PPF Insider: Investigating the rise of polarization
PPF released Far and Widening: The Rise of Polarization in Canada
The intense polarization that has afflicted the politics of the Western world has arrived in Canada. Most Canadians now expect things to get worse before they get better. Younger Canadians, in particular, despair at the state of our politics: their faith in our democracy is suffering as a result.
These are among the findings of an important new PPF report released called Far and Widening: The Rise of Polarization in Canada. The report, which takes stock of the state of polarization in Canada and examines its main drivers, involved more than 1,600 young adults, 10 researchers and writers, six community organizations, and two think tanks. It was written by investigative journalist Justin Ling and spearheaded by PPF Fellow Victoria Kuketz (she/her) and Policy Lead Shweta Menon.
Read the report: Far and Widening: The Rise of Polarization in Canada
Also recently released, Project of the Century: A Blueprint for Growing Canada’s Clean Electricity Supply – and Fast
Over the next 25 years, electricity demand in Canada is expected to double. Meeting it will be an unprecedented challenge – more ambitious even than the mid-20th-century nation-building trifecta of the St. Lawrence Seaway, Trans-Canada Highway and Trans-Canada natural gas mainline.
This energy revolution will require doubling or tripling the supply capacity, and building a clean electrical grid in the process. The age of electrical abundance could soon shift to one of scarcity if Canada doesn’t rise to this challenge. Getting there will require unprecedented policy clarity, decisiveness and coherence.
PPF’s report Project of the Century: A Blueprint for Growing Canada’s Clean Electricity Supply – and Fast outlines the challenge ahead and how to meet it.
New learning program: Navigate AI opportunities and risks with AI Policy Compass
The more time we spend in the digital world, the more we need a robust level of digital and AI literacy, says PPF Fellow Shingai Manjengwa, the head of AI education at ChainML and founder of Fireside Analytics Inc., a data science education solutions company.
Manjengwa is a featured instructor and one of the program designers of the upcoming learning program, AI Policy Compass. The program will address four key themes: unpacking AI & its application, AI opportunities & risks, emerging responses & solutions and embracing AI leadership. It is offered in two versions: one for high-level decision-makers, and another for public policymakers. Registration is open now, and courses include various sessions from August to December. It’s offered in partnership with Mila – Quebec Artificial Intelligence Institute.
Public Policy Leadership Program; Leadership and policy go hand-in-hand
The Public Policy Forum Academy and Telfer Executive Programs have joined forces yet again and leveraged our individual strengths to enhance your understanding of current and emerging policy challenges while developing the leadership skills needed to be effective in an increasingly complex government system. The hybrid Public Policy Leadership Program will take place from October to December, with some in-person sessions in Ottawa, and some online. Visit ppforum.ca/academy for the full course outline and register now to book your spot.
Early bird discount now on for the Testimonial Dinner Honour Roll
PPF’s next Testimonial Dinner Honour Roll will be held in Toronto on April 11, 2024. More than 1,100 leaders and policy wonks from all sectors of society will gather to pay tribute to distinguished Canadians who have made outstanding contributions to public policy and good governance. And what a time we’ll have; take a look at the 2023 edition, and register now for an early-bird discount.
PPF in the news
- PPF President and CEO Edward Greenspon spoke with BBN Bloomberg about the Project of the Century, and why Canada will need a ‘hurry-up offence’ to meet the electrification challenge — themes he also discussed in an interview with Sustainable Biz Canada.
- The report was also featured on the CBC, via an in-depth Canadian Press story by Mia Rabson, and On Site, Canada’s construction magazine.
Our latest report, Far and Widening: The Rise of Polarization in Canada, received a wave of media coverage this week:
- Justin Ling, the report author, was a guest on the CBC’s daily podcast Front Burner and talked with guest host Tamara Khandaker about polarization and what’s driving it, including the role of politicians. Ling also guest hosted a polarization-themed episode of the Big Story podcast, was a guest on True North’s The Andrew Lawton Show, and on Afternoons with Rob Breakenridge.
- Politico’s Ottawa Playbook, the widely read and influential morning newsletter, broke down the highlights of the report on Wednesday.
- iPolitics cited the report in a recent story about polarization and acts of violence against politicians.
- PPF Fellow Taylor Owen writes in the Globe and Mail, with co-author Supriya Dwivedi, about moving forward now that the controversial Bill C-18 is law. “The government is right to look for ways of assisting the journalism industry, but that means also thinking about how its aid must be a stopgap measure. Indeed, thinking of C-18 as a transition policy – as one piece of a wider policy approach, rather than the singular solution to the problems facing journalism – may provide a path forward.”
- PPF Fellow Sean Speer, writing in the Hub, examines the future of conservatism in Canada. “We’ve seen plenty of instances in recent years where the Left and the Right in Canada have both imported certain U.S. political memes and postures. The borderlessness of the online world makes that increasingly inevitable.”
- In a Globe and Mail op-ed, PPF Fellow Peter John Loewen and co-author Gillian K. Hadfield, look at the future role of AI in providing some frontline government services: “Should we help that world develop or hold it back?” they ask. “There will come a moment in the future, perhaps the near future, where the cost of such agents will be low enough and the need for more government services will be high enough, that saying no to such machines will be impossible.”
- Is it time for the government to freeze grocery prices? Writing in the Globe and Mail, PPF Fellow Vasiliki (Vass) B. looks at the role of price controls in a time of rising food prices. “With families trying to get a handle on their grocery spending, we shouldn’t rely on one company using its relative market power to pause price hikes – price controls are more effective when they are mandatory across an entire sector.”
Hat tips to PPF members
TELUS Increases Investment to Indigenous Community Fund
PPF Member TELUS recently announced that it has increased its commitment to the TELUS Indigenous Community Fund to $2 million over the next 5 years. This announcement highlights the corporation’s commitments to strengthening relationships with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities by providing grants to organizations that support mental health and well-being, language and cultural revitalization, access to education, and community building, including Big Horn Health Services, Workforce Warriors and N’Quatqua First Nation. In 2021, TELUS became the first telecom company in Canada to launch an Indigenous Reconciliation Commitment and Indigenous Reconciliation Action Plan. Read TELUS’ Reconciliation Statement.
Sobey School of Business Receives International Recognition
Congratulations to our member Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University for receiving the Business School Impact System (BSIS) designation. The Sobey School was the first business school in North America to receive the designation, first in 2016 for its economic impact on Nova Scotia and in 2023 for its intellectual and social impact on the province and the Atlantic region. It is now the only business school in North America to receive the BSIS twice. The Sobey School’s impacts include mapping activities against the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and Saint Mary’s University reduction of carbon emissions by 40 percent in 2022. Read more about the Sobey School’s accomplishments.
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