Why attend GovMaker 2016?
By Pascale Paulin, Forté Communication
I don’t know about you, but I found it painful to wake up the day after the American election. My values were deeply shocked by the choice made by our neighbors to the south. I am a woman, a mother who tries to raise her two daughters and her son with a respect for diversity, an acceptance of others, and an openness to the world. It was as though I felt the ground move under my feet.
Stepping back a bit (and with the help of many analytical resources), I realized that this election is part of the same movement that led to Brexit or the refusal of Wallonia to sign a trade deal with Canada. What is it that motivates people to vote that way? A deep dissatisfaction with how our governments operate.
For me, the open data movement is a way to review how our public agencies work and how we can ensure that we are REALLY working for the greatest common good. It is no longer enough to offer up platitudes about economic prosperity; such prosperity must be accompanied by tangible results for all citizens.
GovMaker 2016 is where ideas collide in order to discover new avenues. This is the place for those who want to see the emergence of new ideas. Creating new approaches and new perspectives; that is what the participants at the conference on November 21 and 22, 2016, will be doing.
The municipal world will be out in force this year! That is the level of government closest to us as citizens. How do we want our municipalities to engage in discussion with the public about development and social and health policies? It’s up to us to frame that discussion. But to do that, we have to be there. We have to roll up our sleeves, become involved, and put our ideas forward.
It is high time that we look at our province and our country and ask ourselves how we can maximize the abundance we have, put it to work, and develop a more just society. We are very familiar with our province’s natural resources, but there are a multitude of other resources that we can put to use!
This year’s GovMaker program inspires me particularly as it will link theory to practice. How can we truly change our approach to public governance so that all citizens who can and want to participate in a renewed social contract are able to do so?
Whether you are an elected representative, a businessperson, a civil servant, an employee, or a member of a union or an NPO, we all have a responsibility to question the practices that we have put in place as a society. Are they appropriate for the times we live in? No? Then let’s do things differently!