poli sci april 3rd 2012 .odt

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Citizen Engagement
Role of citizen engagement in policymaking?
Ladder of citizen particpation (Sherry Arnstein, writing of the model Cities initiatives in the US, 1969)
Issues:
As there we go up the ladder, there is more power for citizens in the process, but there must also
be accountability
citizen groups are not accountable to parliament
The objective for citizen engagement is not really meaningful but more of a one way flow of information
from policy makers to citizens. That the only thing the government or policy actors commit to is listening
but not committing to change based on this information. If policy decisions all go bad, are citizens legally
responsible? As control increases, then accountability also increases.
Types of citizen Engagement
Advisory bodies
Public meetings
Public hearings
Inquiries (inquiries act)
Royal commissions
A short unrepresentative history of public engagement
1960's: not on the map
Indian affairs: consultation process 1968
1970's: Rise of environmental issues
1978 bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environment
1990 canadian environmental assessment act
1999 Canadian environmental Protection Act
1990's:
1993 Krever Inquiry
Health Canada
2000's:
2004 Taku River and Haida Nation decisions
legal duty to consult with aboriginal title claimants
consultation process with provinces and federal government must meet a judicial standard
1960's consultation but really no power that came with it. By the 70's in Quebec, the bureau d'audiences
publiques sur l'environment, still open and has all information available to the public. Canada was much
slower, however they stated that you cannot legally conduct an environmental assessment without
including a public component. By 1999, when dealing with how many tonnes of pollutants could be put
into our air, the government appointed expert advisory bodies, acting as a statutory commitment to the
field of environmental regulation. In the 1990's the issue of health was important, the Krever inquiry had
to do with the tainted blood scandal and as a result from the inquiry with respect from public
engagement, health Canada went beyond that inquiry and created an office for public engagement.
Finally in the 2000's, the supreme court handed down two decisions, stating that the government had a
legal duty to consult, not just a moral duty. They argued that they had land rights and so the federal and
provincial governments have since been involved in developing public consultation processes with
aboriginal peoples.
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