Participatory budgeting

Voting results!


Thank you for your exceptional participation!

The results were announced at the Municipal Town Council meeting on
November 1, 2023:

Sutton launches its first participatory budgeting

The Town of Sutton has earmarked a total $50,000 of its investment budget for one or more projects proposed by citizens, chosen by citizens and to be realized by the Town in 2024. Information sessions and workshops will be held to help citizens generate, propose and improve their ideas.

A participatory budgeting is a democratic process that enables the population to decide how to use part of the municipal budget. It gives the population the chance to propose a project and, importantly, to vote for their preferred project.

The Town Council mandated the Quality of Life Consultative Committee to draft this first Participatory Budgeting game rules. To do so members of the Committee attended specialized training, reviewed the process in many other municipalities and have the support of the Centre d’écologie urbaine de Montréal to ensure best practice is followed. “The Council is delighted with the work of the committee. I look forward to seeing citizens of all ages propose ideas followed by the realization of the projects chosen by the population by vote,” said the Mayor of Sutton, Robert Benoît. 


According to the established game rules, projects must be sustainable and last for several years. Generally speaking, projects must be located on public property or land owned by the Town. For example, citizens can propose the purchase of equipment or assets, landscaping or the purchase of sustainable vegetation such as trees. No matter their age, any citizen of Sutton can propose a project and any citizen of Sutton aged 10 or over will be able to vote for their favourite projects from a final list.



The timeline set by the committee includes the following major steps:

1. Project submission by citizens: June 29, 2023, at noon

2. Analysis of projects for feasibility and possible improvement: from July to September 2023

3. Voting by citizens: from October 10 to 22, 2023

4. Realization of one or more projects by the Town: 2024

Anyone who wishes to know more and especially everyone who may be interested in proposing a project is strongly suggested to attend one of the two bilingual information sessions:

  • Virtual information meeting via Zoom to be held on Thursday, April 27, 2023, at 7 p.m. A sign up is obligatory by sending an e-mail to [email protected].
  • In-person information meeting to be held on Sunday, April 30, 2023, at 10 a.m., in the council room of Sutton Town Hall. The meeting will be recorded and broadcast live on the Town’s YouTube channel.

All relevant documents (Frequently Asked Questions—FAQ, steps in the process, eligibility of projects and submission process, etc.) will be available on paper upon request at the reception desk of the Town Hall and at the Tourist Information Office. The information will also be available online at all times on the Dream Sutton website.

By introducing this first participatory budgeting the Town hopes to stimulate public participation and take full advantage of the creativity of citizens of all ages in proposing projects that will improve some aspect of life in the community.

The Town of Sutton’s first participatory budget: a success at all levels

The Town of Sutton is proud to announce the result of its first participatory budget for which the sum of $50,000 was allocated. Some 875 ballots were cast by eligible voters aged 10 and over – an exceptionally high participation rate of 18.7 %. The winning project receiving the highest level of support was for a dog park. In addition, in line with the recommendation of the steering committee the Council decided to allocate an extra $2,500 for the runner up, a turtle crossing, which will also be realised by the end of 2024.
Counting of votes by the steering committee: from left to right, Louis Taillefer, Céline Charbonneau, Lynda Graham, Lori Hoey, Jonathan Fortin, Sylvie Grégoire, Katherine Latzmann and Thérèse Leclerc.

that citizens have reacted with such enthusiasm to this new method of direct involvement in improving the quality of life in our community. The quality of the projects submitted, the very positive comments of citizens, and the high participation rate all contributed to the success at all levels of the Town of Sutton’s first participatory budget.”commented Robert Benoît, Mayor of the Town of Sutton.

An “exceptional” level of participation!

To encourage the involvement of citizens in the proposal of projects, four public meetings were held both in person and online. In this first year 29 projects were proposed, 16 were judged eligible and after a process of consolidation and assessment for feasibility, 12 were submitted for the vote. Voting was available online and in person with supervised voting stations at the Tourist Office, the Municipal and School Library, and at voting events held at Sutton Junction, Glen Sutton, Sutton’s Market, the Maison des Jeunes and Les Villas des Monts seniors’ residence. These efforts, along with a communications plan that used the Town’s dedicated web site Dream Sutton, social media, posters and a flyer appear to have contributed to a substantially higher participation rate than the average for other Towns, which is typically between 1-3%.

Participatory budget process

The participatory budget is one where funds are allocated for projects that are proposed, developed, and voted for by citizens. For its first year, the Town Council mandated the Quality of Life Advisory Committee to recommend its process and its implementation. To ensure best practices, the Committee was advised by the Centre d’écologie urbaine de Montréal who also managed the online voting.

