Canada should take advantage of its renewed credibility and visibility on issues related to democracy and gender and do more to promote democracy abroad.  That was the message delivered by participants at a panel held Tuesday February 6, 2018 at the Sir John A. Macdonald Building.

More than 140 Members of Parliament; Ambassadors, High Commissioners and other members of the diplomatic community; senior government officials; political staffers; journalists; opinion leaders; and Carleton faculty and students registered for the panel and reception.

Prior to the panel, leaders of the Democracy Caucus introduced themselves and spoke about the aims of the all-party Democracy Caucus and their motivations for forming it. They included its chair, Anita Vandenbeld, MP – Ottawa West-Nepean, vice-chairs Elizabeth May, M.P. Saanich–Gulf Islands and Kennedy Stewart, M.P. Burnaby South as well as director Randy Hoback, M.P. Prince Albert.

Following the Democracy Caucus remarks, Jean-Paul Ruszkowski, CEO of the Parliamentary Centre gave a presentation on Canada’s historic and current role in strengthening parliaments. Support to the strengthening of legislatures and political parties is now only 1.4% of Canada`s total spending on international development assistance.

Panelists included:

Kevin Deveaux, Parliamentary and Political Party Development Adviser and former Nova Scotia MLA

Peter Dimitroff , Senior Governance Advisor and Director-Afghanistan Programs, Development Alternatives Incorporated

Jacqueline O’Neill, President, Inclusive Security

The panelists discussed that Canadians are working for global political reform overseas but almost exclusively for organizations not based in Canada and not funded by the Canadian government; that parliaments and political parties need to make measurable progress towards greater participation in women in politics and, in particular, peace negotiations and security; and the role of technology and AI (Artificial Intelligence) in enabling citizens to engage their parliaments more effectively.

Maureen Boyd, Director of the Carleton Initiative, moderated the panel.

Dr. Alastair Summerlee, President of Carleton University, offered closing remarks.

Please click on the following for:

Discussion summary prepared by Dana Hatherly, Carleton Master of Journalism student

Powerpoint Presentation by Jean-Paul Ruszkowski, CEO of the Parliamentary Centre

Notes by Jean-Paul Ruszkowski, CEO of the Parliamentary Centre