A Future Worth Shaping

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Also, view our previous book:
The Canada We Want in 2020

Table of contents


Public Policy in the 21st Century

Dr. Don Lenihan, PhD
Senior Associate, Policy & Engagement at Canada 2020

Robert Asselin
Vice President, Policy & Research at Canada 2020

What this Book is About

  • Traditional Governance and the New Policy Environment
  • Complexity and the Risks of Policymaking
  • Focusing on Process

Toward a Policy Plan

  • Five Questions for Policymakers

What Issues will the Book Address?

  • Four Kinds of Issues
  • A New Issues Framework?

An Agenda for Democratic Reform

Robert Asselin
Vice President, Policy & Research at Canada 2020

What’s wrong with our democracy?
The case for a preferential ballot
What about mandatory voting?

  • So, why mandatory voting?

Carrying on electoral mandates
Institutional reform

  • 1. Providing parliamentary committees the means to do their work
  • 2. Easing the party line
  • 3. Reforming Question Period
  • 4. Senate Reform

The role of demos in a representative democracy

Rebuilding Public Trust in Government

Dr. Don Lenihan, PhD
Senior Associate, Policy & Engagement at Canada 2020

Hon. Carolyn Bennett, PC
Member of Parliament, Toronto-St. Paul’s

Trust in Government
What is Open Government?
Focusing on Open Dialogue
Objectives for the Open Dialogue Initiative
Towards an Open Dialogue Framework
The Project: Who are we engaging?
Open Dialogue Initiative: The Public Service Stream
Open Dialogue Initiative: The Parliamentary Stream
Realigning Parliament and the Executive
Conclusion: Back to Public Trust

Child Benefit Spending in Canada

Lauren Jones
Post-Doctoral Fellow, The Martin Prosperity Institute

Kevin Milligan
Associate Professor of Economics, University of British Columbia

Mark Stabile
Professor, Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto

How do families CTB and NCB spend the money?
Identifying How Families Spend Benefit Income
Resources or Process: How do Families Spend Benefit Income?

The Case for a Carbon Tax in Canada

Nicholas Rivers
Assistant Professor, University of Ottawa
Chairholder, Canada Research Chair in Climate and Energy Policy

Goals to structure approach to climate change

  • Encourage mitigation by the rest of the world
  • Contribute a fair share to global emission reductions and set goals commensurately with domestic policies
  • Reduce emissions cost effectively
  • Avoid inter-governmental conflicts

Current approach to climate change is inconsistent with criteria
A rising carbon tax can achieve objectives efficiently

  • Why carbon taxes
  • Myths associated with a carbon tax
  • The design of a carbon tax
  • The effect of a carbon tax


Skills & Higher Education in Canada

Daniel Munro
Principal Research Associate
Centre for Skills and Post-Secondary Education
The Conference Board of Canada


  • Excellence
  • Equity

A Foundation for Health, Wealth and Well-Being

  • Higher Education Attainment
  • Skills Attainment
  • Foundational Skills
  • From Expansion to Excellence


  • Aboriginal Achievement
  • Gender Gaps
  • Immigrant Achievement and Recognition
  • Regional Differences

Policy Options

  • Excellence and Equity in Skills and Higher Education

Crisis & Opportunity

John Brodhead
Executive Director, Evergreen CityWorks

Jesse Darling
Urban Project Designer, Evergreen CityWorks

Sean Mullin
Executive Director, Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Economic Benefits of Public Infrastructure
A Window of Opportunity: The Time to Invest is Now
Canada’s Infrastructure Deficit

  • Urban and Municipal Infrastructure
  • Road Networks, Transportation and Electricity Infrastructure
  • Extreme Weather: Too Costly to Ignore
  • Global Estimates

Declining Role of Federal Involvement in Infrastructure
A National Infrastructure Plan for Canada

  • What Could a National Infrastructure Plan Look Like?


Once More into the Breach

Wesley Wark
Visiting Professor, University of Ottawa

Accountability for security and intelligence: Who Benefits?
What is Wrong with the Current (Canadian) system of accountability?
What Needs to be Done?

Privacy Protection in the Federal Public Service

Chantal Bernier
Legal Counsel, Dentons Canada LLP
Senior Fellow, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa

Management of New Information Technologies Vulnerabilities
Definition of Digital Personal Information

  • Personal Data on Internet
  • Access to Personal Accounts on Social Networks

Hosting of Personal Information in the Cloud

  • Benefits and Risks of Cloud Computing
  • The ISO/IEC 27018 Standard for Privacy Protection in Cloud Computing

Balance Between Public Transparency and Privacy
Conclusion: Emerging Challenges

A Canadian Foreign Policy for the Future

Roland Paris
Associate Professor, University of Ottawa
Director, Centre for International Policy Studies

An open letter to the winner of Canada’s 2015 federal election

Authors & Contributors


“People genuinely and persistently believe government can play a meaningful and positive role in the 21st century.”
— Tim Barber, Co-Founder Canada 2020

“Our democratic deficit is not just an intellectual issue. It matters on a daily basis. We get worse decisions when people are not engaged.”
— Robert Asselin
“An Agenda for Democratic Reform”

“Citizens have always needed information to hold government to account. Open Government is taking this to a new level.”
— Dr. Don Lenihan & Carolyn Bennett, MP
“Rebuilding Public Trust in Government”

“Decades of neglect and underinvestment have left Canada on the precipice of a national crisis. It’s time for a national infrastructure plan.”
— John Brodhead, Jesse Darling & Sean Mullin
“Crisis & Opportunity: Time for a National Infrastructure Plan for Canada”

“Canada’s key diplomatic failure on climate change has been to make extravagant international promises, then fail to implement commensurate policies.”
— Nicolas Rivers
“The Case for a Carbon Tax in Canada”

“This study obliterates any doubt that lower-income parents will use new economic resources for the good of their family.”
— Jennifer Robson
Foreword to “Child Benefit Spending in Canada”

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