affecting development of a community, particularly when 90% are non-resident" (SEMP, 1992d, p. 6). 75 Table 5.2: Barriers to Participation Identified by the SECC Documents Barrier Type Literature Review Documents Institutional Arrangements • cost • high expectations of public • lack of trust • centralized decision-making • frequent transfers of personnel • inappropriate public participation methods • inappropriate attitudes, values and skills of personnel • inappropriate systems of evaluation • cost • lack of trust • possible barriers due to an Environmental Impact Assessment Public Process • centralized decision-making • poor communication structures Community • factionalism across different interests • lack of appropriate local leadership and organization skills • role of interest groups • corruption • lack of facilities • role of interest groups Societal • political factors • laws • bureaucracy • level of education • level of income • restrictions of social roles • devaluing women's voices 76 Concerns about centralized decision-making may have contributed to a lack of trust in the process exacerbated by the fact that SECC meetings were not open to the public. In addition, poor communication structures may have both added to the feelings of mistrust and prevented the public from being fully informed. Poor communication was evidenced by the gap in the Information Bank and complaints of poor publicity and inadequate preparation time for responses to the Plan. One community person stated, "I am concerned that the public registry has not been kept up-to-date and complete. Now that the so-called 'period in which confidentiality was necessary for property negotiations' is over, ALL relevant SEMP documents (SECC and SEEAC meeting minutes and reports) should be released to the public via the Information Bank" (SEMP, 1992d, p. 9). In terms of future public participation, the public process associated with the Environmental Impact Assessments proposed as part of the Project Review Process may have their own set of barriers. The role of NGO's is the only community barrier identified in the documents. Concerns that well-organized outside and local groups may swamp individual opinion were reflected in several comments on the SECC survey including, "It would be a crime if groups of negative people who appeared at the public meeting from outside of the Squamish area were to determine the future of our estuary development" (SEMP, 1992d, p. 10), "Groups that are well versed in vocalizing their concerns should not necessarily out number other concerned citizens" (SEMP, 1992d, p. 13), and, "I feel that the decision of this vital management plan should be decided by members of this community rather than by politicized by external pressure from activist groups" (SEMP, 1992d, p. 8). 5.2 Newspaper Coverage Newspaper coverage on the Squamish Estuary Management Plan was broken down into three areas, letters to the editor, feature articles and advertising. Analysis of newspaper coverage of SEMP issues began in January 1990 and continued until September 1994 although articles 77 regarding SEMP only appeared in the period from October 1991 to September 1993. There were two weekly community newspapers in Squamish during this time, The Squamish Times which closed down in early 1993 and The Squamish Chief which began production about the same time. During this period, there were 15 letters published in the letters to the editor section of the papers, 4 letters by women and 11 by men (Table 5.2). Of the 4 letters by women, 3 of them were by the same person. Also, 3 of the 11 letters by men were by the same person. Ten of the 15 letters were clearly against the Plan, one was clearly for the Plan, and the remaining four were neutral, that is, they were letters commenting on the Plan but not voicing a for or against opinion. These numbers, while small, indicate that while there were many fewer women's voices than men's in this section, there was one strong female voice as indicated by the numbers of letters by this individual. Table 5.3: Letters to the Editor by Gender of Author Women % Men % Total Number of Letters 4 26.7 11 73.3 15 Number of Authors 2 18.2 9 81.8 11 Letters Opposed to Plan 3 30.0 7 70.0 10 Letters Supporting Plan 0 0 1 100 1 Letters Neutral to Plan 1 25.0 3 75.0 4 Barriers to participation identified in the letters include a lack of trust by the community regarding the decision-making process. One letter stated (Giles, 1991, p. A-6), A District of Squamish staff representative sat in secret meetings while a major land swap with tremendous effects on downtown and Dentville residents, Indian reserves and trumpeter swan habitat was set up. ..: There was no need for this secrecy. ... B C Rail was only afraid of the public and that's why they avoided legitimate democratic input. 78 This lack of trust again may be partially a result of poor communication structures. Comments regarding the lack of preparation time reflect this lack of trust. they have tried every cheap trick of timing, place, etc. to jam their plans for the crown jewel of our wilderness resource up our collective nose. This time there was hardly the light of day between publication of the latest draft of the Squamish Estuary management Plan and its appearance on council agenda with the right number of votes in the right pocket. (Yates, 1993, p. 8) This hasty and poorly-advertised effort does not confer dignity to the public involvement process, to say the least. It does not encourage a broad base of public input so necessary in a pro-active, consensus-building model of democratic decision-making, for which the electorate has clearly started a preference. (Wisnia, 1991, p. A-8) The gap in providing documents for the Information Bank further hindered communication and was suggested in one letter to be a result of the frequent changes in personnel on the SECC. Wisnia (1991, p. A-8) goes on in his letter to state, there have been problems, such as a blackout in the Information Bank since 1987, possibly due to a lack of continuity of representatives appointed to SECC. The only local on SECC is the district administrator, who has only been here a few months, and he is supposed to be in charge of coordinating public involvement. Calls for the SEMP proposal to be voted on in a referendum point to the problem of centralized decision-making. The perception that "outside" government agencies were making decisions which should rightly be decided at a community level led to calls for a referendum to take place simultaneously with the Municipal Elections of November 1993. In addition, some letters expressed the feeling that community comments had very little effect on decisions being made between government agencies on the SECC. Lloyd (1993, p. 9) stated, How much different would the Squamish Estuary management Plan be, if local groups had had the opportunity to determine, not just comment on, its content? What would it look like if the Squamish nation, the chamber of commerce, conservation groups, tourist groups, other business organizations, and others who live here, had gathered in a series of forums to create the future that we, not Ottawa or Victoria or Vancouver, want? ... The concerns brought to the Coordinating committee over the years by the Squamish Estuary Conservation Society and the Squamish Nation have had little impact on the plan; in general 79 they have been "noted", and set aside [including the concern about who is deciding these things, and why]. Barriers revealed in the letters so far have all occurred at an institutional level. However, concerns about outside forces making decisions about the community of Squamish also extended to the role of NGO's. Not only were government officials not from Squamish, several interest groups (e.g. Ducks Unlimited) were not community-based either. Turner (1991, p. A-6), in a letter regarding the 1991 public meeting, stated, the negative tone of the presentations at the Monday night meeting were initiated by a number of non-resident representatives of vested interest groups who selfishly don't give a damn about the economic and social survival and development of this community. There were 56 feature articles on the Squamish Estuary Management Plan in the two newspapers between October 91 and September 1993. Twenty-nine of the articles were from The Squamish Times and 27 were from The Squamish Chief. Of the 47 articles where the reporter could be identified, 32 were written by men and 15 by women. Of the reporters, 5 were male and 4 were female (see table below). This table shows that while there were as many female as male reporters, men wrote significantly more articles about the Plan than women. Table 5 . 4 : Number of Newspaper Articles by Gender of Reporter Female Female Male Male Total Number % Number % Number of Articles 15 32.0 32 68.0 47 Number of Reporters 4 44.4 5 55.6 9 Most of the articles in both papers consisted of reported information on the plan, for instance, what happened at the public meetings or Municipal council meetings and public notices of meetings. Opinions regarding the Plan and the public process were expressed mostly on the editorial page. Neither paper wrote any real analysis of the plan in an attempt to help the 80 community understand the technicalities of the plan or to stimulate discussion on its impact on the community. Thus, the information available from the paper to the community was limited. Within this coverage, barriers to effective participation could be identified. Once again, lack of trust appears to have permeated the public process. This lack of trust is most obvious between BC Rail and the community. Comment included, BCR's approach to the public process illustrates nothing more than contempt for an educated public and the ability of people to make proper decisions for their own community. Rather than informing all groups in Squamish, especially the conservationists, of detailed habitat protection and enhancement plans, Mr. Cooper is attempting to steamroll the community (business people included). Busch, 1991c, p. A-6) I'm having a tough time with this one trying to find a reasonable indicator. I'm tempted to list this one as #1 on the current Corridor Smelly Deals Index. On the other hand, B.C.R. has been scamming and blackmailing this community for so long that I'm almost more inclined to run it on the S.P.S.I., the Squamish Public Stupidity Index. (Yates, 1991, p. A-13) Several things again contributed to this lack of trust including cost, poor communication structures and centralized decision-making. Cost (or lack of funding) became an issue at one of the public meetings where BC Rail contributed the money to book the venue. The fact that BC Rail is the major developer in the area combined with the SECC's refusal to allow the Squamish Estuary Conservation Society to have a table at this forum may have deepened mistrust. Yates (1992c, p. A-5) stated, Guess who's paying for the room at the Highlander Hotel for the august and objective S E C C . to put on their information display? B.C. Rail, of course. Now, when they need money to blow on such stuff they are a crown corporation. And this means? That we stupid Squamolean jerks and the rest of B.C. foot the bill. ... they [BC Rail] have had the temerity to tell the Squamish Estuary Society formally that they may NOT have a table at the November 4 Information Display. This lack of trust may also have contributed to dissatisfaction with the centralized method of decision-making. Newspaper coverage indicated that