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Getting to Know You: IOG and Bridging the Federal-Municipal Divide

4 minute read

Building on the success of its flagship Executive Leadership Program (ELP), which is now accepting registrations for its 25th cohort, the IOG has graduated its first cohort in the new ELP on Municipal Intergovernmental Relations.

“We’ve seen an increase in interactions between all orders of government in recent years,” says IOG Vice President Brad Graham, who is responsible for the new Municipal ELP stream, “particularly between the federal government and municipalities as priorities converge in areas such as climate change, infrastructure, transit, immigration, housing and innovation.”

The new ELP on Municipal Intergovernmental Relations is specifically designed to support senior municipal leaders in this new and evolving environment.

Relationships between the federal government and the provinces are well developed and understood, as is the relationship between provinces and municipalities. “There is not, however, a well-established relationship between the federal and municipal orders of government,” says Graham. “We are now in a time when such interactions are increasing in frequency, magnitude and importance. At the same time, relationships between municipalities and provinces are also changing as their roles and responsibilities continue to evolve.”

While larger cities such as Toronto are building an intergovernmental capacity, most municipalities generally do not have dedicated resources to specifically deal with other orders of government. Municipalities do have sophisticated program relationships with provinces, in areas such as planning, public health, policing and housing, to name a few. However, there is an appreciation by municipalities that to be more effective, they require a more strategic and ongoing intergovernmental capacity.

Enter the IOG and its Municipal ELP. The objectives of the program are to:

  • Understand “why” the federal government and province s operate in this new environment (pressures, accountabilities, demands, priorities);
  • Understand “how” the federal government and provinces function;
  • Develop tangible strategies and tools to deal more effectively with other orders of government; and
  • Learn from interactive discussions based on real issues.

During its unique six-day program in January and February, with sessions in Toronto and Ottawa, participants discussed why municipal intergovernmental relations are becoming more important and how they can better align their resources to be effective. While the program was “ruthlessly pragmatic,” according to Graham, there was a lot of time spent understanding the different cultures of the orders of government, their areas of jurisdiction, and how different styles of decision-making affect behavior and policy, varying accountabilities and overall motivations.

Speakers included senior officials from both the Ontario Government and the Government of Canada, as well as noted academics and practitioners. Kicking off the program in Toronto was an interactive panel featuring Senator Tony Dean, Scott Thompson, CEO of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC), and David Szwarc, past Chief Administrative Officer of Peel Region, all of whom talked about the changing world of federal, provincial and municipal relations.

“Each of our speakers noted that the landscape is indeed shifting, stressing that there must be a better understanding of the cultures and priorities between orders of government, as well as the need to build new relationships and mechanisms to work better together,” says Graham. “They re-enforced the message that Canadians aren’t as concerned about which government provides the service as they are about receiving good services.”

The middle part of the program was delivered in Ottawa where participants heard from senior federal public servants such as Infrastructure Canada Deputy Minister Kelly Gillis and Treasury Board Secretary Peter Wallace who gave their perspectives on the current relationship between the federal and municipal orders of government.

“Both recognized the importance of municipal governments and candidly admitted that as this emerging partnership grows, so too must the federal government’s understanding of the municipal world,” notes Graham.

Secretary Wallace spoke from a truly unique perspective, having served as Deputy and Secretary of Cabinet for Ontario, as well as Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Toronto. Now as Secretary of the Treasury Board for the Canadian Government, few have his direct knowledge and insight into the workings of the three orders of government.

Another highlight of the Ottawa portion was a dinner sponsored by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM). Brock Carlton, CEO, gave his views on the historical relations, the current state of affairs, and what to expect for the future. Participants also met with J. Greg Peters, M.V.O., Usher of the Black Rod, who conducted what Graham calls “quite an eloquent” tour of the Senate of Canada Building, the Senate’s temporary home.

The final sessions of the program saw a return to Toronto with a focus on the future and how participants can build their learning and discussions into their responsibilities, as well as how they can improve their municipality’s capacity and effectiveness.

