Category Archives: Announcement

Public Policy Book Club – Weapons of Math Destruction

Math DestructionOn the evening of Monday, April 24th, the Public Policy Book Club will be discussing “Weapons of Math Destruction” by Cathy O’Neil.  The meeting will start at 6:00pm.  If you are interested in joining, please email for further details.

You can also check out policybookclub to see what other books are on the reading list.

From the publisher:

We live in the age of the algorithm. Increasingly, the decisions that affect our lives—where we go to school, whether we get a car loan, how much we pay for health insurance—are being made not by humans, but by mathematical models. In theory, this should lead to greater fairness: Everyone is judged according to the same rules, and bias is eliminated.

But as Cathy O’Neil reveals in this urgent and necessary book, the opposite is true. The models being used today are opaque, unregulated, and uncontestable, even when they’re wrong. Most troubling, they reinforce discrimination: If a poor student can’t get a loan because a lending model deems him too risky (by virtue of his zip code), he’s then cut off from the kind of education that could pull him out of poverty, and a vicious spiral ensues. Models are propping up the lucky and punishing the downtrodden, creating a “toxic cocktail for democracy.” Welcome to the dark side of Big Data.

Tracing the arc of a person’s life, O’Neil exposes the black box models that shape our future, both as individuals and as a society. These “weapons of math destruction” score teachers and students, sort résumés, grant (or deny) loans, evaluate workers, target voters, set parole, and monitor our health.

O’Neil calls on modelers to take more responsibility for their algorithms and on policy makers to regulate their use. But in the end, it’s up to us to become more savvy about the models that govern our lives. This important book empowers us to ask the tough questions, uncover the truth, and demand change.


Public Policy Book Club – Pre-Suasion

presuasionOn Monday, March 27th, the Public Policy Book Club will be discussing “Pre-Suasian: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade” by Robert Cialdini.  If you are interested in joining, email You can also check out to see what other books are on the reading list.

From the publisher:

The author of the legendary bestseller Influence, social psychologist Robert Cialdini shines a light on effective persuasion and reveals that the secret doesn’t lie in the message itself, but in the key moment before that message is delivered.

What separates effective communicators from truly successful persuaders? Using the same combination of rigorous scientific research and accessibility that made his Influence an iconic bestseller, Robert Cialdini explains how to capitalize on the essential window of time before you deliver an important message. This “privileged moment for change” prepares people to be receptive to a message before they experience it. Optimal persuasion is achieved only through optimal pre-suasion. In other words, to change “minds” a pre-suader must also change “states of mind.”

His first solo work in over thirty years, Cialdini’s Pre-Suasion draws on his extensive experience as the most cited social psychologist of our time and explains the techniques a person should implement to become a master persuader. Altering a listener’s attitudes, beliefs, or experiences isn’t necessary, says Cialdini—all that’s required is for a communicator to redirect the audience’s focus of attention before a relevant action.

From studies on advertising imagery to treating opiate addiction, from the annual letters of Berkshire Hathaway to the annals of history, Cialdini draws on an array of studies and narratives to outline the specific techniques you can use on online marketing campaigns and even effective wartime propaganda. He illustrates how the artful diversion of attention leads to successful pre-suasion and gets your targeted audience primed and ready to say, “Yes.”

Saskatoon Event Announcement: Partners in Public Service – Collaboration Across the Public Sector


The Partners in Public Service: Collaboration Across the Public Sector, promises to be  an evening of learning and connecting with colleagues across all levels and areas of the public sector. The event will feature a multi-disciplinary panel of public sector leaders discussing the importance of collaboration across jurisdictions and sectors,  and how we as a collective public service can better serve our citizens.

This evening will also provide you with an opportunity to forge new partnerships with your counterparts and to learn more about our host organizations.

Thursday, March 23, 2017
5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Delta Bessborough
601 Spandina Crescent E
Saskatoon, SK

Appetizers and a cash bar will be provided.

Please register with Katie Chesterton ( by Monday, March 20, 2017.

The following panel of esteemed leaders are confirmed to be attending this event:

Chief Lorie WhitecalfChief Lorie Whitecalf

Lorie made history when she became the first woman to be elected Chief of Sweetgrass First Nation in 2011. She is currently serving her third term of office.  Lorie is a proud mother of three children, Kylie, Whitney and Austin.  Being raised on a farm, usually considered men’s work, provided Lorie with strong work ethic and a belief system that women can do anything.  She continues to raise cattle alongside her father. Chief Whitecalf practices a traditional lifestyle of hunting and gathering. She currently sits on numerous boards:  Saskatchewan First Nations Natural Resources Centre of Excellence, FSIN Executive Council, Treaty 6 Education, Battle River Treaty 6 Health Centre, BATC Executive Council, and BATC Community Development Corporation.

