The need to "reboot" our public institutions - lecture

By Costa Maragos Posted: December 2, 2015 12:00 p.m.

Restoring trust in Canada’s public institutions is the theme of a lecture hosted by the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy.
Restoring trust in Canada’s public institutions is the theme of a lecture hosted by the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy. Photo - External Relations.

As the new federal Liberal government settles into power, there is a call for restoring trust in Canada’s public institutions that crosses all party lines.

According to a report produced by Canada’s Public Policy Forum “our public sector governance process has fallen short over several parliaments.”

On Friday, December 4, two people who helped write the report – Jim Dinning and Kevin Lynch – are speaking at the University of Regina.

Jim Dinning
Jim Dinning, former Alberta Treasurer.

Dinning chaired the Public Policy Forum committee on governance, is a former Alberta Treasurer and currently chair of the Western Financial Group. Lynch is Vice-Chair of BMO Financial Group and former Clerk of the Privy Council. They will state their case at a public lecture hosted by the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy.

The report is titled; Time for a reboot. Nine ways to restore trust in Canada’s public institutions.  

“This report emanates from a deep concern about the weakening of key pillars of the Westminster democratic system,” writes Dinning, in the forward to the report. “It describes how the office of the prime minister and premiers’ officers, have come to exert unprecedented degree of power over the legislative branch of government and the public service.”

Dinning says such deficiencies in the public sector are not limited to Canada but have also affected parliamentary systems, from Australia and New Zealand to France and the UK.

Kevin Lynch
Kevin Lynch, former Clerk of the Privy Council.

“Our proposals do not go back to the past. Neither do they seek revolutionary change. Rather our goal is restorative: to revitalize these institutions to serve their intended purposes.”

Dinning and Lynch are part of a five-member non-partisan team that has come up the recommendations.

The others on the panel are; Heather Munroe-Blum, Principal Emerita at McGill University and Chair of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board; Jean Charest, former Premier of Quebec; and Monique Leroux, Chair of the Board, President and CEO, Desjardins Group.

The 18 member advisory council included Janice MacKinnon, former Finance Minister of Saskatchewan.

Event:      Governance Matters: How is it working for Canadians?
Date:        Friday, December 4
Time:       10:30 am to noon
Location:  Education Auditorium (106.1) – University of Regina Campus

This is a free event and open to the public. For more details please visit here.