“As part of the program, all participants recorded ’10 Tangible Things’ from throughout the sessions that they would adopt either professionally or for their organizations on their return,” says Graham, adding “When it came time for our group discussions, needless to say ‘10’ tangible things became 20 or 25 concrete and well-conceived concrete actions.”

IOG’s Municipal ELP is a unique opportunity for senior municipal leaders to hear from senior public servants, practitioners, academics and other experts. The sessions are designed to challenge current thinking, but most of all, the program provides tangible strategies to build intergovernmental capacity and perspective.

The IOG will be launching our second Cohort as follows:

Toronto-Ottawa Format

The format will have participants in a two-day session in Toronto, a two-day session in Ottawa, and then a final two-day session in Toronto.

April 27th – 28th, 2020
The Yorkville Conference Centre 2nd Floor
150 Bloor Street West
Toronto, Ontario

May 25th – 26th, 2020
The Institute on Governance
60 George Street, Suite 203
Ottawa, Ontario

June 22nd – 23rd, 2020
The Yorkville Conference Centre 2nd Floor
150 Bloor Street West
Toronto, Ontario

For further information and to enroll please visit here:

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IOG Leadership Learning: Live and Unplugged

1 minute read

For IOG President Toby Fyfe, “interactive” learning means engaging with colleagues, having face-to-face conversations, sharing experiences, and learning from experts and inspiring instructors. “Interactive” learning is not, he says, “click-on-a-button, go-to-the-next-screen, press-save-and-submit, you’re done. At the IOG, all our learning is live and unplugged.”

All of the IOG’s learning is conducted entirely in-person. “Participants in our IOG leadership programs are able to get away from day-to-day pressures and debate key issues about the future of government, and their role in it,” he says. “Led by former senior public servants who bring a world of experience to the classroom, our programs enable current public servants to hone their personal leadership skills that they not only take back to the office, but carry with them for the rest of their careers.”

IOG offers five different types of leadership development programs to help public servants focus on specific areas of policy and governance, including digital, science and innovation, and municipal intergovernmental relations; there is also a program for those who are exploring a move into the executive cadre.

“Leadership programs for the public service of today have to prepare leaders for the public service of tomorrow,” says Fyfe. “Managing as usual is simply not an option, especially when our institutions are facing a world of declining public trust, disruptive change and complex issues.”

Explore which IOG leadership development program may be best for you in this changing world or at this time in your career.

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An interview with Caroline Cochrane, Premier of the Northwest Territories

4 minute read

by Rhonda Moore, IOG Practice Lead for Science and Innovation

“You can do this:” A simple message of hope and inspiration for any woman or girl with a desire to run for political office, from Caroline Cochrane, 13th Premier of the Northwest Territories (NWT) and Canada’s only current sitting female premier. Ms. Cochrane was first elected to the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories as MLA for Range Lake in 2015. She became Premier in October 2019.

Her message is a timely and timeless one, coming just shy of two weeks before The International Day of Women, when I caught the Premier for a quick interview during a break between sessions in the Legislature of the Northwest Territories.

The International Day of Women was first celebrated in New York City in 1909 and has since been adopted in many countries around the world. A time to focus protests on women’s suffrage, for the right to vote, to drive, and for other privileges already allowed our male counterparts, the International Day of Women has been a time to acknowledge the contributions and advances women have made. It is also an opportunity to acknowledge how much work is still to be done before women and men are treated as equals around the world, even in Canada. Indeed, the UN has identified a theme for International Day of Women 2020 that captures much of this history: Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights.

The work of the Institute on Governance focuses on how society, or groups within it, organizes to make decisions. With this in mind, my interview with Premier Cochrane (PC) focused on the role of women in political office, and the barriers they continue to face.

RM:Can you comment on what you think are the conditions necessary for women to seek and get elected into public office?

