News Release – Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias: Resetting Citizenship and Multiculturalism

Sep 16, 2013 07:00 ET

Book-Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias: Resetting Citizenship and Multiculturalism

The Inside Story between the Conservative Government and the Public Service

OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Sept. 16, 2013) – Canada is internationally known for its successful citizenship and multiculturalism policies. In 2007, the Conservative Government met unexpected resistance from the Public Service as it began altering longstanding citizenship and multiculturalism policies under Minister Jason Kenney.

In Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, Andrew Griffith, retired Director General of Citizenship and Multiculturalism, examines whether the resistance was driven by an arrogant sense of the Public Service “knowing better”, or their innocent bias for conventional wisdom in the face of transformative change.

“Just as the political level is certain about its policies and priorities, the bureaucracy is certain about its evidence and expertise,” noted Griffith, “not surprisingly, the political level felt the bureaucracy was at best resisting change, at worst being disloyal, while public servants felt their expertise and knowledge was being challenged or ignored.”

Griffith illustrates how public servants were forced to face the limits of their expertise and knowledge, while providing the “fearless advice and loyal implementation” central to their professional ethos.

The analysis provides a unique inside view into the making of public policy that will be of interest to media, interest groups, academics and engaged citizens.

“….[this book] deserves a wider view, if only because it confirms what so many of us in Ottawa have been hearing, anecdotally, about the dispirited state of the public service in a hyper-partisan government…. If we want to know why Kenney has managed to become one of Harper’s top ministers, we should probably take a close look at what Griffith is telling us about how things unfolded in terms of citizenship and multiculturalism.”

Susan Delacourt, Toronto Star

The Harper government vs. the public servants

Andrew Griffith is the former Director General – Citizenship and Multiculturalism Branch, Citizenship and Immigration Canada. In 30 years of public service, he served in various departments at home and abroad, including assignments in Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Geneva and Los Angeles. He was given the Public Service Award twice (2007 and 2010) and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012). His first book, Living with Cancer: A Journey, was published in 2012.

Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias: Resetting Citizenship and Multiculturalism is available from Amazon, iTunes (available shortly), and Kobo in ebook for $7.99. Print on demand is available from Lulu at $14.99.

Follow Andrew: LinkedIn: Andrew L Griffith

Twitter: @Andrew_Griffith

Blog: Multicultural Meanderings

Facebook: Andrew Griffith C&M

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

One Response to News Release – Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias: Resetting Citizenship and Multiculturalism

  1. Pingback: Immigration & Diversity Headlines, compliments of Marco Campana — George Brown Law

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