people felt that decisions about the estuary 81 should be made by the community or at least with more community involvement. In an editorial, Bishop (1992, p. A-6) stated, "So much of the heat drawn by the amended plan, crafted by a government-industry body of mostly absentee men, could have been doused by including local interests before the amendment procedures began". In an article on the protest held jointly by the Squamish Estuary Conservation Society and the Squamish Nation at the November 4, 1992 public forum, Wanczura (1992, p. A-3) stated, A focus of their complaints was that the plan was designed by outsiders -bureaucrats who parachuted into the Squamish area and who will not be around to live with the consequences of the plan. This mistrust was still evident almost a year later in an article about the public meeting in October 1992, Price (1993, p. 4) stated, Wednesday's public meeting left a very clear message: Let the local people decide how they feel about this issue. ... A committee composed entirely of officials and bureaucrats has decided the fate of the estuary, and has failed to listen to the many concerns raised about the lands west of the rail spur... When it came time for Municipal council to vote on the SEMP Plan, there were several calls for this decision to be put to a referendum coinciding with the November 1993 Municipal elections. Calls for the referendum were based on two reasons. First, that a council so late in its mandate should not be making such crucial decisions and second, that this was a decision in which everyone should be able to participate. In an article on calls for a referendum Enns (1993c, p. 3) quotes the president of the Estuary Conservation Society as saying, "If a participatory democracy trend is followed, perhaps the fate of the Squamish River Estuary should be placed before the people". Poor communication structures not only contributed to the lack of trust but may have prevented the public from being fully informed and involved. Complaints about the lack of preparation and response time for public meetings occurred in several newspaper articles. For example, in an article on the response to the SECC survey, co-chair Dennis Deans is quoted as saying, "It seems 82 to be a very good response and this has come despite a strong feeling in the community that people didn't have enough time to respond" (Busch, 1991b, p. A - l 1). There were even complaints from the Municipal council. After being given the amended Plan with only a 3 day lead time for a Council vote Enns (1993a, p. 3) describes the response of then-mayor Egon Tobus, Tobus also said having the draft plan presented to councilors on Sept. 10 and expecting them to make a decision on Sept. 14 is unacceptable. "Three days is just not enough to make an intelligent and far-reaching decision". Concerns over the dissemination of information were also raised. In two separate articles, Yates complained about the advance notice and timing of the first public meeting and the poor presentation of information, The last time there was a public meeting on the Squamish Estuary management Plan, it was one of the best kept secrets in the corridor. Execrably advertised, and announced only a few days before the actual meeting, and knowing the Monday is the day that both papers are in composition for Tuesday, it was held on a Monday night at 6 p.m. (dinner time for most families) in the hopes that no one would show up. (Yates, 1992a, p. A-6) As for your fat tome called the Squamish Estuary Management Plan: The onus is not on John Q. Public or Jane Q. Small business-woman to read a huge turgid mound of prose. The onus is on government and Chamber to translate and present, if you wish support. (Yates, 1992b, p. A-22), Advertisements in the paper consisted of information put into the paper and paid for by an outside group. The Squamish Estuary Co-ordinating Committee put 6 such advertisements in The Squamish Times. Three of these were notices of public meetings. The other three advertisements consisted of inserts added to the paper on the weeks of October 20, 27 and November 3, 1992. With these inserts the SECC published three of its documents, "You Asked", "In Transition" and the "Draft Plan". As these inserts were merely reprints of the documents, barriers identified above as a result of this documentation will have carried over into the newspaper coverage. 83 The Squamish and Howe Sound District Chamber of Commerce had a regular feature in The Squamish Times called the President's Report. In three of these reports (in September, October and November of 1992), the President supports the SEMP Plan and urges members to do so as well. He also notifies members of upcoming public meetings. In October 1993 (p. 33), the Chamber of Commerce also placed a prominent ad in The Squamish Chief stating their support of the Draft Plan and urging Municipal Council to endorse the Plan. This ad stated, We are all aware that without conservation, there would be losses within the estuary, which are an integral part of what makes Squamish what it is. However, we all must recognize that without development, the community will lose an integral part of its economic and future growth. ... The Squamish and Howe Sound District Chamber of Commerce endorses this Plan and strongly urges Council to do the same. On November 3, 1992, the Squamish Estuary Conservation Society (SECS) placed an 8 page section into The Squamish Times entitled "Ours to enjoy Not to destroy". This insert covered the basics of the Draft Plan, the formation and ecosystem of the estuary, a statement by the Squamish Nation, information on who and where to write to protest the Plan, information about the upcoming public forum and a resolution which stated, That no further industrial, residential or commercial development be allowed west of the present rail spur line, ever; and that there be no further development of estuary lands until (1) all native land claims related to the area are settled, (2) all alternative sites have been fully utilized (i.e. the Industrial Park), (3) there has been full public involvement in examination of environmental and social impacts. (SECS, 1992, p. 8) It is not clear what influence the Squamish Estuary Conservation Society and the Squamish and Howe Sound Chamber of Commerce had on the public process. Certainly by urging the public to attend meetings and write letters, they may have facilitated participation. The time, money and technical expertise provided by these interest groups may have helped to educate the public and to encourage participation. Simultaneously, however, the degree of factionalism and divisiveness created within the community as a result of these opposing camps may have subsumed the 84 average opinion and prevented individuals from voicing opinions. Citizens may have been discouraged to participate for fear of being perceived as taking sides. This latter result is supported by evidence from other research methods. In summary, most barriers identified by the newspaper coverage occurred at the institutional level (Table 5.5). Lack of trust was a significant issue and was exacerbated by other problems such as lack of funding (cost), centralized decision-making and poor communication structures including inadequate preparation time and a gap in the Information Bank. The role of NGO's and factionalism and different economic interests were identified as community barriers. No social barriers were revealed. 5.3 Interviews with SECC Members Results for this section are based on interviews carried out with members of the SECC. Members who agreed to be interviewed included representatives from the following agencies: Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans, BC Ministry of the Environment, District of Squamish, BC Ministry of Land and Parks and BC Rail Properties. Interviews lasted between 45 and 90 minutes. Results of the interviews can be divided into three topics, decision-making, public participation and the contribution of women. The SECC (the Committee) made decisions on a consensus basis. For many committee members, this was a first experience with this kind of process. Committee members felt that it was a lengthy, time consuming and difficult process. Comments included: they were consensus decisions, you know, and laborious ... Everybody had to agree to various processes and everybody's concerns and requirements in the area were very candidly expressed and there wasn't an awful lot of beating around the bush. Discussion was frank... 85 Table 5.5: Barriers to Participation Identified by the Newspaper Coverage Barrier Type Literature Review Documents Newspaper Coverage • cost • cost • cost • high expectations of • lack of trust • lack of trust public • possible barriers due to • centralized decision-• lack of trust an Environmental Impact making • centralized decision- Assessment Public • poor communication making Process structures Institutional • frequent transfers of • centralized decision- • frequent transfers of Arrangements personnel making personnel • inappropriate public • poor communication participation methods structures • inappropriate attitudes. values and skills of personnel • inappropriate systems of evaluation • factionalism across • role of interest groups • role of NGO's different interests • factionalism across • lack of appropriate local different interests Community leadership and organization skills • role of interest groups • corruption • lack of facilities • political factors • laws • bureaucracy Societal • level of education • level of income • restrictions of social roles • devaluing women's voices 86 its the first time I've really been in a committee that was really structure that way where there was a real major effort to make sure that there was consensus. And what surprised me is how time consuming it is to develop a position based on consensus. That is, the number of hours and days that were spent by each of the committee members is astounding. this is the first time I had been on a consensus committee and it was a very small representational group, very diverse, it was incredible difficult to come to consensus, even in that small group. If it would have been the expanded committee, my personal sense is I don't know if we would have ever reached consensus on the Plan...I think that would have been impossible. I think we would have walked Most committee members felt that more representation on the committee would mean that consensus would be very much harder to reach. This seemed to be especially the feeling in regards to the addition of an environmental representative. Most of them felt that an environmental representative would be less likely to compromise. Comments included: I think you have to have some kind of a degree of compromise and concession, some people are relentless part because there is no investment...there is no connection, sort of contribution to the economy on their part....They can distance themselves from it and deal strictly with what they see as a value issue. it won't work if the environmentalist is from Vancouver because their livelihood isn't tied to the community. It's just an emotional, I call it emotions, its just a ... the word religion comes to mind but that's not what I mean it's just the name, there's very little compromise in there. These comments indicate that some committee members were more comfortable making decisions based on government policy guidelines and economic grounds than they were on ethical grounds which were viewed as uncompromising. There