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Regional Boards and Councils: What are they Good For?

Join the On-Line Discussion Forum!

The Harris Centre has developed an on-line moderated forum with the hope of launching a debate on the size and authority of regional boards and councils.

Successive governments have attempted to effectively manage local services in the face of rapidly changing social and economic conditions. The processes they introduced for managing health care, education, economic development and municipal government at the local level is the process of regionalization. Until now, no one has looked across these four sectors to compare the strengths and weaknesses in managing change, and to look for lessons as regional governments evolved to meet increasingly demanding changes.

In order to better understand the effects of regionalization, and in order to stimulate informed and constructive debate on this important public policy issue, the Harris Centre has initiated an innovative four-part process:

  • The Centre provided funding in response to a proposal by two political scientists at Memorial University, Dr. Stephen Tomblin and Mark Braun-Jackson, to examine regionalization across four policy sectors or “silos” in Newfoundland and Labrador: education, health, economic development and municipal government. Read their report.
  • The Centre engaged communications specialist Wade Kearley to draft a synthesis report based on the Tomblin and Braun-Jackson report, and to interview key governmental and non-governmental stakeholders operating in the four "silos". The result of this process was a second report which integrates the comments received by the stakehholders. Read the Kearley report.
  • The Centre has created an on-line forum, where interested persons may participate in the discussion about this important issue of public policy. The Centre will seed the discussion by asking questions that provoke thought and debate. Click here to join the forum.
  • The results of this process will be reported during an international conference organized by the Harris Centre, scheduled for St. John's on October 16-18, 2008. Click here to obtain more information about this conference.
For more information about the regionalization process, contact the Harris Centre at harriscentre@mun.ca or by calling (709) 737-6186.
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