Political Staffers

Following the investigation into the gas plant scandal, question’s were raised about the authority, training and ethics being imparted on minister’s staff at Queen’s Park. This week we look at this report and interview three experts.

Integrity Commissioner Lynn Morrison: Integrity Commissioner of Ontario

Paul Wilson: Associate Professor at the Clayton H. Riddell Graduate Program in Political Management at Carleton University. Former director of policy from 2009-2011, and also served as acting chief of staff during the 2011 election campaign in Office of the Prime Minister of Canada.

Vasiliki Bednar: Associate Director at the Martin Prosperity Institute


Champions Of Red Wine by The New Pornographers

Lobbyist by Great Bloomers

The Weather Song by Ought

Host: Allison Smith
Executive Producer: Nirmalan Vijeyakumar
Technical Producer: Janet Tsang
Editing Producer: Emily Rasmussen & Alyssa Wali

Women in Public Policy

What’s the deal with women and public policy in Canada? In this episode, these policy-minded women debate the issues, the appropriate role for the state, and identify leadership opportunities for consumers. They also pretend there’s a “Women’s Party of Canada” and draft their platform.


Ashley Csanady – Reporter and Web Producer with the National Post

Supriya Dwivedi – Consultant at Crestview Strategy

Elise Maiolino – PhD student at the University of Toronto

Show Credits

Host: Vass Bednar

Show Producer: Emma Helfand-Green

Technical Producer: Emily Rasmussen

Executive Producer: Nirmalan Vijeyakumar

Musical Credits

Sailing by The Strumbellas

Physician-Assisted Suicide

In February 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada decided that the laws prohibiting physician-assisted death were unconstitutional. The Court gave the Canadian Government one year to craft new legislation or laws before eliminating the two laws from the Criminal Code. So, what’s next for Canada? What changes in policy need to take place to balance a Canadian’s desire for a dignified death with the duty to protect the vulnerable? Most importantly, as all Canadians age, what does the Carter v. Canada decision mean for us and our loved ones?

Lesley Hirst – Palliative Care Nurses Interest Group
Dr. Jaqueline Chow – Physicians’ Alliance Against Euthanasia
Françoise Hébert – Dying with Dignity Canada

Show Credits

Host & Show Producer: Daphne Cheung
Technical Producers: Gagan Batra & Alyssa Walli
Executive Producer: Nirmalan Vijeyakumar

Music Credits

Archie, Marry Me by Alvvays
This Cold Escape by Amos the Transparent
Dead of Winter by Adam Washburn

Toronto Youth Cabinet Summer Training Day

Toronto Youth Cabinet Summer Training Day

Toronto Youth Cabinet

Saturday, 25 July 2015 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (EDT)

Toronto, ON

Are you between the ages of 13- 24 and interested in getting involved in youth advocacy in Toronto? Join the Toronto Youth Cabinet!

On Saturday, July 25th, the Toronto Youth Cabinet will be hosting our quarterly training. This is the opportunity for interested youth and new members to learn more about City Hall and the Cabinet, as well as qualify to vote at monthly meetings. Training will include the following sessions:

– Welcome to City Hall & the Toronto Youth Cabinet: an introduction to City resources and TYC programming

– Anti-Oppression Training: see this great explainer on anti-oppression from Shameless Magazine

– Robert’s Rules of Order: handy tutorial on the system TYC uses to organize meetings

– Organizing 101 with special guest facilitator

– Team Building

– And More!

Day starts at 10:00am. Full schedule will be sent prior to training day.

Lunch will be provided. TTC tokens are available. Space is accessible. Please let us know if you have any accessibility or dietary needs by emailing info@toyouthcabinet.ca

Be sure to sign up for our email listserv if you haven’t already!


What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?


University/Spadina Line: St. Andrew Station

Streetcar:  #503 King; #504 King; #508 King; (King and York Stop)


Paid parking is available nearby.

Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Email us any questions you have at info@toyouthcabinet.ca!

Can I update my registration information?

To update your registration, please email us at info@toyouthcabinet.ca

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?


Register here


This episode will explore the organizational capacity of the not-for-profit sector. The not-for-profit is a service provider to the general public, an advocate for community needs, and an overall driver of economic growth. Despite its growing importance, it still remains overlooked in many public policy discussions. We will be asking our guests about how the sector can improve its capacity and resiliency. Furthermore, we will explore challenges facing the sector as well as innovative capacity building projects underway in the field.

Jamie Van Ymeren – Policy Associate, Mowat Centre NFP

Sarah Park – Communications Director, Canadian Association of Retired Persons

Cayla Baarda – Internal Relations Director, Public Good Initiative

Show Credits

Host: Jordann Thirgood

Show Producer: Tracy Wang

Technical Producers: Emma Helfand-Green & Janet Tsang

Executive Producer: Emily Rasmussen

Music Credits:

Moonshine Queen by Dead Broke

Bed Spins by The Dying Arts

Half Asleep by Animal Faces

Brides Song by Yukon Blonde

Civic Design Camp Toronto

9am – 5:30pm
Friday, June 26, 2015
MaRS Discovery District Auditorium
101 College St.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Civic Design Camp is an action-packed, hands-on day of learning and sharing intended to bring together designers, public servants, and civic innovators of all stripes. Together, we will harness the power of design in creating better citizen experiences and tackling public challenges.

