All posts tagged Wayne Wouters

Time to worry about the state of our democracy

Allan Cutler

I worry about the state or ‘fate’ of democracy in our country. Slowly laws are being passed to restrict freedoms, stifle opposition, and reduce transparency. Sometimes I wonder what the Parliamentarians have in mind.

It is convenient for the governing party to reduce the power and rights of any opposition to ensure that they remain in power. However, do they not see the flip side of the coin? When they are out of office, and it will happen eventually, their ‘replacements’ will inherit these increased tools of power. As a result, they will be deprived of effective opposition by the very laws that they have passed now.

Even more importantly, do Parliamentarians not realize (or do they just not care) that their children or grandchildren will inherit this reduced freedom? As democracy erodes and power concentrates in the hands of the few, our personal freedoms are threatened.

The Elections Canada situation is a prime example and a worrying one. The underpinning of our democratic system is the belief that elections are conducted fairly. The Conservative government is reducing the ability of Elections Canada to ensure elections are fair so they can be re-elected with less opposition or challenges. Sooner or later, the Conservatives will lose the right to govern and become a party in opposition.… Read the rest

The Clerk, the flag and ideal public servant

Sorry for the long period since my last post, but I’ve been out of town on a trip to speak about whistleblowing. And, of course, being stuck in a metal tube for four hours was just what my already tired and stressed body needed – so I caught a cold, complete with laryngitis.

But I’m mostly better now, and I’d like to tell you about the conference I attended.

It was for The Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC), and Allan Cutler and I were invited to speak on whistleblowing. The theme was “Sharing Knowledge to Shape our Future: the Power of Stories”. I guess we fit in because whistleblowers tell a story about corruption and wrongdoing.

Tthe keynote speaker on the first day was none other than Wayne Wouters, Clerk of the Privy Council. Canada’s most powerful civil servant.

I made sure to arrive early to hear him speak, as did Allan. I wasn’t feeling great, dragged down by my cold. Nor did I have especially high expectations – we’re talking about bureaucrats, after all. But I did hope for a glimpse of his vision for the public service. After all, he has championed the use of social media in the federal government – most notably the development of GCPEDIA, a government version of Wikipedia.… Read the rest