Meaningful consultation is when the input from the community is genuinely taken into account. That includes the format snd detailed contents of whatever grows out of a consultation process. For example, does the community have the opportunity to offer input on the details of the final product, as in the editing of its contents?
Or, by way of contrast, is the consultation process a sham, in which a municipality gives lip service to getting input, and goes through the motions of getting input, and then decides that “the municipality knows best.”
A special case involves public input on a Secondary Plan. There may be extensive community input, and then the Secondary Plan goes to the Ontario Municipal Board, which ignores all that has gone before and decides (in a process that may involve the appearance and possibly the reality of collusion with the development industry) that “the OMB knows best.”
In general terms, the wider question is: How does the rhetoric of community consultation compare to the reality, based on the evidence that is available long after the consultation process has been completed?