were certainly issues discussed by the committee in which one party had a non-negotiable position and yet the committee still managed to reach a consensus. For example, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has a no net loss policy in regards to fish habitat. This, for them, was a non-negotiable position. Also, the perception that emotion is not a valid thing on which to make a decision is of interest since women are generally considered more emotional. Several members believed that women were more passionate when 8 7 speaking about the estuary, however, none stated that their opinions would have been considered less valid for this reason. In terms of public participation, most committee members felt that there was enough opportunity for people to participate. Stakeholder groups were identified through written submissions. The only group from whom the committee actively sought comment was the Squamish Nation. Committee members commented: There certainly was, I believe, an opportunity for people to participate if they wished to participate. Some groups may not feel that they were heard or that we responded the way they would have liked us to respond. But I believe that there was ample opportunity for people to comment. I think that there was a concerted effort to organize that involved as many people in the community, both from our perspective and for the people that opposed the Plan, to involve as many people as it could. And, it was, I think, well attended and well responded to. And, you know, we did as much as I think we could to get the Plan out and get it understood by the community. Some committee members felt that what might have got lost is the perspective of the ordinary citizen. That is, the opinion of those people who were not members of the various interest groups may have been overpowered by vocal groups. In addition, those dissenters within interest groups (e.g. members of the Chamber of Commerce who were against the Plan) may also have been overpowered by their associations. Certainly all agreed that the major interest groups were present but that may have overwhelmed the opinion of average individuals. The views of women were not specifically targeted by the committee. Because women were not organized as a stakeholder group, they were never identified as a target group by the SECC. Most committee members felt that women had an equal opportunity to participate and that this was not a specific women's issue, "We didn't see it as a sex-driven ... we weren't talking about abortion or something specifically related to women. This was kind of a people issue and asexual." Another member stated, 88 in terms of the subject matter you're looking at from a women's perspective there weren't any ... we didn't attempt to go out and reach groups like that and to be perfectly honest with you I'm not even sure they exist in Squamish. I guess they do but it's something we never though of... Maybe that's to do with the lack of gender balance on the co-ordinating committee. It was all males. When asked specifically about women's participation, most people interviewed started off by saying that there was about equal numbers of men and women but later modified their comments to indicate that there were fewer women or that fewer women spoke up at public meetings. Committee members agreed that there were several key women who were quite vocal. It seems that while there were fewer women than men at the meetings and speaking up, the presence of a very few quite vocal women may have made it seem like participation was equal between genders. Comments included: Well, there were several women who spoke during the sessions either informally at the various booths and were quite candid and forthright...But I would say, to be fair, that it wasn't 50/50, it was certainly something quite a bit less than that. My observation was that it was almost equal. There was almost 50/50 ... There were probably more men that women ...if you really did the numbers. But there certainly were a lot of women who were speaking out This finding would seem to be supported by evidence from the newspaper coverage in the letters to the editor section. Although there were 4 letters submitted by women, three of them were by the same woman. However, of 11 letters from men, only 3 were by the same author. Thus, the presence of a few key vocal women may have had the effect of exaggerating the presence of women. In summary, these were the three main points derived from the interviews. First, that consensus building is a difficult process and that more representatives, particularly environmental ones, would make reaching consensus much more difficult. Second, that committee members felt that everyone had ample opportunity to participate including women. And, third, that while fewer women than men participated, there were several key vocal women. 89 In reference to the framework outlined in Chapter 2, the men interviewed from the SECC identified several barriers to effective public participation (Table 5.6). Barriers identified within institutional arrangements included lack of trust and cost. Funding was an issue in two ways. First, the SECC did not have any funding of its own and had to rely on the membership agencies. One member stated, I would try to have some funding available that the committee could use to do various things like printing documents and firing consultants and, you know, paying for the cost of public meeting and rental of halls. We didn't have any sort of separate budget. We had to find the money within our own base budgets as agencies and we're so tight in terms of dollars that that was extremely difficult.. but you don't really feel like an equal partner if you're not contributing an equal funding. Although, that never really conveyed itself, or manifested itself in terms of the influence that I felt I had on the committee. Second, should representatives of various community groups be added to the SECC, as suggested in the Plan, issues arise over whether these positions would be voluntary or would offer compensation. If the representatives are volunteers, participation is only open to those people who have free time available. If the representatives are paid, this may affect the ability of the representative to have a voice independent of the source of the funding. An interviewee stated, So, we were able to contribute a little bit of money but some of the other agencies had to take up a lot of the slack in that regard including BC Rail and there was concerns that that may be ... appear to be a conflict of interest, you know, the major land owner, major development proponent providing funding to keep this committee operational. In this case, the lack of funding may have contributed to a lack of trust between the community and the committee. Members agencies, including BC Rail, helped pay for the public meetings. As BC Rail was the major landowner, this increased the mistrust between Squamish and the SECC. 90 Si £ 3 U u w <u T3 C o vo 3 u C J w cj 16 8* 8 a 3 o S3 -a H ts.1 O & o 8 M a s o c 3 E S DO O e <-> e 3 ca t-i H J "OJ c S CJ 3 3 O cr «> <L> o 2 cu CO S •a _ o - E 6 i 3 S 5 e g x> p CJ —' CJ ~" /_ .-^  -S S M S o £ g S S 5 1 «_. v cn [1] O o y e ^  ^  w o — 3 o 3 O ra O "S 3 e s 00 o 2 .5 0 ~ Cu ra < . OH O 3 O O a. c3 3 a. 3 o 00 3 ra s 1 3 O CJ 3 3 O cn V-CD Cu U-< o O cn 43 ft cn cj T3 -a 2 3 CJ 3 3 o c u i s CJ o o CJ •a T3 CJ N « * ^ * ! cn CO o 3 8 2 I 8 ra a) i -C 3 §* Si a, CJ JS ra CJ cj Cu G U - . o .5 o .9- e g O Cu w ra c 3 Cu rt « — 3 ra CJ 0 E 3 3° 1 s O CJ Cu Cu cn fc.1 O .23 -S 2- "ra •£! ra 3 o 0 ,f> -3 ° 3 2 M Cu T5 O 3 ra J3 s -2 = 3 B £ o o Cu o 1— 00 cn CJ U H 3 _c <^< o cj "o o Cu ra CJ CJ -c^ 3 o ra . , cj (v> CJ ra • * * _0J o CJ o CJ cn O w O o ra c5 0 o to 91 This mistrust was largely based on previous dealings with these government agencies. Members stated, You wouldn't believe the legacy of abuse and mismanagement... that were brought forward by people. ... it was an opportunity to sort of get a bunch of things off of their chest. And, it made it pretty clear that we should be doing more of that even though it isn't the most comfortable situation if you're a government bureaucrat and you're getting dumped on. ... I guess as government people we've got to be careful we don't take it personally 'cause it's ... a lot of those things were done sort of outside of our influence. i I can handle virtually any of the criticism, you know, people don't agree technically and all this other stuff. I can really appreciate all that. ... But this issue of mistrust, you know, someone coming in from the outside and trying to ram something down their throats, I mean, we came in trying to do the best job, trying to protect the estuary, we didn't come it trying to shut the damn thing, trying to sell it off. ... It hurts to some extent this mistrust thing and that's the one thing that leaves a sour taste in my mouth with respect to all of this stuff is this issue of mistrust. ... I guess with the long history of the Plan, I guess a lot of the damage was done that way... ...there's a big hate for BC Rail. Reasons are probably valid. BC Rail's policies have changed over the last several decades and their big business policies, like other big business 30 years ago were not very conducive to community spirit. So we were getting a lot of very negative feelings toward the government. Within the sphere of community, NGO's and special interest groups represented a variety of opinions. However, by polarizing viewpoints, special interest groups may have overwhelmed the voices of everyday citizens and lay people. One SECC member stated, certainly the ones that we felt might not be represented is the average person that has, probably has more stake in what was going to happen with the estuary ... Certainly the people that had an axe to grind and a position to post were there At a societal level, the underrepresentation of women in positions of power reflected itself most clearly in the fact that the SECC consisted entirely of men (although one alternate member was a woman). It is unclear if the SEMP would have looked any different had there been women on the committee. Most of the men interviewed felt that women were making in-roads in the civil service and that it was only a matter of time before committees would be gender balanced. 