Danny Graham was leader of the Nova Scotia Liberals once. He’s worked on restorative justice issues and served as the province’s chief negotiator on Aboriginal rights.
Now he has this job with Engage Nova Scotia, which the Progressive Conservatives called a “plum patronage job” when they found out he was making more than $13,000 a month at one point. They demanded the McNeil government stop funding Engage.
Engage’s roots go back to 2012, but it really took off after the release of the Ivany report. Its purpose is to engage citizens, which, according to the Engage website, includes “building capacity” and “creating change.”
We all know how Tim feels about buzzwords. So who better than to walk us through what Engage Nova Scotia does than the chief engagement officer himself.
Hear Tim’s full conversation with Graham.
[iframe style=”border:none” src=”//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5932504/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/legacy/tdest_id/259399″ height=”100″ width=”480″ scrolling=”no” allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen]
Plus, we talk about the community meetings on street checks held this week, and the story by Julia-Simone Rutgers in The Coast about them.
And I asked what Tim’s watching in court. Look here for spoilers.
Business was expected to step up and fund Engage NS. Did not happen. Provincial gov. and two or three municipalities stepped in and offered taxpayer funding to supplement dollars from the private sector.
If I ever attend another session asking the group to list the strengths of your community, I’ll look for the nearest exit. If I hear any organization say that it is the failure of Nova Scotians to step up and demonstrate a different attitude that is holding back progress, I’ll mention the many areas where attitude has been exemplary, and suggest that attitude ain’t the problem either.
This Examiner Radio session with Mr. Graham was a gloss-over of the biggest challenges: employment, innovation, availability of affordable housing,a family doctor for every Nova Scotian… Bousquet tried half-heartedly to go down some of those roads, but soon detoured, presumably realizing that these are not the focus of Engage NS. After all, that was why Dannjy was asked to do an interview- to talk about the work of Engage NS.
Thirty grand on “attitudinal research” ? Is that like a look-back at transactional analysis where ‘you’re okay and I’m okay’ or some such thing? It would be much cheaper, and maybe more informative and helpful, to find out where we are on the ‘happiness index’. (Kidding, that would be a waste too.)
Do we “reconcile inequality” or do we do something to change it- like plan for the building of affordable housing and assist grade ten and above students with a rigorous and sustained career education focus?
Do we “move through that lens to make that happen” or do we create areas of excelllence in our communities and mentor prospective entrepreneurs and assist with in-kind assistance and open competitions for some small start – up funding?
In the only time that I met the affable Mr. Graham, I asked, at the end of that Engage NS session in Stellarton that “Engage NS distance itself from any provincial government and focus on local, community-based initiative taking.” Having listened to this edition of Examiner Radio, I am convinced that this has not occurred and will not; Engage NS has ‘other fish to fry’.