SFT - Democratic Institutions - Institute on Governance

SFT – Democratic Institutions

1 minute read

By Gaafar Sadek, Executive Director, Public Sector Reform Initiative

In its Speech from the Throne, the government presented a vision that unsurprisingly underlined the imperative to continue to meet the daily needs of Canadians as we go through COVID-19, now and for the foreseeable future. Various ambitious and overarching initiatives were mentioned, most of which aiming to improve the state of those who were hit the hardest by the pandemic. These include long term care for the elderly, child care, clean energy, job creation, a review of the Employment Insurance regime, and an expansion of the Canada Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program until next summer, to name a few.

Absent from the Speech from the Throne however, as well as from the Prime Minister’s address to the nation, was any direct or implied mention of looking at re-establishing trust in the institutions that make up democracy and unite and engage its civil society, from science to the public service. Interestingly enough, while disunity and fragmentation were mentioned by some of the leaders of the opposition parties and other political commentators in their reactions to the Speech, this was less related to the infrastructure of democracy, and more of a political or partisan rhetoric. While the immediate and practical remain the obvious preoccupation as Canada and the world enter the much dreaded “second wave,” it is as clear as ever that successful governance, in both the short and the long term, will require an engaged and trustful citizenry.

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