IOG President Toby Fyfe offers words of caution for Trudeau and Scheer in the Globe and Mail

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In a world of rapid change, there is a desire for leaders who can show us the way. Polls in the US show that there is a growing acceptance for the strongman who can just get the job done over pluralistic democratic concerns. And look what they have...

Attractive though the idea might be, the challenge is that many of the problems we face are complex ones that can’t be solved by one person or even one institution, such as government. Take reconciliation, climate change, immigration, privacy - none of these can be solved by one leader, or in fact by one institution such as a government or a government department. There are too many legitimate stakeholders and points of view on the issues and the possible response to them, all of which need to be considered and engaged in working out long-term solutions.

In a world of social media that amplifies points of view and which feeds off simplicity, the pressure is on political leaders to come up with easy answers. As they move into election mode, IOG President Toby Fyfe had these words of caution for Trudeau and Scheer in the Globe and Mail.

About the author

Toby Fyfe

Toby Fyfe


Toby Fyfe is President of the Institute on Governance in Ottawa.

For the last seven years he has led the IOG’s public sector leadership and capacity-building programs and courses aimed at providing tools and insights to enhance the skills of executives and officers at all levels of government.

He has led the design, curriculum development and delivery of multiple federal government year-long Executive Leadership Programs and Inter-Jurisdictional Executive Leadership Programs in Toronto and Nova Scotia, the latter in partnership with the Dalhousie School of Management. He also is responsible at the IOG for multi-year programs with the Government of Nunavut that build both leadership capacity and policy expertise.

Toby spent over twenty years with the government of Canada in central agencies (Privy Council Office, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat) and government departments. His last post was as Assistant Commissioner, Corporate Services at the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages.

Before he joined the Institute, he worked with the Commissioner of the RCMP on a change initiative.

Toby is an Adjunct Professor of Communication at the University of Ottawa and was

editor-in-chief of Canadian Government Executive magazine for five years.

He was a broadcaster with CBC radio and television where he produced programs such as The House, Cross Country Checkup, and the first commercial-free version of Ottawa Morning.

He has an MA from the University of Ottawa and has attended the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education program.

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