After successful Civic Design Camps in San FranciscoNew York City and Chicago, a team of dedicated volunteers are bringing this event to Canada for the first time in Toronto.

More info and buy tickets here

Carding and Community Policing: Accountability and Transparency of Policing in Ontario

Carding and Community Policing: Accountability and...

Toronto Baha’I Centre
288 Bloor Street West
Toronto, ON M5S 1V8

Thursday, 25 June 2015 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM (EDT)

About the event

Policing in Ontario is under the microscope and the Mayor’s recent announcement denouncing the practice could not have come at a more critical time. Pressure culminating from both community activists and prominent politicians has resulted in both the Toronto Police Services Board and, most recently, the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional services to review and standardize policing practices. Join the African Canadian Legal Clinic’s Anthony Morgan and 2014 City Council candidate Idil Burale for a thoughtful discussion of what this may mean for the future of community engagement in policing, and police oversight moderated by Couchiching Conversation host Filsun Mahamed.


About Anthony Morgan and Idil Burale

Anthony Morgan is the Policy and Research Lawyer at the African Canadian Legal Clinic. Committed to social justice and serving the principles of equity, civic engagement, and multiculturalism, he was one of 12 people to be officially recognized as a Black History Month Laureate by Quebec’s Roundtable on Black History Month.

Idil Burale is a current Associate for the Mars Solutions lab. She is an experienced advocate and frequent commentator on urban issues who has been featured on print, radio and TV. Having been an advisor on various civic issues; specifically community safety, she has worked tirelessly over the last few years to strengthen the relationship between the Police and her community of Etobicoke.

For more information

Couchiching Conversations are free public events that aim to provide a safe space for challenging discussions. For more information, please visit www.couchichingconversations.ca.

Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheCouchichingInstitute or follow us on Twitter@couchiching.

Confersations such as this are made possible by the generous support of our donours.  Click here if you are interested in making a charitable donation to the Couchiching Insititute on Public Affairs.

Register here

Ontario Sexual Health and Education

The Province of Ontario is implementing a new Health and Physical Education curriculum in September of 2015, though a consortium of changes are ahead, the most significant are changes to the Sexual Education Curriculum. Elementary students in particular will be expected at an earlier age to identify body parts, including genitalia; and those in grade eight are expected to understand gender identity. The last several months have seen much criticism around this new document, with staged protests at Queen’s Park and parents withdrawing their kids from school in protest. Beyond the Headlines talked to three experts in this field:

  • Lyba Spring: A sexual health educator since 1982 and worked in that capacity for Toronto Public Health for 30 years. She currently works independently. Lyba is often heard on radio in French and English, and also speaks at conferences and workshops
  • Dr. Jen Gilbert: An associate professor in the Faculty of Education at York University. Her interests include sexuality education, LGBTQ issues in education, and psychoanalytic theories of teaching and learning. Her research has been supported by the Ford Foundation, York University, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
  • MPP Garfield Dunlop: Member of Provincial Parliament for Simcoe North and is the Progressive Conservative Critic for Education and Training, Colleges and Universities. MPP Dunlop has previously worked to help renew education and apprenticeship in Ontario. In 2002 he was Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education

The Ministry of Education answered some of our questions we sent them, click here to view them.

Show Credits

Executive Producer & Host: Nirmalan Vijeyakumar

Show Producer: Janet Tsang

Technical Producer: Abdi Hersi

Music Credits:

What Mercy Is by The Luyas

Lonely Acorn by Charlotte Cornfield

Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation: Education Day 2015

Recognizing Foreign Credentials – Why Should I Care?

Recognizing Foreign Credentials

The Rose & Crown
2335 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON M4P 2C8

Wednesday, 10 June 2015 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM (EDT)

Many people move to Canada already trained in highly skilled fields. Immigrant professionals bring incredible strengths to our communities through their knowledge, languages, experience and education. Yet so many of these professionals end up unemployed or underemployed, while Canadian employers have unmet labour needs. What’s being done to help get these professionals into the workforce sooner? What are the challenges of reconciling the different standards in training and education throughout the world?On June 10, two special guests join us to share their expertise. Please join us in welcoming Art Noordeh, director of the Internationally Educated Professionals Bridging Program at York University, and Omar Lujan, a PhD candidate at Ryerson University studying Mexican immigration in Toronto from a policy and citizenship perspective. Come and discuss the challenges of recognizing foreign credentials, the cost of not doing so, and what the situation is currently.
We will be at our uptown location, The Rose and Crown, at 2335 Yonge Street. Doors open at 7:00 and the discussion begins at 7:30pm.As always, this event is free. Please RSVP to let us know you will be joining us. This event is presented in partnership with The Mexican Global Network, Toronto Chapter.