The Town Council confirmed their decision by resolution at the public meeting of 1 November 2023, thus the winning projects move on to the realization stage. These projects must be completed by the end of 2024. The public will be kept informed of the work progress , in which citizens may be invited to participate.

The Town of Sutton would like to congratulate and thank all the members of the first participatory budget’s steering committee for their exemplary work, especially Sylvie Grégoire, Chair of the Quality of Life Advisory Committee, Lynda Graham, Councillor for District 5, and Thérèse Leclerc, former Councillor for District 1.

For consultation: List of projects submitted to the vote and Steering commitee’s Report

 Press Release – The Town of Sutton’s first participatory budget: a succes at all levels

Participatory budget, it’s time to choose: vote from October 10 to 22!

The first edition of Sutton’s participatory budget is almost complete. Now it is your turn to get involved by voting for the project or projects that matter most to you and your community.

Twelve projects put to the vote

For this first edition the Town has set aside $50,000 to implement one or more investment projects in 2024 – projects proposed and chosen by citizens; 29 projects were submitted and 12 are eligible for the vote. The results will be announced at the Council meeting of November 1, 2023.

How to vote

Anyone 10 years old and over, living in Sutton full-time, and any owner of a property in Sutton can vote just once for up to a maximum of 5 projects.

Voting is available in person or online from 10 to 22 October :

  • On-line using the form available at the top of the page from October 10
  • Tourism bureau, during opening hours (27 Principale North St.)
  • Municipal and School Library, during opening hours (19 Highland St.)
  • Saturday market Sutton, October 14 and 21 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (2 Curley St.)
  • Glen Sutton Vivarté church, October 15 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (1458, Vallée Missisquoi Rd.)
  • Sutton Junction community Hall, October 22 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (128, Echo Rd.)

 Downloadable list of eligible projects and voting locations. A flyer presenting all information related to the vote will also be distributed to each Sutton postal address shortly.

Great turnout at the workshop to improve the 16 projects eligible for the participatory budget

On Tuesday, July 18, fifty-five citizens were present to learn about the projects eligible for the first participatory budget. Of the 29 projects initially submitted, 16 had been selected by the steering committee on the basis of the criteria. They were presented at the workshop.

Participants had the opportunity to work in groups, in which the project leaders, almost all of whom were present, were able to explain their projects and answer participants’ questions. Comments and suggestions for improvement were collected, and opportunities for twinning projects were explored.

A table summarizing all the projects submitted for the 2023-24 participatory budget has been posted for consultation on the Dream Sutton website. You can read a brief description of each project, see which were admitted and the reasons why the others were not. 

The 16 improved projects will be studied by the Town’s administration over the summer to evaluate costs, sites and feasibility. The final list of projects, for which citizens aged 10 and over can vote, will be presented to citizens in early autumn, prior to the voting period from October 10 to 22.

REMINDER—Invitation to the workshop on improving projects eligible for the participatory budget

As announced on July 4, citizen participation in the first edition of Sutton’s Participatory budget is impressive: 29 projects were submitted! Eligible projects will be presented to citizens on Tuesday, July 18th from 7 to 9 p.m., at Town Hall.

Project leaders, along with their team members if applicable, and Sutton citizens are all invited to participate. The objectives of this meeting are to:

  • Propose suggestions to improve the eligible projects, and
  • Pair compatible or similar projects to enhance their impact.

The participatory budget is an opportunity for the population and the administration to cooperate and for members of the community to participate in municipal democracy.  Come and help us improve the projects proposed by your fellow citizens!

Please register at [email protected]

Participatory budget: 29 projects submitted!

Sutton residents submitted an impressive 29 projects for the first edition of the Sutton participatory budget. The process of preliminary evaluation and refinement of proposals will now begin, before finally eligible projects are presented to the public for a vote in October.

Here are the next steps:

  • By July 7, the steering committee* will have reviewed the projects submitted by the June 29 deadline, to determine whether they meet the eligibility criteria set out in the “Rules of the game”.
  • All project leaders will be contacted by July 10. If some of the projects do not comply, suggestions will be made to try to bring them into line, if possible.
  • All project leaders and their team members, if applicable, will be invited to attend a public ideas enhancement workshop, to be held at Town Hall on Tuesday, July 18, 2023, from 7 to 9 pm.
  • The public is also invited to attend this meeting to learn about eligible projects and to help improve them, where appropriate.
  • Over the summer, the administration will work on costing the eligible projects and how they could be realized in 2024.
  • Final eligible projects will be presented to the Sutton population, and all citizens over the age of 10 will be able to vote for their favourite projects, between October 10 and 22, 2023.