PC: Absolutely. I find that the biggest barrier for women getting elected into any leadership office is their own self. [As women] we have been socialized to be humble, calm, peacekeepers. We can’t be adversarial or a strong voice. If so, we are called horrible names. That has to stop. The other thing that women need – because we are not socialized to take leadership roles – is to learn the tools of how to campaign.

(Findings by Ouellet and Shiab support this statement. In 2019, they reported that women receive less funding from Elections Canada[1] for their campaigns, and less training on campaign tactics from their respective parties.)

RM:What does it feel like to be the only female premier at a time of such division in our country?

PC: I would love to see more women at the table… Women have been socialized to multi-task and to think more holistically. Women should have a place at the [decision-making] table because we think [about more than] the economy. If we bring in a gold mine, we consider: what does that do to our people? What social issues come with that gold mine? What are the benefits? What are the costs? What education do our people need? It’s the way women have thought all along. Our leadership needs this thought process.

RM:We haven’t seen a female premier elected for a second term yet in Canada. Why do you think that is?

PC: There are a number of factors. ‘No second chances’ is alive and well. Women do get judged more quickly. I wasn’t in my position a week and I was already hearing rumours that because there were nine women elected to our assembly that the economy was going to fall apart. The economy was already bad. I heard rumours that I don’t have leadership qualities. I’ve been in leadership for 20 years.

PC: Right now, we have a (gender-) balanced legislative assembly. But the next generation will still need to take up this fight. We have broken the glass ceiling in the Northwest Territories, but we are still cleaning up the shards of glass. Young women need to see women in leadership. It opens the door and says “You can be there as well.”

PC: But if there are no other women running, it doesn’t mean that you do not run. Somehow, women have to get at the table. It takes courageous women to be willing to put ourselves forward.

Research by Grace Lore, a politics and gender lecturer at the University of Victoria, shows that women are set up to fail in politics, because parties are more likely to run a woman in a hard-to-win riding, instead of a party “stronghold”.[2] (“Stronghold” ridings are defined as such when a party has won the two previous, consecutive elections or byelections with a margin of at least 10 percent.) In 2019, only 23 percent of all candidates running in strongholds were women. Or, as another source put it “for every 100 women running, 16 won their races, while for every 100 men running, 29 were elected.” Yet, when women and men are run in safe ridings, their likelihood of winning is the same (Thomas and Bodet, 2013).

The experiences of Premier Cochrane, and the findings above, raise pointed questions about the governance of Canada’s political campaign systems and the implicit bias that exists inside those offices. For those who believe that Canadians deserve policies built by a table of people who reflect the Canadian population, we need to take a closer look at who represents us, and how they get there.



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Professional and Leadership Capacity for Investment and Self-Determination: Good Governance in Canada’s North (Part 2)

5 minute read

“There is no other region of Canada that has experienced the breadth and pace of geo-political development in the last 50 years than the Arctic. Capacity and expertise issues do continue to impact certain situations, but this can be addressed through smart, adaptive policy processes.”

– Mary Simon, A New Shared Arctic Leadership Model, 2017

When Canada’s North succeeds, Canada succeeds. Canada’s new Arctic and Northern Policy Framework (ANPF), released in September 2019, is intended to present a “shared vision of the future where northern and Arctic people are thriving, strong and safe,” and a roadmap to guide federal investment in the priorities identified by northerners. But the challenges facing Canada’s north and its residents are daunting. As noted by the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, then Minister of Northern Affairs:

For too long, Canada’s Arctic and northern residents, especially Indigenous people, have not had access to the same services, opportunities, and standards of living as those enjoyed by other Canadians. There are longstanding inequalities in transportation, energy, communications, employment, community infrastructure, health and education. While almost all past governments have put forward northern strategies, none closed these gaps for the people of the North or created a lasting legacy of sustainable economic development.

