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Building Back Better: Meeting the Needs of Canadian Cities

eDemocracy Webinar Series - Social

Webinar Summary 

Click here to read our speakers' bios.

2:07 - Host Andrea Reimer introduces the context of the Webinar - diving into how local governments and their residents get heard by the federal government. 

4:32 - Andrea asks Adam Vaughan: in 2009, cities were just beginning to bring urban issues to the forefront of the federal government's mind. What has happened since then? Vaughan also discusses the digital divide in democracy, structural challenges in Canada, and the idea of a Digital Bill of Rights. 
 
16:40 - On the note of citizens wanting to see themselves reflected in compromises and consensus, John Richardson walks through the Help Canada Build Back Better engagement and some of the surprising results and implications. 
 
27:12 - Raymond Louie explains the work of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and how they advocate for municipalities, especially when the organization covers so much ground in Canada. 
 
34:40 - Adam discusses a fundamental shift he has noticed in the federal government this year - where value of ideas are discussed in terms of the quality of life first, and the economic value second.
"I think that we have revolutionized the budgeting process, quite frankly, up in Ottawa. The question now is does it disappears as soon as the pandemics over?”
37:54 - How do we merge the evolution of policymaking, with an evolution of input from residents and cities? John speaks about enriching citizen participation processes, increasing accountability to those processes, and going ‘deep on democracy’. 
 
41:12 - Andrea asks: How do citizen voices get heard? Adam dives into what he sees as changes needed for electoral and democratic reform.
“If democratic reform doesn’t make a politician nervous, it’s not real."  
50:39 - What is Raymond’s advice for local governments to be heard in the current environment? How does the FCM leave the politics aside and focus on core issues of Canadians? 
 
54:24 - Andrea asks Adam, what does he see changing in terms of engagement and the relationship between cities and the federal government?
 
59:12 - John brings up an interesting insight from the BBB engagement: people seem to be much more likely to participate in local government consultations than federal engagements. 
 

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