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, July 18, from 7 to 9 p.m., in the Town Hall council room to find out about eligible projects!

* The steering committee is made up of seven people: a representative of the administration, two councillors and four citizen members of the Quality of Life Advisory Committee, including a youth representative.

You have until June 29 to submit your project!

A few projects have already been submitted by citizens as part of the Town of Sutton’s first participatory budget. There’s still time to submit yours! The deadline is June 29 at noon.


The Town of Sutton has set aside a total of $50,000 from its investment budget for its first participatory budget. Thanks to this democratic process, Sutton citizens can propose projects according to the game rules defined by the Quality of Life Advisory Committee. Next October, citizens aged 10 and over will be able to vote for the project(s) of their choice. The total cost of the chosen project(s) (scheduled for completion in 2024) must not exceed $50,000

Submitting a citizen project

To be eligible to vote, all projects must be submitted using the appropriate form, which you can :

  • complete it online on the Rêvons Sutton website,
  • print it out yourself (printable template) or
  • pick up a paper copy at the Town Hall (11, rue Principale Sud) or at the Sutton Tourist Bureau (27, rue Principale Nord).

In all cases, you must submit your form (online or dropped off at Town Hall) before noon on June 29. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to write to the committee in charge of the participatory budget project at [email protected].

All information on the participatory budget is available in French and English on the Dream Sutton website, and paper versions of the main documents are also available at the Tourist Office or at Town Hall.

Sutton Participatory Budget Ideation Workshop – Saturday, May 13 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Following the launch of the participatory budgeting on April 19, two public information sessions – one virtual, the other in person – were held to explain the entire process and the steps involved in carrying out the project. More than 30 people attended.

Now, we are at the stage of the IDEAS GENERATION WORKSHOP that will welcome anyone interested in submitting a project or getting involved in the development of an idea.

An Ideas generation workshop…

What is it for? It serves to inspire and welcome ideas, exchange and reflect on proposed projects. It will be led by bilingual facilitators.

What are its objectives? Its purpose is to generate ideas for projects, to develop ideas that interest you, to create links with other citizens and different generations.

Who can participate? Any citizen of any age who: 1) has a specific project idea, or 2) wants to submit a project, but needs inspiration, or 3) just wants to help others develop their project ideas.  If you were unable to attend one of the two information sessions, it would be helpful to view the presentation by clicking HERE before attending the workshop.

When is it? Saturday, May 13, 2023, 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Where is it? In the Council Room of Town Hall

Important: If you intend to submit a project, you are not required to attend the ideation workshop, but it is recommended that you participate to ensure that you have all the elements in hand. You can submit a project directly by filling out the online or paper project submission form (click in the upper right corner to switch to the English version).

What is the 2023 participatory budget?

To fully understand the participatory budget process, please read the information on this page which will be updated as the project progresses.
  • Check out the Frequently Asked Questions in the FAQ section above: general questions and questions asked at the information sessions.
  • Follow the steps in the Approach on the right (orange section)
  • Read the Game rules by clicking in Useful links on the right (purple section)

All relevant documents will be available in hard copy, upon request, at the Town Hall reception desk and at the Tourist Information Office.

Contact Us

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Please note that your comments will be verified by the Town of Sutton's team during normal business hours before being published, to ensure that they respect the moderation policy.

Important to know: Comments published here in the English version of the site are not automatically duplicated in the French version. If you want your post to appear in both versions of the site, you must copy and republish your comment in the French version (Mur à idées tab). It is not mandatory to translate your comments, as everyone is free to express themselves in the language of their choice.

General questions and answers
(followed by Frequently Asked Questions from the information sessions)
What is a participatory budget?

A democratic process by which the citizens of Sutton decide how a portion of the Town’s budget is spent.

Citizens are invited to submit, and vote on their favourite projects that they would like the Town to realize.

What are the objectives of the participatory budget?
  • To allow the citizens of Sutton to propose and vote for projects that meet the needs or interests of all, or certain groups, of the population.
  • Encourage citizen and collective involvement.
  • Promote awareness of the democratic process.

The sum reserved by the Town of Sutton for the first edition of the participatory budget.


Who can propose a project?

A Sutton Citizen1 of legal age who is the Project lead.

A group of citizens, represented at the different stages of the process by a Sutton Citizen, the Project Lead.

A minor citizen of Sutton represented by a Sutton Citizen of legal age, the Project Lead.

