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The Relevancy of Public Policy in a Digital Age

May 16, 2022 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

While digital government has been a well embedded feature of many mature public service models around the world, Canadian uptake of it was relatively limited until the COVID-19 pandemic struck. The need to physically distance from each other and for many, work remotely, necessitated the rapid automation and digitization of service delivery models and administration.

Even prior to the pandemic and the digital renaissance that ensued, public policy typically trailed behind digital innovation that has long in existence. The rise of social media platforms, for example, have had profound impacts on not only how individuals engage with each other, but also has become the means to disrupt democratic elections and organize violent protests ostensibly to harm or kill elected leaders. Technological innovation is hailed as one of humanity’s brightest lights in linear progression but it holds profound contradictions – and often widens existing rifts of inequity.

In a time of increasing socio-political polarization, a clear mandate for Indigenous reconciliation in British Columbia, and rising economic pressures on communities and households, what is the role of policy in the oversight and regulation of technology? Is the status quo sufficient to ensure key values such as vertical equity, cultural safety, and parity in access to the modern economy are upheld?

Join Adjunct Professor Natasha Thambirajah, current SPPGA Practitioner Fellow in a conversation moderated by Chris Tenove with SPPGA’s Practitioner alumni, Jessica Wood Si Sityaawks and Professor Andrea Reimer as each explores the relevancy of public policy in a digital age.

Jessica Wood Si Sityaawks is the Associate Deputy Minister, Declaration Act Secretariat, Province of BC. Professor Andrea Reimer is an Adjunct Professor of Practice at UBC’s School of Public Policy and Global Affairs.

Moderator: Chris Tenove, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, UBC

Natasha Thambirajah, Adjunct Professor, School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, UBC
Jessica Wood, Associate Deputy Minister, Declaration Act Secretariat, Province of B.C.
Andrea Reimer, Adjunct Professor of Practice, School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, UBC