School of Policy Studies

School of Policy Studies
School of Policy Studies

Governance Working Group Oped series in the Ottawa Citizen

Canada has been envied at times of crisis for the ability of our governing institutions to act decisively without sacrificing the quality of our democracy or the principles of good governance. Our political and public sector leaders are trusted to serve the public interest and our institutions are intended to make sure they do. In the time of COVID, it is important to stop and ask whether our governing institutions are functioning as they ought to be.

The School has created a Governance Working Group (GWG) of leading scholars and practitioners to assess the operation of Canadian governing institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic. A series of op-eds in the Ottawa Citizen begins that task by offering key insights into the operation of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government using core principles of federalism, constitutionalism, the rule of law, ministerial responsibility and accountability. We examine how our governing institutions are shaping and being shaped by the Coronavirus Challenge and what it portends for the governance of Canada and Canadians. executive accountability and the office of the Deputy Prime Minister.


List of Articles:

JUN 22 - The great policy unwind – post-pandemic, Canada's leaders must decide how to tackle fresh challenges - Toby Fyfe

JUN 15 - COVID-19 aftermath – the government can't keep improvising forever - Eugene Lang

JUN 8 - Coronavirus should not infect democracy. Let's boost our governance 'immune' system - Gregory Tardi

JUN 1 - The coronavirus challenge to Canada's democracy – Who's in charge? - Lori Turnbull

MAY 30 - The coronavirus challenge to democracy - Kathy L. Brock


Members of the SPS Governance Working Group (GWG)

  • Kathy Brock – Professor and Senior Fellow, School of Policy Studies, Queen's University, expertise in Canadian and comparative politics and government institutions, federalism and constitutional matters, public-private-nonprofit sector relations and governance, Indigenous governance, judiciary and the executive.
  • Helen Cooper, Distinguished Fellow, School of Policy Studies, Queen's University; former Mayor, City of Kingston.
  • Michael Fraser – VP University Relations Queen’s University. Expert on public affairs and government communications, former chief of staff and senior communications advisor to federal cabinet ministers, members of parliament and a provincial premier.
  • Toby Fyfe – President, Institute on Governance; former Editor, Canadian Government Executive; member of the School of Policy Studies Board of Advisors.
  • Andy Graham – Adjunct Professor, School of Policy Studies, Queen's University; former Public servant, Warden KP, expertise in public management, fiscal management and leadership, national editor of case studies for academic teaching.
  • Kyle Hanniman – Assistant Professor, Department of Political Studies, Queen's University, expertise in intergovernmental fiscal policy.
  • Samantha Kieffer, MPA'20 candidate, School of Policy Studies, Queen's University.
  • Eugene Lang – Adjunct Professor, School of Policy Studies, Queen's University;  former chief of staff to two Canadian defence ministers, co-authored with Janice Gross Stein the book The Unexpected War: Canada in Kandahar.
  • Graeme Murray, MPA'20 candidate, School of Policy Studies, Queen's University; RA to the GWG.
  • Jonathan Rose – Associate Professor, Department of Political Studies, Queen's University; former Academic Director of Ontario Citizen’s Assembly on Electoral Reform, Co-Author of When Citizens Decide: Lessons from Citizen Assemblies.
  • Greg Tardi – Adjunct Fellow School of Policy Studies, Queen's University; former Senior Legal Counsel to the House of Commons of Canada, Editor, Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law.
  • Lori Turnbull – Adjunct Professor, School of Policy Studies, Queen's University; Director, Dalhousie School of Policy Studies, former policy advisor Privy Council Office (PCO), liaison to Minister of Democratic Institutions, and finally as a Policy Advisor at the Priorities and Planning Secretariat, Co-author Democratizing the Constitution, columnist Canadian Government Executive and Globe and Mail (occasional).
  • Mark Walters – Dean, Faculty of Law, Queen’s University, expertise in Canadian constitutional and public law, rights of Indigenous peoples.
  • Grégoire Webber – Canada Research Chair in Public Law and Philosophy of Law, Faculty of Law. Queen's University, cross-appointed to the Department of Philosophy, and Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Former law clerk to Supreme Court of Canada Justice Ian Binnie.
  • Jacob Weinrib – Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, Queen’s University. His research lies at the intersection of legal philosophy and public law and he is author of Dimensions of Dignity: The Theory and Practice of Modern Constitutional Law.