1A citizen of Sutton is defined as a natural person who resides in Sutton as a tenant or member of a family who rents a dwelling OR a natural person who is the owner or co-owner of a land or building

Who can vote?

All Sutton Citizens 10 years of age and older.

Which project is eligible?

To be eligible for the participatory budget, any project submitted to the vote must meet the following criteria:

  • Proposed by an eligible Sutton Citizen.
  • Aim for the common good and the collective interest.
  • Take the form of an equipment purchase, a capital asset, landscaping work or the purchase of plants.
  • Require an investment of no more than $50,000.
  • Could start in 2023 and be completed by December 2024.
  • Be located on land owned by the Town of Sutton or on public land for which the Project Lead has obtained a signed consent acceptable to the Town.
  • Not already in progress or planned by the Town (budget allocated).
  • Have a useful life of at least 3 years.
  • Be financially, technically, and legally feasible within the financial framework and time frame described.

A project will be deemed ineligible if it:

  • Violates the laws, regulations, policies, action plans of the Town of Sutton and the laws governing the Town.
  • Requires recurring costs (unless minimal) and ongoing operating or staffing expenses.
  • Requires acquisition of land, premises or a building.
  • The benefits generated by its use, usage or installation must not be for private use at any time.

Steps in the process
  1. Launch of the participatory budget process and citizen information meetings
  • Presentation of the Game Rules describing the different steps of the Sutton participatory budget [1]
  • Announcement of the composition of the steering committee to the population of Sutton.
  1. Ideas generation workshops and submission of a draft project by citizens.
  • Public sessions with facilitators, to generate project ideas and help those who have them to present them.
  • Citizens can submit their project ideas by filling out the online submission form or its paper version.
  1. Preliminary assessment of project eligibility and online publication of eligible projects.
  • The steering committee ensures that the projects submitted comply with the eligibility criteria.
  • Where possible, suggestions will be made to the sponsor of an ineligible project to make it eligible.
  1. Presentation and enhancement of eligible projects in public session
  • A workshop that allows eligible Project Leads to present their project to the public and to benefit from tools and advice to improve it.
  1. Submission of the final version of each eligible project
  • An amendment form will be available online or in hard copy at Town Hall reception or at the Sutton tourist Information office.
  1. Evaluation and enhancement of eligible projects by the Town
  • Verification of the feasibility of each eligible project to make it achievable, by the Town administration.
  • Information given to Project Leaders and the public on the results of this assessment.
  1. Selection, publication of eligible projects and voting by citizens
  • Publication of the list of eligible projects that will be submitted to a vote.
  • Each Sutton citizen aged 10 and over is entitled to a vote which will take the form of ranking up to three eligible projects in order of preference. The leading project will be the one receiving the highest total score.
  1. Compilation of the votes and unveiling of the selected projects
  • Compilation of the votes by the steering committee.
  • The results are forward to the Town Council who confirm by resolution the project(s) that will be implemented in 2024.
  1. Implementation of selected projects
  • The Town of Sutton realizes the projects voted for by the citizens.
  • Ongoing information on the progress and completion of the projects will be communicated to the population.

[1] The complete version of the Rules is available at, along with all other related documents (forms, lists, etc.). The documents are also available at the Sutton tourist information office and Town Hall reception.




Participatory Budget 2023-24 Town of Sutton


  1. Are pieces of land in Sutton Junction and Glen Sutton eligible for projects?


A= Absolutely! Subject to the rules of the game, projects anywhere in the municipality are welcome.


  1. Is it possible to make available a list of references to inspire us, ideas of projects that have been presented or realized elsewhere?


A = Many examples are available through an online search. A list has also been posted on 


  1. Would the installation of a Morris column, used to display information about upcoming events, be an eligible project?


A = In principle yes if it is the purchase of the equipment, which has a life span of more than 3 years and requires little maintenance or time to update it. All the project owner must do is complete the project submission form suggesting the locations where it could be installed. Even if a project is not selected or chosen by the population, submitting a project through the participatory budget process also serves to communicate ideas to Council, which can take them into account during its mandate.


  1. When preparing a project’s cost estimate, should labour costs be included?


A = No, the Town will realize the selected project(s) and provide the required labour. In some cases, there may be opportunities for citizens to volunteer to help with the development.


  1. Can an organization hire or provide the manpower required to maintain a project once it is installed?


A = No, because it must be an investment that requires little or no recurring costs or operating expenses. A project may propose citizen involvement (e.g., plantings) at the installation stage, but must not be dependent on a citizen’s contribution for maintenance or conservation.


