*We will be accepting applications only until all spaces are filled - apply early!*

Citizen Forum

Newfoundland and Labrador is currently facing a series of pressing economic and social issues that will have both short and long-term consequences: substantial provincial debt, increased by our fiscal dependence on declining revenues from oil and gas and by the unexpected additional costs of Muskrat Falls; a declining and aging population; and the local and global effects of the recent shut-down of core industries, such as fisheries and tourism, triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic response. The effects of these social and economic threats will be worsened by the deepening climate emergency and its anticipated effects on oceans, coastal areas, health, and infrastructure. All of these issues combined have left citizens and policy makers uncertain how to proceed.

We believe that a dialogue needs to be facilitated in this province between folks interested in our society, our economy, and in doing our part to preserve our natural environment. We want to bring together Newfoundlanders and Labradorians—from different backgrounds, different industries, and different perspectives—to learn, discuss, and find innovative ways that we can create economic and social prosperity while mitigating and adapting to climate change.

We invite you to be a part of this conversation—one that includes all the necessary information and research, engages with citizens, thinks beyond the polarization of the issues, and focuses on concrete, achievable goals. Join us, and be a part of the conversation and the solution!


The Harris Centre is looking to engage 45 residents to take part—in person and online—over an 18-month period in a citizen engagement process. Over the course of the project, the Harris Centre will be presenting online content, expert panels, and lively discussions on topics related to our economy, our society, and the impacts on both by recent events, such as COVID-19, as well as the threat of climate change. We want to consider how these issues relate to each other, what challenges are presented, and what possible solutions exist.

As a member of the Citizen Forum, you will be expected to review the online material, watch (online) or attend the public sessions, and provide your comments, ideas, and possible solutions via an online discussion forum.

The information from the panels and discussion forum will help inform solutions and recommendations. These will be presented at the end of the 18-month process, at a summit where experts, interested participants, and you, the Citizen Forum, will gather to discuss the findings and share what has been learned.


For the purpose of this project, the Harris Centre considers a “citizen” to be anyone currently living in Newfoundland and Labrador with an interest and concern for the future of the province. You do not need to have Permanent Resident Status or Canadian Citizenship, but you do need to live in Newfoundland and Labrador a minimum of 6 months of the year. Secondary and post-secondary students (16 years or older as of January 1, 2020) are encouraged to apply.


We are looking for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who are concerned, interested, and open to joining a respectful conversation about these pivotal issues. We aren’t looking for experts in sociology climatology, or the economy—we already have those! We want everyone: young, old, from the bay or from town, from the Big Land (and any spot in between).

We will be working hard to ensure that the Citizen Forum is balanced and representative: using provincial demographic information gathered by our researchers at RAnLab, we will look at age, gender, educational background, ethnicity, and place of residence to make sure our Forum is as diverse and representative as possible.

Even if you don’t end up sitting on the Citizen Forum, we have plans for different ways that you can still take part.


Click here to fill out an application.You’ll be expected to tell us a little bit about yourself and why you’re interested in these important conversations.

Want to know more about the project? Click here, or contact Mandy at the Harris Centre if you have any questions.

We look forward to hearing from you!


The Harris Centre

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000