The Town of Stratford is using a new technology to encourage more public engagement with the local government.

The software, called MetroQuest, gives residents a chance to comment on things like the town's official plan and to provide more in-depth information on issues.

"Well, right now we have a town meeting, not a lot of people come out. It's really designed to widen the opportunity for people to be involved. It allows the public to offer their comments directly about issues, identify their priorities and that sort of thing," said Steve Ogden, chair of the town's safety services committee.

"We'll look at common trends, and if there's a groundswell of support on a given position, you know, we'd be hard pressed not to respond to it, make sure it's covered off in the plan and in any future issues that we're dealing with."

Odgen said the software is popular in several other Canadian cities including some locations in Ontario and Alberta, as well as in the U.S.