One of the key contributors to the ANPF was the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), the national representative organization for the 65,000 Inuit in Canada, the majority of whom live in Inuit Nunangat, the Inuit homeland. The ITK’s submission to the ANPF detailed the social and economic inequity between Inuit living in Inuit Nunangat and other Canadians, including:
  • The infant mortality rate per 1,000 births is almost three times that for Inuit infants (12.3%) than for Canada as a whole (4.4.%)
  • Crowded housing is experienced by nearly six times as many Inuit (52%) as compared to Canadians generally (9%)
  • There is greater than a 10-year gap between the projected life expectancy between Inuit in Canada (72.4 years) and non-Indigenous people in Canada (82.9 years)
  • Only 47.5% of Inuit in Inuit Nunangat are employed, versus 60.2% of all Canadians

As stark as these statistics are, perhaps the most telling indicator of all is the fact that only 34% of Inuit aged 25 to 64 have earned a high school diploma, versus 86% of all Canadians. As Mary Simon noted in her 2017 report on consultations throughout the North, A New Shared Arctic Leadership Model, “There can be no doubt that the road to healthy, empowered citizens in the Arctic begins and ends with education.” And while everyone agrees that boosting support for K-12 education is a top priority, it will take many years, if not decades, for those numbers to reach par with the rest of Canada.

For its part, the ITK has called for a new approach to federal programming in Inuit Nunangat that would see Inuit exercising greater self-determination in decision-making and program management. At the same time, the ITK recognizes that greater self-determination alone will not close the gap; improving socioeconomic outcomes in the North will require significant investments in health, education, economic development and infrastructure. But because of their current socioeconomic status – particularly with respect to education outcomes – the Inuit public and private sectors don’t presently have the capacity to make the most of those investments. It’s a classic ‘Catch-22.’

In the interim, as recognized by the ITK in their submission to the development of the ANPF, effectively exercising Inuit jurisdiction over federally funded programs under an Inuit Nunangat policy framework will require investments in the professional and leadership capacity to do so. The same can be said across the North: from the public governments of the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, to communities and service delivery organizations, and the Inuit private sector. Consultations on the development of the ANPF identified Inuit regional organizations in particular as a priority for investing in professional and leadership development. This is consistent with Mary Simon’s observation that “a successful model of program delivery is ensuring organizational and leadership capacity is developed, nurtured and adequately supported.”

Achieving robust organizational and leadership capacity will not come without its challenges. Since its founding in 1990, the Institute on Governance (IOG) has provided professional and leadership development training to thousands of adult students from the public and private sectors. For the past five years, it has provided professional and leadership development training to hundreds of employees in the Government of Nunavut, many of them Inuit. We have witnessed first-hand the challenges – socioeconomic, cultural and political – for Inuit who are looking to upgrade their knowledge and skills to contribute to a better future for themselves and their families. But we’ve also witnessed many personal successes that bode well for the future of the Arctic.

Southern-based organizations like the IOG have been criticized for flying-in to Inuit Nunangat for short-term consulting assignments and leaving with their per diems in hand without truly understanding the challenges faced by Inuit or contributing to long-term capacity-building. This is a legitimate concern. But it is our hope that, in the not-too-distant future, Inuit professional and leadership capacity will have built up to the point where ongoing training requirements can be met by Inuit-led, owned and staffed organizations.

In fact, it may be worth exploring the creation of an Inuit-led organization along the same lines of the IOG: An organization that provides research, advisory, thought leadership and professional and leadership development services, supported by a network of Inuit academics and other subject matter experts, teachers and facilitators, and leaders from the Inuit public and private sectors. This model has proven very effective in supporting professional and leadership development, and good governance.

It is true that the Arctic has experienced rapid political development in the last 50 years, but unfortunately its socioeconomic development has not kept pace. The Inuit have made clear their vision for a healthy, prosperous and self-determining Inuit Nunangat. But exercising that jurisdiction, and making the most of the substantial investments required to achieve that vision, will require more than just adaptive policy processes; it will require the interim support of outsiders – both financially and professionally – if the Arctic hopes to close the socioeconomic gap in the next 50 years.

Whatever path Inuit choose to take, the IOG is committed to supporting professional and leadership development in the North for as long as it is welcome.