9 2 5.4: Interviews with Women Community Leaders The following women were interviewed from the community: the past President of the Squamish Estuary Conservation Society (and current Municipal Councilor), the Manager of the Squamish and Howe Sound Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Squamish Estuary Conservation Society and the Community Planner for the District of Squamish. These women identified five barriers that limited participation, three institutional barriers and two societal barriers. First, the fact that the SECC meetings were not open to the public and that they were held in Vancouver, not in Squamish, may have both acted as an obstacle to participation and contributed to a lack of trust between the SECC and the community. Comments included, "But, my suggestion would have been to them to not have their meetings in Vancouver, they should have been having their meetings here in Squamish because it affects us.", and, basically it seems to me that the co-ordinating committee had determined what was an adequate public process and were interested in just continuing on with that and were not particularly interested in debating in a public manner what was going on. And I guess one of the other things that was interesting too was all the debates went on with the co-ordinating committee in private so nobody knew basically what was happening in the process. ... I believe very strongly that we've got to start breaking down some of those barriers, you know, a lot of the discussion and decision-making happening behind closed doors, I don't think that's right. The fact that the decision-making process occurred behind closed doors acted as a barrier because it prevented the women from understanding the rationale behind the decision. One woman stated, I'd like to see more, sort of, accountability. Why each person ... it came out always as a blanket, a group recommendation and I know that that's part of that process they were trying to reach consensus or whatever. But for me it would be helpful to see OK why did fisheries say this was OK ... and maybe break that down a little and say OK we think that these parts are OK and be willing to show to the public that there are some concerns in certain areas that were discussed and are being addressed. ... That presenting a unified front all the time is a barrier because then it becomes an "us" versus "them" and there didn't seem to be any room really for give and take. 93 Second, poor communication structures acted as a barrier in several different ways. The lack of information available emerged as a barrier and, in some cases, was related to the problem of centralized decision-making. The fact that the SECC presented a "unified front" made it difficult to obtain information. One woman stated that, "on the one hand some people were fairly open, on the other hand, you did meet with this sort of solidarity, sort of shoulder to shoulder, so you couldn't even get information in some ways. And I'm not necessarily blaming individuals. I think it's a structural problem the way it was set up." Poor communication regarding the open houses and lack of response time also acted as barriers. Referring to the lack of notice about the open house on November 18, 1991, one woman explained that, It was a Monday night, it didn't receive a whole, I mean they advertised about it but it wasn't as if it was a big advertisement for.a long period of time. It was a minimal amount of notice given. And, Monday night is also the night the paper is put to bed here. And so it's difficult for that kind of meeting to be covered properly or for big advance notice to be given right ahead of it. In addition, poor communication methods at the open houses, speaking in front of a large group at a microphone, made it difficult for women to participate. The intimidation involved in public speaking was an obstacle which the women needed to overcome in order to participate. Woman explained that, if a committee is seriously looking for public input they shouldn't sit at the front of a room and talk at people and expect the whole microphone bit. I think there's a place for that, I think there is a place for everyone in the room to be hearing the same thing but certainly not the only outlet. it was a learning experience for me in that I had never stood up in front of people before and ... had been pretty timid and intimidated by that kind of thing. That's the way I felt, other people perceived me very differently. ... So, on a personal level kind of thing it was a learning experience and starting to realize my own abilities and powers, I think, in terms of being able to cope with various situations. Before, I sort of thought, I can't do that. But, sure you can, you know, so there was all that. 94 It should be noted that while this obstacle clearly may prevent women from speaking out at a public hearing but learning to speak in front of large groups may also be personally rewarding and empowering. Third, the Plan was not presented in a way which was relevant to women. One woman pointed out that this could be a big women's issue because there are a lot of young families in Squamish and women can take the kids out on to the estuary to catch frogs and explore. By presenting a technical Plan which focused largely on resource management, a large part of the reality of women's lives was ignored. One woman stated, "I think a lot of my interests really involve around the young people really more than anything else because I have two perfect teenagers, a boy and a girl, who are the joy of my life". Fourth, the women recognized that women's social roles may restrict participation. One women acknowledged that, "One of the reasons why I could participate, quite frankly, is because I was unemployed. I don't have a family. So, that I have, quite simply, the time to be able to devote to that". Another women stated, I wasn't working at that time and when I went back to work part-time last year my involvement with the estuary society was really nil for a year and then we readjusted. And [my daughter] is a little older and we are becoming more active again. I think for most women that's a pretty hard thing managing families and for many a job and then trying to get involved in public planning processes. Fifth, the women felt that public participation process devalued the voices of women. They noted that while some SECC members were open and approachable, other members didn't really seem interested in what they had to say. One woman stated that, my assessment of a couple of guys on there [the SECC] is that they're not particularly used to or comfortable with women having input to decisions. They seemed pretty ...old-fashioned in their thinking and I felt that barrier. ... I don't know the structure of all those ministries, but it suggests to me the fact that there's not very many women involved at the decision-making level in them. By extension, if they're not being valued within their own office, then my gut feeling is that perhaps our opinions weren't valued as much outside in the public view. 95 Some women observed that when they got particularly angry or emotional, they were less likely to be listened to. Comments included, If you raised something ... especially I guess living right there, some of the issues of noise and stuff I got fairly angry and that's one discussion I remember. I really felt that I wasn't seen as credible and wasn't raising valid concerns at the time. ... if you became emotional with what you were saying that made it even worse, you know, you are just an emotional woman. In summary, these women identified five barriers which made participation in the SEMP public process difficult. Institutional barriers included centralized decision-making, poor communication structures, and the failure to present the Plan in a way relevant to women. No community barriers were revealed but two societal barriers were revealed; the restrictions associated with women's social roles and the devaluing of women's voices. 5.5 Workshops with Women Three workshops were held with 14 women in the community. Two workshops were held in the Howe Sound Women's Centre and one was held in a private residence. Volunteers were recruited through several methods. A small advertisement ran in The Squamish Chief for 4 consecutive weeks, a letter to the editor was printed, a request for volunteers was read over the local radio station, posters were placed around town, letters were mailed to women who had submitted comments during the SEMP public process as well as those who requested information from the SECC (approximately 100 letters). Women's groups in Squamish were contacted including the Howe Sound Women's Centre and several church auxiliaries. I also tried to contact the Squamish Nation by phoning one of their Councilors, however, none of my phone calls were answered. A larger advertisement was placed in The Squamish Chief prior to the last workshop. Posters were put up around town in places such as the post office, the library, the community notice board, telephone poles and some downtown stores. As well, women who participated in the workshops were encouraged to tell friends about them. 96 Of the 14 women who volunteered, 7 had participated in some way in the SEMP process. The first workshop consisted of women who had participated in the process, the second consisted of women who had not. These two workshops provided somewhat different results. The third workshop had a mixture of participants and non-participants and the comments started to repeat themselves. While the number of women volunteers was small, more volunteers would not necessarily have produced different results. At the workshops, the women were asked to answer some questions in order to profile the volunteers. The average length of time the women had lived in Squamish was 24 years, with values ranging from less than a year to 67 years. The age of the women ranged from 29 to 79. All of the women had children, an average of 2.3 each, the most was 5 and the least, 1. Levels of education ranged from grade 10 to university, 13 of the 14 women had completed high school. Eight of the women identified themselves as homemakers, other professions included teaching and nursing. None of the women was a member of a visible minority. In terms of community involvement, the women identified themselves as being part of many community groups including conservation groups, church groups and recreational groups. The women were asked about the nature of their participation in community life (Table 5.7). Participation rates were high (not unexpectedly since they were volunteering for the workshop), ranging from 43% who had joined a community or lobby group, attended a Municipal council meeting or written a letter the newspaper to a high of 93% of the women who had signed a petition. The icebreaker exercise chosen for these workshops had three functions. First, it gave the women an opportunity to introduce themselves, second, it started the group thinking about community issues. Third, it provided an opportunity to assess how comfortable the women were about participating, how familiar they were with the community and, whether there were any language barriers. 