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Political Studies Speaker Series: "Fighting Poverty Provincial Style" - Rachel Laforest

Thursday, November 14, 2019
2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Mackintosh-Corry Hall
Room: D216
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Rachel Laforest (PhD Carleton) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Studies at Queen’s University. Her research focuses on Canadian politics, with a particular interest in how civil society groups mobilize to influence social policy dynamics. She is currently conducting a comparative analysis of poverty reduction strategies developed across Canada. Dr. Laforest is part of numerous SSHRC funded research teams, which has allowed her to work on varied topics such as the restructuring of social services in the field of mental health and addictions in Ontario and in Quebec; comparing provincial strategies to provide access to French language services in minority contexts; the impact of charitable regulations on political advocacy; and the impact of social procurement policies on social enterprises.

Since the early 2000’s, all of Canada’s provinces and territories have adopted a poverty reduction strategy and, in 2018, the federal government announced its own poverty reduction strategy. This provides a perfect canvas for a comparative study of the policy processes that lead to the development of these strategies. This presentation will examine the interplay between institutions, and in particular the frequency and timing of consultations, with the strategies of organized interests who have mobilized in order to affect change. It will further illustrate how the ideas and content of the poverty reduction strategies policies adopted are shaped by these dynamics.

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