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IOG in Iraq: “We Are Still Here” – IOG helps Mosulite women speak out

2 minute read

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), with input from the IOG’s Awatef Rasheed in Baghdad, has released a report that showcases how hard security measures adopted in the Iraqi city of Mosul, such as the Coalition’s military operation and disregard for the human rights of the local civilian population, undermine local peace building approaches and inflict disproportionate impacts on Iraqi women and girls.

“Both the Iraqi authorities and the intervening powers failed to take into account and address the different experiences of women and girls, thereby failing to meet their specific needs and demands,” says WILPF’s Secretary-General, Madeleine Rees. “It is crucial, therefore, to analyze the impact of the military operation on the city, the population and social cohesion within the community from a feminist, civilian-centred perspective and challenge toxic security perspectives that reinforce the drivers of conflict and forced militarized security on the civilian population.”

And the IOG’s Rasheed helped provide that “feminist, civilian-centred perspective” by providing specific recommendations on the use of discourse referring to the military offensive in the Report, advising on how to refer to warring parties and sectarian groups, and giving input on the recommendations.

“In general,” says Rasheed, “I helped make the Report more context-specific and ensure that it presented the Iraqi feminist perspective.”

The Report quotes Nadje Al-Ali from her article “Sexual violence in Iraq: Challenges for transnational feminist politics” as describing the post-invasion experience of Iraqi women as being marked by ”rampant domestic violence, verbal and physical intimidation, sexual harassment, rape, forced marriage – as well as increases in mu’tah or so-called pleasure marriages – [along with] trafficking, forced prostitution, female genital mutilation, and honour-based crimes, including killings.”

Years after Mosul was “liberated” from ISIS control in July 2017, the women, men and children of that city are still facing severe repercussions as a result of the Coalition’s military operation.

The Report is entitled “We Are Still Here” as a response to the military operation “We Are Coming” that announced the storming of Mosul, in order to bring attention back to the people whose fortunes were, and are still, being affected by the operations.

“We want the World to understand the devastating impact that the military operations have had on women and girls and for Coalition member states and international actors to adopt lessons learned as they set and implement future responses to conflicts in Iraq and the region,” says IOG’s Rasheed.

To read the full “We Are Still Here” report, click here.

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IOG in Iraq: IOG, The World Bank, and Doing Business 2020

1 minute read

For 17 years, The World Bank has been producing annual reports investigating the regulations that enhance business activity, and those that constrain it, across wrld economies and this year, the IOG has made a significant contribution to its latest edition.
Doing Business 2020 presents quantitative indicators on business regulations and the protection of property rights that can be compared across 190 economies—from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe—as well as over time.

Regulations affecting 10 areas of the life of a business are covered, as follows:
  • Starting a business;
  • Dealing with construction permits;
  • Getting electricity;
  • Registering property;
  • Getting credit;
  • Protecting minority investors;
  • Paying taxes;
  • Trading across borders;
  • Enforcing contracts; and
  • Resolving insolvency.

The IOG’s Adil Al Lami, Project Officer based in Baghdad with our Iraq Team, contributed to the project by reviewing all Iraqi legislation since the establishment of the state in 1921 until 2016.

“Through this project, three studies and proposals for laws were submitted to the Iraqi government, in cooperation with Iraqi and foreign experts on the project to reform three important economic areas,” says Al Lami. “Those three areas were company incorporation licenses, construction licenses, and import and export licenses, all of which are directly related to doing business.”

The project, which is funded by the US Agency for International Development, included workshops, seminars and conferences, with representatives of the World Bank in Iraq amongst the participants.

Doing Business is a valuable tool that governments can use to design sound regulatory policies,” says David Malpass, President of The World Bank. “By giving policymakers a way to benchmark progress, it stimulates policy debate, both by exposing potential challenges and by identifying good practices and lessons learned.”

Data in Doing Business 2020 are current as of May 1, 2019. The indicators are used to analyze economic outcomes and identify what reforms of business regulation have worked, where and why.

To access Doing Business 2020click here.