97 Table 5.7: Community Involvement of Workshop Participants Type of Involvement Participation Rate signed petition 93 % joined a community or lobby group 64% donated to community or lobby group 57% attended a public meeting or open house 50 % refused to buy a product or shop in a store for ethical reasons 50% attended a Municipal Council meeting 50% voted in a Municipal election or referendum 43% written letter of protest to an organization or company 43 % written a letter to the newspaper 43 % The women received one of 5 possible sheets of paper. These sheets had a picture on them and the women were asked to complete the sentence on the sheet. They could write as much or as little as they wanted. The sentences read: My favourite spots to go in Squamish include ... When I think of Squamish I think of... The big issues facing Squamish today include ... In the year 2025 Squamish will be ... I would like to remind the mayor that... While it is impossible to come up with a single view of the community from the responses, common elements included an appreciation for the beautiful scenery and recreational opportunities in Squamish, a concern for balancing economic and environmental issues and 98 dealing with the rapidly changing face of Squamish (rapid residential growth, the role of tourism and forestry). The next exercise involved breaking the workshop participants into groups of 2 or 3 and getting them to draw a picture of what they would like the estuary to look like. Emphasis was placed on not drawing an accurate map of what was presently taking place on the estuary but rather decided as a group the level and kinds of development which should be allowed. Groups had to put themselves into the picture. At the end of the exercise the groups showed and explained their picture. By breaking the workshop into groups, the women continue the process of getting to know each other without having speak to the whole group. The participatory nature of the exercise helped to create a relaxed atmosphere and reduce stress. The purpose of this exercise was to develop, in the groups, a vision of estuary and their place within it. As anticipated, the women were worried about their drawing ability so emphasis was placed not on cartographic and drawing skills but on ideas. Also, scented markers were provided in an effort to make the drawing fun and thus reduce stress. This exercise worked extremely well in two of the workshops. However, in one workshop participants did not want to draw and so we brainstormed on what their vision of the estuary would look like. The visions of the estuary produced in this exercise had several common elements. Use of the estuary was centered around recreational and wildlife use. Recreational use included walking/cycling trails (sometimes educational trails) and boating (sailing, canoeing, wind surfing). Wildlife appearing in the pictures included salmon, bald eagles, swans and other birds. Few of the pictures included any industry. Industry that was included either existed presently or was stipulated as being "environmentally friendly". One group put affordable housing in their picture. When placing themselves in the picture, the women were most often involved in recreation on the estuary, cycling, walking or sitting and enjoying the scenery. This typified the way in which the 99 women related to the estuary. For them, the estuary was a place for people to recreate, to learn and a place for wildlife. Industry had very little to do with the estuary. This is significant because the SEMP process dealt very much with the potential for development. on the estuary as well as technical issues related to the use of the estuary by the forestry industry. It is clear from the pictures that this is not the way in which these women related to the estuary and therefore SEMP may not have seemed relevant to their lives and experiences. Having discussed various visions of the estuary, the next exercise was to identify, through brainstorming as a single group, various barriers which may have prevented someone from participating in the SEMP public process. In the second workshop, a brief history of the process was given since this workshop had little knowledge of SEMP or the methods used to encourage participation. The brainstorming process consisted of writing any barriers down on a sheet of paper, positioned where everyone could see it. As one sheet was completed, it was placed still within sight. The brainstorming exercise had three parts. First, all possible barriers which would prevent someone from expressing their vision of the estuary were identified. Second, barriers that participants believed would have affected women (or men) more were identified. Third, participants were asked to place a dot beside each of the barriers that they themselves had experienced. The women identified five areas of non-gendered barriers through this exercise. Two of these can be classified as barriers at the institutional level. First, the women reported that mistrust was a significant barrier. They felt that they did not know who to listen to and trust. Second, the women reported being shut out of the process due to poor communication structures. This included a lack of information and difficulty in gathering information. The SEMP documents were described as confusing, particularly the maps. The women felt that the newspaper coverage was too formal, difficult to read and intimidating. Many women expressed a fear of public 100 speaking and while this is not an institutional barrier, it could become one if the only avenue for participation is through a public meeting. In addition, several of the interviewed women thought that the centralized method of decision-making acted as a barrier. Two barriers resulted from the nature of the community. First, the women felt that there were many issues within Squamish and that they had to choose carefully. They may be already involved in other groups to which they have a certain loyalty, they know that there are already people working on the issue and that as they become older, they chose issues more carefully because their energy level is lower. Second, the women acknowledged that some people within the community might not be able to take sides or to speak out on an issue because it may adversely affect their job. They felt the fear of being labeled in such a small town could prevent someone from fully participating. One societal barrier was expressed. The women reported being intimidated by the process and the experts involved. They clearly felt that people's voices were not valued. Ten of the fourteen women said that they felt intimidated, vulnerable, unknowledgeable and that they couldn't contribute. Comments linked to this barrier included a fear of looking silly, fear of being exposed and the fear that they might merely repeat other people's comments. The only barrier which was identified as affecting men more than women is the fear of retaliation, that is, speaking out on an issue may affect your job (as stated above, some groups identified this barrier as non-gendered). Barriers which affected women more than men occurred almost exclusively at a societal level. The one exception was the fact that the women felt that men were more likely to participate because their jobs were directly affected by the SEMP Plan. I would classify this as an institutional barrier because the Plan was not presented in a way that was relevant to women's lives. The SECC related to the Plan largely through economic issues and government policy issues. The women were more concerned about the estuary as a resource for 101 their lifestyle (as shown in their pictures), that is, as a place to recreate and to educate their children. Societal barriers included the cost of participation and the lack of public transportation during meeting times. The participants felt that since women generally have a lower level of income, this barrier would affect women more than men. The lack of value placed on people's voices (as discussed above) was also identified as affecting women more than men. The women commented that there was a lack of acknowledgment of personal experience, i.e. you had to have academic credentials to speak out, the feeling that they won't be listened to, intimidation by "suits" and experts and that the public process was just "public relations" and that they wouldn't be listened to. The remaining barriers identified as affecting women more than men all related to women's social roles. Barriers related to child care responsibilities included lack of time for yourself and to educate yourself on an issue, that the family takes first priority, the public meetings were not child-friendly, no baby-sitting was available and that the women's lives were very busy and complicated. While no one in the workshops had experienced this, the women acknowledged that different cultural barriers (such as the role of Sikh-Canadian women) may prevent participation. In summary, the women identified four institutional barriers, mistrust, poor communication structures, the lack of a child-friendly environment and that the SEMP Plan was not identified in a way that was relevant to women's lives. Community barriers included a fear of retaliation and the large number of community issues. Societal barriers centered around the social roles of women and the lack of value placed on women's voices (Table 5.8). Workshops were deliberately chosen as a research tool with the women hoping that they would help to empower women within the community as suggested by the literature on feminist advocacy planning. Thus, a discussion of the usefulness of this method is warranted. The workshops were successful in allowing women to meet each other and to learn about the SEMP 102 s c j 2 c o c j t/> _ C 5> e •a ^ C L s o 3 o o ^ s .1 £^ c ft ; is -a tn C J C J N V - • — 3 O 3 s s U-, O o o  "co s" CO — • — C J 2 -g ^ P § 'H o <u E CO i - . CO to O o C O to o J 3 "C co c o oo 3 o o 8 « 3 2 • ^ J CJ CO JS 3 o <3 o. to ti_, a, to cj c fc: .2 C J ,_. "O 'to O a. o O to^ C J CS o o CJ 2 -a 2 <u hi N cs 3 3 0 0 o 3 c o C J *—1 C J o ra s o 3 H ^ c j 5 O C O S o ° o O <2 h to t O CO ri <- Q ( - ) C "PS O .ss .5 Z CO c 3 g O O fc, a ~ <H o e P ,« - j= 1—1 t4_( -^3 2 & C J CS 3 •—1 ^ -3 • 2 -S , 0 3 cu 3 O C J CJ -a -a N 3 O 3 3 — ' ^S P c o - c o 0 CS % C c j i S C L c f l < C U 3 C O o C O 3 O C J O E o o a. 0 O 0 c< O 0 i-, -*—1 TO 3 U rat pe 0 y. CJ * J . 3 tn 6 0 O -3 O J3 3 O to G CJ •a to -a 2 CJ IM c ^ ^ 3 0 0 CO CJ C J * • to CJ O "O TJ •3 O 3 «*-c 3 •£ •"=: o 3 O w 0 1 CL 3 CO 3 3 CJ CO o 42 »j CJ 0 0 3 3 r- CJ 3 . 3 3 0 c o c j h c o 5 c o ^ , . CL co CL 3 C J O p , O CO 3 i - .3" >- to e g- C J o Ct, p O , 3 to co U cO — » -3 CO 3 CO C J CJ to 3 a.' o 3 o 0 . 2 S s = ^ d P tS >> 3 co C J o o CJ to S o 0 O to 3 3 CL L > L — 1 CJ „ O "3 £ o it) C J C O . „ „ „ > I , c 0 • c a 0 3 CL 8 is t« C J ? tS C J E o 0 0 3 3 lo 3 o o o C Q — 3 CO CJ .11 • 3 " M 3 cs ! CO o O o o co 103 process and possible barriers to participation. Education about SEMP and public participation was a larger component in workshops with women who had not participated in the process. All of the workshops generated a lot of qualitative information. However, one problem with this method was the difficulty in recruiting volunteers. The workshops were held in July, 1994, November 1994 and January 1995. The large gap between the first and second workshops resulted in a loss of momentum in recruitment. The most successful recruitment was through church groups where the groups leader personally invited members. The third workshop, hosted by one such person, relied heavily on word of mouth invitations. This indicates that while formal methods of recruitment, such as radio and newspaper advertisements and letters, may add legitimacy; informal methods such as phone calls and word of mouth may be more effective. As an outsider to the community of Squamish, I tended to use formal methods of recruitment which, in retrospect, may not have been as useful as informal methods in these circumstances. Formal methods are reinforced by institutions such as the University of British Columbia which encourages these formal methods of contact for ethical reasons while discouraging informal ones. The implications for public participation in the planning process are significant. From the research experience, it seems that public participation is best organized from within community networks and institutions. A representative from the community on a decision-making body may be in a better position to take advantage of these informal methods to encouraging participation than an outsider. In conclusion, the research identified specific barriers to women's participation in the SEMP process (Table 5.8). The next chapter explores the implications of these findings in regards to the effectiveness of the participation process and makes a series of recommendations to make public planning processes inclusive to women. 