This report summarizes a roundtable discussion, which was commissioned by the Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, the Honourable Mauril Bélanger, to examine the challenges of improving democracy in Canada. Held in Toronto in March 2005, the session was led by the IOG and attended by several senior-level public servants, as well as representatives from academe, industry, the media and the non-profit sector.
The second session of CityScapes Roundtable Program featured Carolyn Lukensmeyer, President of AmericaSpeaks. She presented some ideas on the strengths and weaknesses of North American democracy, and explained how she has used town hall meetings to help address these problems. In the discussion that followed, participants discussed some of the challenges facing civil servants in the course of citizen engagement, and looked at the current opportunities for creating non-partisan public dialogue.