  1. Can a project be proposed by a non-profit organization?


A = Projects must be proposed by citizens of Sutton not by organizations. 


  1. Once a project is submitted, if accepted, does the project owner hand it over to the Town and lose any right to intervene in its implementation?


A = Project(s) selected for realization “belong(s)” to the Town, which is responsible for implementing them while respecting as much as possible the vision of the project owner. The parties are guided by what was voted on by the citizens. A dialogue between the project owner and the Town should continue.


  1. The rules of the game call for the project to be “feasible” by December 2024; how can citizens know this if it is the Town who will be realizing the project?


A = Project owners do not have control over the implementation, but they must be confident that the project is achievable with a year rather than over several years. It is expected that a participatory budget process will be initiated each year. The more interest and participation there are from citizens, the more open Council will be to renewing it.


  1. Can a project owner withdraw their idea once it is submitted?


A = Yes, but only prior to the voting period.  


  1. The rules of the game state that proposed projects must be on Town land or public land. What is “public land”?


A = Property that is not owned by an individual or a private company. The land must be open to the public. The Sutton School and Foyer are examples of “public land” as is land owned by a not-for-profit organization (NPO). The choice of a suitable site for the installation of the project will be made on a case-by-case basis, through collaboration between the Town and the project owner. If the project is to be installed on a site not owned by the Town, it is the responsibility of the project owner to obtain a preliminary written authorization from the organization and to include it with the project submission. The Town will ensure that a more complete and satisfactory agreement is obtained, taking into account legal constraints and Town needs. Failing this, the project will have to be located elsewhere. A project installed on public property belongs to the Town, regardless if it is installed or developed on property that does not belong to the Town.


  1. To be eligible, does the Town land on which it is proposed to be located or developed must be located in the Village Core or can it be located elsewhere?


A = It is true that most “Town-owned” land is in the Village Core, but a project can be proposed on any Town-owned land e.g. Glen Sutton, Sutton Junction or the Mountain).


  1. What is the amount allocated for this first edition?


A = Total is $50,000. This amount can be allocated to one or more projects, depending on the value of the project prioritized by the greatest number of citizens.


  1. What is the difference between the idea generation (or ideation) workshop and the improvement workshop?


A = The Ideas Generation workshop is used to generate new ideas, to stimulate creativity to lead to project proposals that will eventually be developed and submitted. The Improvement workshop will bring together eligible project owners. They will have the opportunity to present their projects to the public to 1) test the public’s interest, 2) receive suggestions from them to improve the projects, if any, or 3) in the event that projects are similar, to bring them together.


  1. How to evaluate the costs of a project?


A = Don’t worry too much about the cost estimate. Do some research and provide as good an estimate as you can. The Town administration will work with the project owners to produce an accurate estimate. Do not include labour costs as it is the Town who will realize the project. Select sturdy, quality materials as they will be subject to public use.


  1. Event-based projects are not eligible. What do we mean by “event-based”? For example, would the acquisition of art objects for an exhibition be eligible?


A = If it’s an investment which has at least a three-year life span and it’s accessible to the public, it would be eligible (subject to meeting the other rules of the game of course). An event is not eligible because it is a one-time or repeated activity, as opposed to the acquisition of tangible equipment or vegetation.


  1. What “groups” can submit a project?


A = A group of Sutton citizens can present a project but not an organization (such as an NPO). If a group presents a project, they must designate a project leader to represent them.


  1. Would the museum grounds be a good site for a project?


A = Absolutely! It will be added to the list of eligible lands on the website ( There may be other eligible Town-owned that they do not appear on this list as it is not exhaustive.

Visual Participatory Budget 2023-24

Adoption of criteria by the Committee

5 April 2023

Virtual Public Information Session

27 April 2023

(7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.)

In-person Public information session

30 April 2023

(10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.)

Ideas Generation Workshop

13 May 2023

(9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.)

Initial project submission deadline

29 June 2023

Preliminary assessment of the eligibility of submitted projects

7 July 2023

Ideas enhancement workshop

18 July 2023

Deadline for submission of amended projects

7 August 2023

Analysis and improvement (if applicable) of projects by the administration

8 August 2023

Determination of the final list of projects to be submitted to the vote

18 September 2023

End of step : September 22, 2023

Voting period

10 October 2023

End of voting period : October 22, 2023

Compilation of votes

23 October 2023

End of step : October 24, 2023

Adoption of the prioritized project(s) by the Board

1 November 2023

Implementation and construction of the prioritized project(s)

2 November 2023

End of step : October 1, 2024


This page was last modified : 6 November 2023