104 Chapter 6 IMPLICATIONS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 6.1: Effectiveness of the SEMP Public Participation Process Considering the barriers identified in Chapter 5 and using the criteria developed by Smith (1987) outlined in Chapter 2, the effectiveness of the public participation process associated with the Squamish Estuary Management Plan is assessed with particular reference to women. a) Focus on the issues - The SECC focused on issues concerning land designation and resource management (e.g. the preservation of fish habitat). To a certain degree, the community also focused on these issues, however, some residents, including women, clearly viewed the estuary as a community resource. Since most SECC members were not representing the District of Squamish (e.g. Department of Fisheries and Oceans represented fish), the estuary was not considered in the context of other community issues such as the development of tourism potential. The SECC's focus failed to address issues of prime concern to women. Discussions with women in Squamish showed that women's lives focused largely around childrearing and the family. They viewed the estuary as an educational and recreational tool. This viewpoint was not represented by the SECC in its report. This failure contributed to the perception by some women that decisions about the estuary had very little to do with them. b) Representativeness of the participants - There are two issues involving representativeness of participants in the SEMP process. First, the representation of SECC members was limited. Only one representative from Squamish sat on the committee (a Municipal representative). There was no community group representation, for example, the Chamber of Commerce or the Squamish Estuary Conservation Society. The decision-making process was not open to the public because SECC meetings were private and held in Vancouver. For women, SECC representation was ineffective since no women sat on the SECC and no one represented women's issues. 105 Second, the public participation process left out some community groups. First Nations' representation was limited by the Squamish Nations' decision to opt out of much of the process until their land claim is settled. Representation from Squamish's Sikh community was almost non-existent. While women were represented during the public participation process, fewer women than men participated. c) Appropriateness of process - The SECC made a very good attempt to use a wide range of participation methods to gather public comments. Unfortunately, heavy reliance on public meetings reduced the effectiveness of the participation process. This reliance on public meetings may have partially stemmed from the fact that the SECC was presenting the community with an already developed plan. If they had sought public input earlier in the decision-making process, more opportunity might have existed for other participation methods such as task forces, workshops and field trips. Public meetings, while good for disseminating information, do not increase local decision-making opportunities (Mitchell, 1989). Task forces, workshops and field trips allow for less formal exchanges between the community and decision-makers. For women, the reliance on public meetings created several barriers including lack of child care facilities and the intimidation associated with speaking at a microphone in front of a large group of people. In this way, the choice of participation methods also served to reduce women's influence in the decision-making process by reducing participation. d) Awareness created - The level of awareness in Squamish about the SEMP was high, that is, people knew that the Plan was being developed. During the municipal elections of November, 1993, the SEMP was an election issue. However, this awareness was created more through the conflict among community groups and between community groups and the SECC as opposed to attempts by the SECC to educate the public. Attendance at public meetings was generally very high (over 100 people at each) and the SECC received a lot of written and verbal comments (over 150 surveys alone). Although women were aware of the SEMP issues, they were not very aware about how the issue related to their lives, because the women were often very focused on the 106 family. Women who did not link this focus with the development concerns addressed by the SEMP were not likely to become involved in the public participation process. e) Impact and influence - the influence of community input in the SEMP process is difficult to determine. On one hand, once the public was involved in the process (unfortunately, after the first Draft was complete), the SECC used public comments to revise and clarify the Plan. Women who participated in this public process were therefore also influential. Several community groups were lead by women (e.g. the Squamish Estuary Conservation Society and the Squamish and Howe Sound Chamber of Commerce) and these key women were certainly had an impact in that these groups provided a platform for their voices to be heard. Had there been more women involved in the process, it is possible that this impact would also have been greater. On the other had, several of the women interviewed expressed disappointment in the lack of opportunity to make a difference in the Plan. This included the lack of access to the decision-making process and the failure of the SECC to address some concerns. As stated above, the influence of women's voices in the participation process was reduced by the choice of participation methods which acted as a barrier to women's participation. It can therefore be concluded that women had a moderate level of impact and influence on the SEMP. While their concerns were incorporated into the Plan to some degree, the women were still dissatisfied with this limited access to the decision-making process. f) Time and cost - The large amount of time spent on revising the SEMP was certainly ineffective. The SECC met privately and developed the SEMP amongst themselves, a long and involved process of negotiation and consensus-building. After presenting this Plan to the public, the SECC had to revise the Plan taking into account the issues and concerns raised by the community at the first public meeting. This meeting was very confrontational as the community was presented with a Plan which they had no voice in developing. If the SECC had been expanded to include local community interests from the start of the decision-making process, the 107 public participation process could have been less confrontational perhaps considerably shortened. Involving the community at the outset of the decision-making process may have resulted in a shorter, more amicable public process where conflicts could be addressed more effectively. For women, lack of time was a large barrier to participation and so a shorter public participation might have encouraged more women to participate. Certainly a shorter public participation process might have also reduced costs; however, since the cost of this process was not determined, its effectiveness cannot be judged. In conclusion, it is apparent that the public participation process associated with the SEMP was not effective. The effectiveness of the public participation process was increased by the number of participation methods utilized, the impact and influence of the participation and the high level of awareness within the community. However, effectiveness was reduced by the omission of public participation in the initial decision-making stages, a reliance on public meetings, the length of the process and the failure to focus on the estuary as a community issue, not just a resource management issue. For women, effectiveness was further reduced by the fact that the SECC did not present the Plan in a way that was relevant to women's lives. Using Arnstein's Ladder of Citizen Participation (Figure 2.2), the public participation associated with SEMP can be categorized consultation, a form of tokenism. Arnstein (1969, p. 219) stated, Inviting citizens' opinions, like informing them, can be a legitimate step toward their full participation. But if consulting them is not combined with other modes of participation, this rung of the ladder is still a sham since it offers no assurance that citizen concerns and ideas will be taken into account. The most frequent methods used for consulting people are attitude surveys, neighborhood meetings, and public hearings. The SEMP process used both surveys and public hearings. Research showed that not only did the women not believe that their concerns were taken into account but that even the perception that they would not be heard prevented women from participating. One woman stated that, "you 108 would just get the feeling that you were talking to a wall and that they were trying to placate you". Having established that the SEMP public participation process was not effective for women, it is evident that barriers existed in the process which discouraged and prevented women from participating. The implications of these barriers, as revealed by the research, can now be explored. 6.2: Barriers and the SEMP Public Participation Process Barriers revealed in each section of Chapter 5 were organized according to the framework laid out in Chapter Two (see Table 5.7). They were categorized as institutional barriers, those which arose as a result of the planning process, community barriers, those which were specific to the community of Squamish and societal barriers, those which resulted from the organization of Canadian society. A comparison between the barriers identified in the literature review and the barriers identified by the research is revealing. Barriers at the institutional level which were identified by the literature review but not by the research included inappropriate participation methods and high expectations of the public. While it can be argued that these barriers may have existed in the SEMP process, they were not perceived as barriers by the SECC or the community. For example, a reliance on public hearings as a participation method could be considered inappropriate although this was not identified as a barrier. This may be largely a result of the fact that the women perceived their lack of participation as their own fault and not as a result of the process. For example, they were more likely to blame their fear of public speaking for preventing participation as opposed to the intimidation inherent in a public hearing. Community barriers which were not raised by participants in the SEMP process included a lack of appropriate local organization and leadership skills, lack of facilities and corruption. In particular, 109 the strong role of interest groups in the SEMP participation process shows that there were good local organization skills. Political factors, laws and bureaucracy were not identified by the research as barriers to participation most likely because they did not affect this participation process. Level of education was also not identified as societal barrier. This is most likely because the women who participated in the workshops were generally well-educated. There were several barriers which were identified through the research which were not identified in the literature review. The failure of the planning process to present the SEMP in a way which was relevant to women was identified as a significant barrier. It is possible that having more women on the SECC would have brought at least some women's perspectives into the discussion or that having more community representation would have brought out community issues of interest to women, such as the role of the estuary as a resource for education about estuarine ecosystems. Focusing on the estuary as entirely a development issue made it unclear how the SEMP related to women's lives. Bringing women's perspectives into the SECC may have resulted in a participation process which was more child-friendly. The lack of child care at public meetings (especially evening ones) prevented women from participating. The SECC members recognized that the lack of women on the committee may have resulted in less participation by women. SECC members commented that in time, the underrepresentation of women in position of power would be reduced as more women are promoted within government agencies. The women also identified two community barriers not covered in the literature review. First, the fear of retaliation might prevent participation. They concluded that because the SEMP affects employment possibilities in Squamish, people would be prevented from speaking out because of their present employment situation. For example, a forestry worker might not want to express conservationist beliefs for fear of retaliation at work and of being labeled, perhaps a more significant problem in small towns. Also, this might be a stronger barrier in resource dependent towns where a large percentage of the population relies on a single industry or company. 