The province of Quebec, in Canada, has been renowned for its participatory culture in public decision-making for over 40 years. The Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement (BAPE) was a pioneer in participatory democracy and continues to set an example. In 2002, the City of Montreal set up an Office de consultation publique (OCPM) directly inspired by this model. It was not until 20 years later that another city dared to make the legislative changes needed to create its own office.
In June 2022, the Quebec National Assembly adopted the bill enshrining the Office de participation publique de Longueuil in the city's charter. The creation of this office is not just a copy of a tried and tested model, but a testimony to a strong political will. 20 years on, the Office team has taken the opportunity to add some new features to the institutional model, giving it all the flexibility and agility it needs to respond to growing public demand to contribute to public decision-making in Longueuil.
The discussion will focus on the contribution of the Office de Montréal and the BAPE to participatory democracy in Quebec, and on the advances that the Office de participation publique de Longueuil is proposing to respond ever more effectively to the participatory imperative of Western democracies.
Report of the session (PDF)