Dialogue and Debate: Western Alienation

2 day eventIn Ottawa, ON
  • June 29, 20209:30am - 11:30am
  • June 30, 20209:30am - 11:00am
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Alberta and Saskatchewan are angry at Ottawa; 52% of Albertans and 48% of Saskatchewan residents feel more attached to their province than to Canada. While the Liberals form the government, they no longer hold seats in Saskatchewan and Alberta. The Senate has announced the creation of a Western caucus.   

There are identifiable issues behind Westerners’ discontent. The government can control some of these, but others lie beyond its control. In a country as regionally diverse as Canada (even 53% of Atlantic Canadians feel the same as Albertans when it comes to attachment to Canada), trends such as Western alienation pose a serious challenge to the cohesion and viability of the body politic.

An added dimension to this discussion is a debate unfolding as to the respective roles of the national and provincial/territorial governments in setting and implementing policies and programs.

Event description

In this virtual event, two debaters will explore the conflict in this issue. On day 1, through dialogue and debate, the debaters will demonstrate skills for achieving a win-win solution. On day 2 of the event, participants will practice the skills they have observed. 

What you will gain

  • A foundational understanding of the conflicts that underpin the issue. 
  • Tools to address polarizing issues through constructive conversation, and opportunities to practice these tools.  

Event cost and format

Day 1 - Debate - 9:30AM - 11:30AM - free to anyone who wants to attend

Day 2 - Dialogue/Learning Session - 9:30AM -11:00AM - for paid registrations only 

$99 per dialogue/learning session or $299 to attend all 4 dialogue/learning sessions.

Click here to register for this event or for the series.

To learn more about this project, please contact Laura Edgar by email at ledgar@iog.caor by phone at 613-562-0090 ext. 226.

More about the series and other debates:

Debate on issues critical to Canada has become polarized, leading to ‘wedge solutions’ and difficulty reaching shared agreement.  This is a challenge for the government and the public service as they try to find answers to complex problems that unite rather than divide. In many cases, political, public service, and industry leaders are actually talking past each other on these topics. This results in exacerbating the divide in Canada, rather than bridging it.

Through Driving Dialogue and Debate IOG staff are using the example of four policy discourses to:

  • examine how we – political staff, public servants and others – discuss these topics in ways that create those divisions
  • identify the way we discuss these topics – by creating narratives – that prevents us from seeing the perspectives of others
  • deconstruct the narratives at play in order to identify how we can identify common ground, and work together to develop win-win solutions

This project is not a collection of debates on serious policy issues. It’s an opportunity to examine why Canada remains divided on these four topics, and presents a possible way of working towards bridging our differences.

To respond, the IOG is launching a constructive debate series that addresses four complex challenges faced by the government: Immigration; Balancing the Environment and the Economy; Western Alienation; and Political Divisiveness and a Polarized Electorate

This initiative will help the public service support the government’s efforts to reach out to Canadians in ways that unite rather than divide.  Public servants will also want to attend to learn how these issues can be addressed and to gain insights into how to reframe issues as win/wins.

Click here to visit the series page.

Dialogue And Debate Flyer V2

More about the event

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Institute on Governance
60 George Street, Suite 203
Ottawa, ON
K1K 1N2

Who should attend?

Typical attendee profile(s):

Public servants

Event fee(s)

$99 per attendee

As a not-for-profit organization, the IOG does not charge HST.

Registration is done through an online registration system where you can select to pay by credit card or request an invoice.

Main contact

Laura Edgar
613-562-0090 ext. 226