110 Although this is a barrier which was identified as affecting both men and women, it is certainly important for women. Second, the women commented that the large number of community issues may have prevented their participation. Time and energy constraints resulted in a careful choice about which issues to become involved with, especially since many issues involve lengthy participation. Loyalty to certain issues, for example, church groups or PTA's, might make taking on a new issue less likely. Also, choosing too many issues may result in burnout. Lengthy and time consuming public participation process may lead to reduced participation due to burn out. burn out is an issue confronting people in small communities. Women's activities in community activism may be a particular problem given the time and energy constraints placed on women. Of all the barriers to participation identified through the research, two barriers stand out as the most significant, a lack of trust and the failure to present the SEMP in a way that was relevant to women. Lack of trust was identified in the literature review, however, it turned out to be more important than the literature review indicated. The mistrust between the community and BC Rail seemed to be long standing and permeated all aspects of the participation process. In addition, other barriers such as the lack of funding and the poor communication structures became stronger as they fueled this lack of trust. For example, lack of funding resulted in BC Rail paying for the cost of the meeting space for the second open house. As a result, some citizens felt BC Rail was dominating the decision-making process and that participation would be futile. For women, the failure of the SECC to present the SEMP to women with relevancy acted as the strongest barrier to participation. Those women who identified with the conservation and development issues presented by the SEMP were encouraged to participate. However, those women largely focused on the family were discouraged from participating because they did not see the relevance of the Plan. I l l In conclusion, then, there were specific barriers which prevented women from participation in the public process associated with the SEMP. This, in turn, means that decisions made in the SEMP do not support sustainability. As stated in Chapter Two, the participation of women is a necessary component of sustainability and since women were not fully involved in decisions about the SEMP, by definition it does not support sustainability. This is not to say that if women were involved that the SEMP would have been sustainable, the other criteria of sustainability outlined in chapter two would also need to be met, but SEMP cannot support sustainability without the voices of women. In summary, this research has shown that there were specific barriers which prevented women from participating in the SEMP public participation process and that this process was not effective in soliciting public input. The question is, then, what steps can be taken to ensure that a public participation process is effective and encourages women's participation? The following recommendations are intended to answer this question. 6.3: Recommendations 1) Planning staff should possess the skills to enable them to identify barriers for women inherent in different participation methods. Members of the SECC clearly thought that everyone had an equal opportunity to comment on the SEMP. They did not recognize that women may have had less of an opportunity to participate due to barriers imposed by the participation methods. For example, some women may have been prevented from participating because of the lack of child care at evening meetings. It is possible that having more women on the SECC may have helped to identify possible barriers by bringing and understanding of women's positions into the planning process. However, it is equally possible that women's perspectives are just not accepted in conventional planning processes or that they are considered indistinguishable from men's perspectives. This may then also be a problem with traditional planning skills. Planning staff need to have the skills and training to recognize barriers 112 inherent in certain planning techniques and to recognize that the public is not a homogeneous group. 2) Adequate funds should be provided to ensure the use of a wide range ofparticipation methods and to prevent any conflict of interest. One of the issues which repeatedly caused problems during the SEMP process was the lack of funding. Not only were funds limited in terms of the range and extent of the methods used to facilitate participation, the fact that SECC agencies contributed unequally to the expense of the process increased feelings of mistrust. A budget separate from the agencies involved would ensure that there was no perception of conflict of interest on the part of any one agency. As well, the weight of voices on the committee would not be judged on the basis of financial contribution. Funding should also be available for individuals from the community to sit on the SECC (e.g. local business and conservation representatives) so that participation is not limited to volunteers. For women, funding for child care at public meetings would encourage women to participate. 3) In an public participation process, a wide range of methods should be used to break down barriers to participation. It is particularly important to offer a wide range of participation methods in order to allow for different kinds of barriers. Someone who finds public speaking prohibitive may prefer to submit a written comment, those with a language barrier might prefer to speak one-on-one with a planner. By recognizing that certain participation methods throw up certain barriers, planning staff can encourage wider participation by offering wider range of methods. In addition, different participation methods will also help to accommodate for different learning and communication styles. Ensuring adequate funding to support a variety of methods is essential. The extensiveness of range of participation opportunities may be limited by the funds available. The challenge is then to balance the cost of participation methods with the effectiveness of the participation. 113 However, allowing for a variety of participation methods will help to break down barriers associated with any one method. 4) Community groups should represented on any decision-making body. One of the problems with the SEMP process was that decision-making was very centralized. Meetings were held behind closed doors by government agencies considered by some people to be "outsiders". People believed that they had no access to the decision-making process and that the 1992 SEMP plan was presented as a done deal, that they could do little to change the plan. The SECC recognized that there was inadequate public representation on the committee and, in the amended Plan, allowed for more representation by the community. Allowing for community voices on the decision-making body has several advantages. It allows the community access to the decision-making process from the beginning, it can allow for better communication between the community and the decision-makers and it should make implementation of the decision easier. If community voices are integrated into the decision-making, it should result in a Plan which addresses community concerns before the plan reaches the public consultation phase, making the plan less contentious and easier to implement. 5) Communication structures should be set up between decision-making bodies and the community to ensure the availability of information and preparation and response time. Adequate public representation may also serve to facilitate good communication structures between the community and the decision-making body. In the case of SEMP, poor communication structures became a significant barrier. The lack of information available regarding the Plan, the failure to keep the Information Bank up-to-date, difficulties in gathering information, short notice of public meetings and inadequate time for response to the Plan were all identified as barriers. These poor communication structures exacerbated complaints about being left out of the process and helped to foster a lack of trust between the SECC and the community. 114 6) Decision-making bodies shouldfoster good relations whenever possible. Mistrust was an important barrier to public participation in the case of SEMP. Feelings of hostility between the community and the SECC (particularly BC Rail) heightened conflict and made it difficult to know what information (and who) to trust. Much of this mistrust resulted from past incidents some of which had little or nothing to do with the Squamish Estuary or with the people serving on the SECC. However, given the opportunity to speak out, the community vented its frustration. As indicated by some SECC members, this venting was particularly unpleasant and difficult not to take personally. Developing good communication structures, as well as allowing for opportunities for community members to meet and discuss with SECC members on a one-on-one (and/or a non-confrontational) basis would have helped to begin to develop trust. 