Canadian roundtable on local government

A panel of prominent participants recently gathered to debate the role of local government and metropolitan regions in Canada. The Forum of Federations roundtable meeting, in London, ON, was part the Forum’s Global Dialogue program. The event was organized by Prof. Robert Young of the University of Western Ontario (UWO), and co-sponsored by the federal government’s Infrastructure Canada and the UWO.

The one-day meeting focused on a variety of issues related to the pressures on cities and municipalities, which have ever mounting responsibilities in an increasingly urbanized country, but limited taxation powers.

Other Global Dialogue roundtables on the same theme will be held in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Germany, India, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland and the United States. Later next year, an international roundtable will be held in South Africa, followed by the publication of a book.

The local government theme is the Forum’s sixth in the Global Dialogue series.

Participants at the Canadian Roundtable, held on Oct. 16, included Roger Gibbins, the president of the Canada West Foundation; Anne Golden, the president of the Conference Board of Canada; Grant Hopcroft, the director of intergovernmental and community liaison for the city of London, On.; Jim Knight, the executive director of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities; March Laroche, the chief administrative officer of the City of Gatineau; John Lorinc, a freelance writer specializing in urban affairs issues; Janice MacKinnon, a professor of public policy at the University of Saskatchewan, Paul Moist, the national president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees; Brian Murphy, member of parliament for the electoral district of Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe; Andrew Sancton, professor of political science at the University of Western Ontario; Uzma Shakir, the executive director of The Council of Agencies Serving South Asians (CASSA); Enid Slack, the director of the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance at the Munk Centre for International Studies; and Robert Young, professor of political science at the University of Western Ontario and the Global Dialoguee’s country co-ordinator.

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