DDP Research Memo #7: The Partisan Playground
How Canadians take part in the political discussion onlineThursday October 17, 2019
Good governance matters and our public sector governance process has fallen short over several parliaments. To help reinvigorate and rebalance our system of governance, the Public Policy Forum, together with a panel of eminent Canadians, is making bold recommendations in a new report, Time for a Reboot: Nine Ways to Restore Trust in Canada’s Public Institutions.
The report addresses a defining characteristic of modern federal and provincial governments in Canada: an extraordinary centralization of authority.
“We’re asking critically-important questions, like, how do we: Restore the role of parliament and parliamentary committees? Enable ministers to be ministers? Refurbish the public service’s capacity to offer astute, independent, research-based policy advice? Build more accountability into the ‘political service?’” says Jim Dinning, former treasurer of Alberta and chair of the report’s panel.
Time for a Reboot is an insightful look at good governance practices in our 21st century reality, where our public institutions have failed to keep pace with a technology-driven, round-the-clock-news-cycle world. Short-termism and other contemporary conditions have taken root in the agendas of our elected representatives. Often, issues management has trumped longer-term strategies and policymaking. As a result, Canadians’ trust in public institutions continues to erode and the country’s long-term challenges don’t get the in-depth attention they should.
“All of the panel’s recommendations are non-partisan, practical, readily implementable and none requiring constitutional changes,” says Dinning. “We’re confident that the reforms will benefit Canada, indeed all Canadians across the country.”
Joining Dinning on the panel are: Hon. Jean Charest, partner, McCarthy Tetrault LLP and former Quebec premier and federal cabinet minister; Monique Leroux, chair, president and CEO of Desjardins Group; Hon. Kevin Lynch, vice-chair, BMO Financial Group and former Clerk of the Privy Council; and Heather Munroe-Blum, Chair, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Principal Emerita, McGill University.
The publication was made possible by the generous support from the Power Corporation of Canada, the Wilson Foundation and Jim Fleck.