6.4: Limitations and Extensions of the Research These recommendations will help to ensure that women have the opportunity to effectively participate in decision-making.. Community experiences and desires to be involved in environmental decision making may vary. Thus, the results from one situation will not provide definitive conclusions about the success or failure of all public participation processes. Several limitations of this research should be recognized. First, none of the women who participated in the workshops were members of a visible minority. In Squamish, this includes aboriginal women and Sikh-Canadian women. Women from these minorities might experience different barriers to participation not identified by this research. Second, the timing of this research relied on individuals recall of events and circumstances dating back 3 years. Some interpretation problems with the interviews may result from this issue. Third, difficulties in recruiting volunteers to participate in the workshops should be noted. This poses a difficulty for research on public participation in general. It is not unexpected that problems arise in attempting to recruit people who do not participate in planning processes to participate in 115 research. Fourth, those individuals interviewed in their official capacity (e.g. SECC members) may have been censoring comments in order to conform to the public position of the agency. Fifth, it is important to note that these findings relate specifically to the local circumstances in Squamish. While SEMP may be indicative of similar processes taking place in this region (e.g. BIEAP), other processes will involve different community needs and different public participation mechanisms. These limits were controlled by the use of multiple sources of evidence helped to double check facts and to allow for errors in recollection. It also allowed for information on non-participants to be gathered without relying solely on encouraging participation in the workshops. The case study method is still an effective way to inform us about how and why events occurred. Despite these limitations, this research has made several contributions to the literature on sustainability. Methodologically, by attempting to encourage women who do not regularly participate in planning process to participate in the workshops it was discovered that informal methods of recruitment, such as phone calls, were highly effective. While increasing legitimacy, formal methods such as newspaper advertisements and letters were less effective and yet these are the methods used by planning bodies and encouraged by research institutions. This suggests that these institutions should use these informal methods, as well as more formal methods, to increase participation. Conceptually, the development of the three-part framework used to categorize different barriers is a new contribution. While recognizing that categories overlap, classifying the barriers as occurring at an institutional, community or societal level was useful in understanding the barriers and in identifying solutions. For instance, barriers which arose from institutional arrangements were largely a result of the planning process itself. Therefore, solutions which lower these barriers should also be implemented at this level. Centralized decision-making can be eliminated as a barrier if decision-making bodies have open meetings which are held within the community. 116 By using this framework several new barriers were revealed which were not identified in the review of the literature on public participation. All of these barriers were identified by the women which may be indicative of the fact that there is a lack of gender analysis in the research on barriers to participation. These new barriers included the failure of the planning process to present the SEMP in a way which was relevant to women's lives, the fear of retaliation and the burnout associated with the large number of community issues demanding public participation. The identification of these new barriers suggests some possible avenues for future research. The fear of retaliation may be a significant barrier for men as well as women if it is perceived that participation in a planning process may affect employment opportunities. As suggested earlier, this may also be a more significant barrier in small towns which often rely on only one or two employers. The phenomenon of burnout also deserves further exploration particularly in the light of the increase in public participation in environmental planning processes across Canada. Burnout may be especially relevant for women, who already face enormous time and energy constraints due to their primary role in child raising. Results from this research also suggest that non-governmental organizations (NGO's), while encouraging some participation, may also have deterred public participation in SEMP. It was assumed that NGO's would facilitate participation by disseminating information and demanding public participation. In Chapter two, the literature on public participation suggests that national NGO's act as a barrier to women because there are few women in positions of power within NGO's. However, in this community case, the issue was not a lack of women in positions of power but that opposing and confrontational NGO's may have prevented women's participation by dividing the community into camps. In addition, some women commented that the contradictory nature of the information on SEMP made it difficult to know who to believe and trust, thus 117 preventing participation. This was an unanticipated finding which leads to questions for further research including, • What happens to the voice of the "average" citizen when NGO's dominate a public participation process? • Are women discouraged from participating due the confrontation and sometimes aggressive nature of public participation? These new barriers were identified using the SEMP as a case study and thus are specific to the methods used by the SECC, that is, public hearings, written submissions, newspaper advertisements and surveys. When supporting the use of other methods of allowing for public input it is important to recognize that these methods carry with them their own barriers. Given the lack of gender analysis in research on these barriers, further research is needed to examine what barriers may exist which prevent women from participating in alternative public participation methods such as task forces, advisory groups, workshops, field trips and lobbying. In addition, just as there is a lack of gender analysis in research on barriers to participation , there is also a lack of consideration of other marginalized groups including racial minorities. The same analysis which this research carries out for women needs to be done for other groups to ensure that full participation in public planning process takes place and that one component of social sustainability is achieved. As stated at the outset, the purpose of this research was to examine the nature of women's participation in defining and developing sustainability. Any barriers that prevent women from participating reduce the effectiveness of public participation and result in a process which falsely represents the community because it lacks women's voices. As a result, the definition and development of sustainability locally will also omit the perspectives of women. In order to achieve sustainability, decisions must incorporate community participation which involves all members of the community. Barriers which prevent women from participating, therefore, prevent sustainability. This research has shown some of the ways in which women may be barred from 118 participating in decisions regarding sustainability. While including women's voices in decisions like the SEMP will not guarantee that they will support sustainability, it is clear that sustainability cannot be achieved without them. On a broader level, this research points to the importance of questioning the way decisions are being made about the definition and development of sustainability and who is making these decisions. By focusing only on the economic and environmental aspects of sustainability, the equally important component of social sustainability is being ignored. Full community involvement, including women and other marginalized groups, is a necessary part of social sustainability and ensures that these groups have a vested interest in implementing decisions which address their needs and concerns. In this way, sustainability is very much like a three legged stool. Each leg, or component, social sustainability, economic sustainability and environmental sustainability must be equally strong in order to support development which meets all our needs, both now and in the future. 119 B I B L I O G R A P H Y Arnstein, Sherry R., 1969. 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"Ask SECCWho owns the air?'" The Squamish Times. September 22, 1992, p. A-6. Yates, Mike, 1992b. "Selling a clear and present danger" The Squamish Times, September 29, 1992, p. A-10, A-22. Yates, Mike, 1992c. "Something smells funny" The Squamish Times, November 3, 1992, p. A-5. Yates, Mike, 1993. "Estuary to referendum" The Squamish Chief. September 21, 1993, p. 8 Yin, R.K., 1984. "Case Study Research, Design and Methods" Beverly Hills: Sage Publications. 127 Appendix A: Interview with Decision-Maker 1. What was your role in SEMP? 2. How were decisions made? 3. Was public participation considered important to decision-making? 4. How was public participation encouraged? 5. What stakeholders or groups were not represented or underrepresented? 6. What was the participation rate of women to men? 7. Were any extra efforts made to include women? 8. Do you feel that the public was knowledgeable about SEMP? 9. Were any recommendations implemented which were not favoured by the public? If so, why? 10. What did you learn from the process? What would you do differently next time? 11. Do you live in Squamish? If yes, how long? 12. What kinds of ties do you have with the community of Squamish? 128 Appendix B: Interview with Participant 1. Why did you become involved with SEMP? 2. In what ways did you participate in the public participation process? 3. Were you informed of the aims of SEMP and the progress of the SECC? 4. Do you feel that public participation was encouraged? If yes, how? 5. What things, either within the process or within your life, made it difficult for you to participate? 6. Do you feel that your input was valued? Why or why not? 7. Do you feel that being a woman affected your participation in any way? 8. What did you learn from the process? What would like to see done differently next time? What would you do differently next time? 9. Do you live in Squamish? If yes, how long? 10. What kinds of ties do you have with the community of Squamish? 129 Appendix C: Agenda for Workshops 1. Introduction - explanation of aims of research and focus groups - pictures of things in community with participants filling in captions, for example, a picture of the mayor with the caption, "I would like to remind the mayor t h a t t h i s will act as an ice-breaker as well as get the group starting to think about community issues - time, 15 minutes 2. In groups of 3, draw a picture of what the estuary should look like, put yourself in picture. - this will help to identify what kinds of land use people envision for the estuary as well as the role humans play in it - time, 30 minutes 3. Summarize Squamish Estuary Management Plan (SEMP) for group. - discuss what differences exist between SEMP and the drawings. How and why do they differ? - this will allow me to identify where in the plan these women's voices are reflected and where they aren't - time, 30 minutes 3. Brainstorm on what barriers may exist to people getting this vision incorporated into the SEMP process, are any gendered?. Give each participant small dots which they place next to any barrier which they personally experienced. - this will identify barriers, dots serve to illustrate commonly experienced barriers - time, 45 minutes 4. Discussion of public participation process. - what was good about the process? - how would you change it? - what was positive about this experience? - this.helps to end on a positive note - time 30 minutes 130 


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