UBC researchers are putting together a COVID-19 public policy and they are asking for the community’s input. (Pixabay)

UBC researchers are putting together a COVID-19 public policy and they are asking for the community’s input. (Pixabay)

UBC researchers seeking public input on pandemic policies

People can have their voice heard in an online deliberation series

Let your voice be heard when it comes to COVID-19 public policies.

UBC researchers are putting together a pandemic public policy, and they want to hear the public’s thoughts on those plans.

The multi-disciplinary deliberation team is led by professor of population and public health and director of research at UBC Health Kim McGrail, in collaboration with UBCO’s associate provost Michael Burgess, Stuart Peacock from Simon Fraser University and Kieran O’Doherty from the University of Guelph.

McGrail said it’s important that decision-makers understand how people perceive COVID-19 policies.

“As governments begin easing restrictions on social distancing and business closures imposed as a result of the global pandemic, it’s critical that decision-makers understand public perception of COVID-19 policies. That’s why we launched our online deliberation ‘Public Input into Pandemic Planning,” she said.

She added the research results will be available to decision-makers and the public in the province and across Canada.

The first topic of discussion is the potential benefits and drawbacks of contact tracing apps.

“Deliberation is foundational to our democratic process and public input into B.C.’s evolving COVID-19 response is essential,” McGrail said.

“If governments are to make sound policy decisions that garner broad public support, they need public input. In this unprecedented era of global pandemic, public engagement in policymaking is more important than ever.”

In response to the current pandemic, the team has shifted their model of deliberative engagement online.

“We knew it was important to get public input on the next phase of the pandemic response in B.C. because it will have a profound impact on people’s lives, and we knew we needed to do it quickly,” Burgess said.

He added incorporating technology into the process can bring accessibility and diversity challenges. But the team has addressed the issues by reaching out to community groups and encouraging them to host their own deliberations, or assist community members to participate.

“We carefully designed this deliberation so we can use it over and over again in different places and with different questions. We hope this will be the first of many deliberative public engagements that provide input to pandemic policy,” McGrail said.

People can volunteer to participate in the online deliberation from May 22 to 30. To participate, click here.

You can host your own community conversation. For a kit which includes the materials needed to run a deliberation, visit this link.

READ: Rain expected throughout the week as businesses begin to reopen in the Okanagan

READ: Kelowna first responders rescue baby ducks from storm drain


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

UBC

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

FILE - In this April 19, 2021, file photo, Keidy Ventura, 17, receives her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in West New York, N.J. States across the country are dramatically scaling back their COVID-19 vaccine orders as interest in the shots wanes, putting the goal of herd immunity further out of reach. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
5 more deaths, 131 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

Those 18-years and older in high-transmission neighbourhoods can register for the vaccine

Danny Fulton receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Coast Capri Hotel on April 27. The pop-up clinic was hosted by the First Nations Health Authority. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
All adults in Rutland, Summerland now eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Province expands age range to 18+ for vaccinations in ‘high transmission’ areas

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Penticton RCMP search for 2 suspicious men

Police searching the area of Arawana Forest Service Road

Penticton Lions are hoping to send kids and adults with disabilities to Camp Winfield through a 50/50 raffle draw on now. (Submitted)
Penticton’s Lion’s Club helps to send kids to Camp Winfield

Online 50/50 raffle tickets will send kids and adults with disabilities to Camp Winfield

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

The southern mountain caribou, an iconic species for the Splatsin First Nation, is threatened with extinction, much to the dismay of the First Nation. (Province of B.C. photo)
Okanagan First Nation band concerned over dwindling caribou herd

Southern mountain caribou at risk of extinction, much to dismay of Splatsin First Nation near Enderby

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
UPDATE: Winfield road open following police, coroner investigation

Pelmewash Parkway closure near Highway 97 connection

Kelowna resident Sally Wallick helped rescue a kayaker in distress a week and a half ago. (Sally Wallick/Contributed)
VIDEO: Kelowna woman rescues capsized kayaker in Okanagan Lake

Sally Wallick is asking people to be prepared for the cold water and unpredictable winds

The B.C. legislature went from 85 seats to 87 before the 2017 election, causing a reorganization with curved rows and new desks squeezed in at the back. The next electoral boundary review could see another six seats added. (Black Press files)
B.C. election law could add six seats, remove rural protection

North, Kootenays could lose seats as cities gain more

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of an Indigenous woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation wants ‘massive change’ after its 3rd police shooting in less than a year

Nuu-chah-nulth woman recovering from gunshot wounds in weekend incident near Ucluelet

RCMP (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
High-risk takedown on Highway 1 following Shuswap shooting

Upon further investigation, the vehicle and its occupants were not associated with the shooting

Nurse Gurinder Rai, left, administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Maria Yule at a Fraser Health drive-thru vaccination site, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The site is open for vaccinations 11 hours per day to those who have pre-booked an appointment. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID vaccine bookings to open for adults 40+, or 18+ in hotspots, across B.C.

Only people who have registered will get their alert to book

Most Read