Catherine GrybaCatherine Gryba

  • Worked for the City of Saskatoon for the past 32 years and is presently the General Manager, Corporate Performance Department.
  • Board Member and Past Chair of the Board, Saskatchewan Blue Cross.
  • Past Chair of the Board of Directors for the Saskatoon and Area United Way, and the Cabinet for United Way
  • Board Member for the Jeux Canada Games Foundation
  • Co-Founder and Member of Executive Women of Saskatoon – a peer mentorship group consisting of women in executive positions
  • Graduate of the University of Saskatchewan and served as an alumna committee member for a variety of CIS Championships, including hockey, basketball, volleyball and track and field, and most recently the Vice-Chair of the 100th Anniversary of Huskie Athletics.
  • Married to Shawn and have 3 children.


Rob Norrisrob-norris

After almost a decade of serving in the Saskatchewan Legislature, Rob returned to the University of Saskatchewan on 1 January 2016; he serves as the University’s Senior Strategist for Partnerships within the Office of the Vice-President Research. His core responsibilities include advising:

1) the Canadian Light Source (CLS) Synchrotron, where he is working on partnership development opportunities in the Middle East, Europe and across Canada; 2) the Vaccine Infectious Disease Organization and the International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac), where he focuses on relations with the Canadian government and partnership development in East Asia; 3) the Sylvia Fedoruk Centre for Nuclear Innovation, where he works to enhance relations with various Canadian and global partners; and 4) the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS).

Norris also works with the University’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine, the College of Agriculture and Bio-Resources as well as the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition regarding outreach and engagement; he serves as a strategic communications and community-engagement advisor to a University-led, Canadian-sponsored food and nutritional security program in Ethiopia.

Finally, as needed, he offers advice to the Vice-President Research – including as a member of the Canadian Neutron Initiative working group – and other senior administrators.

From November, 2007 – December, 2015, Norris served as the Member of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan (MLA) for the constituency of Saskatoon-Greystone. First elected in 2007 and re-elected in 2011, he served in Premier Wall’s Cabinet as: Minister of Advanced Education, Employment and Labour; Minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board; Minister of Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration; Minister responsible for SaskPower; Minister responsible for Innovation, Minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Research Council as well as the Premier’s Legislative Secretary for First Nations and Metis Peoples. He was a member of Treasury Board and the Board of Directors of Saskatchewan’s Crown Investment Corporation as well as other executive bodies. Upon announcing his departure from executive government, Norris concluded his elected tenure with membership on two legislative committees: Crown and Central Agencies as well the esteemed Public Accounts Committee of the Legislature.

Known for being both collaborative and decisive, Norris had dozens of ministerial accomplishments which helped to transform Saskatchewan.

In the post-secondary sector, he oversaw record funding for advanced education and skills training initiatives, including focusing on Indigenous education and institutions and facilitating historic federal-provincial infrastructure investments across Saskatchewan; he also created, as well as implemented, Saskatchewan’s Graduate Retention Program. Regarding the promotion of university-based research, in partnership with University of Saskatchewan, he fostered the creation of the Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation, supported the establishment of the Global Institute for Water Security and played a key role in negotiating the creation of the public-private Global Institute for Food Security. He also laid the foundation for Saskatchewan’s International Education Strategy. Rob also supported numerous initiatives at University of Regina and other post-secondary institutions across the province.

Regarding SaskPower, as Minister Rob guided through cabinet and launched historic investments in Canadian green energy infrastructure, including the $1.5 billion, world-first, Boundary Dam 3 carbon capture and storage project in southern Saskatchewan as well as the concomitant establishment of the $60 million public-private Shand Carbon Capture Test Facility.

Importantly, Norris also developed and enacted the Wall Government’s inaugural Immigration Strategy (June 2009) to foster provincial population growth, international student retention and foreign direct investment; the foundations of this strategy continue to foster record population growth in Saskatchewan and robust international investment across the province.

In the labour portfolio, he led the modernization of Saskatchewan’s labour law, including within the construction sector.

As Minister, Rob also represented Saskatchewan on numerous pan-Canadian / federal-provincial – territorial committees, which had functional themes ranging from Advanced Education to the Status of Women and beyond. He also led Saskatchewan delegations to other regions of Canada, Western and Central Europe, the Middle East, Southeast and South Asia and the United States. As MLA, he also participated in Commonwealth Parliamentary missions to Alberta (including the Fort McMurray Oil Sands) and Western Australia and served with the Washington-based National Democratic Institute as an election observer in Tunisia (2014) and an Institute of Public Administration Canada governance expert in Malawi (2015).

Prior to holding public office, Norris served within the University of Saskatchewan’s senior administration as Coordinator for Global Relations, 2004-2007, where he helped the University analyze, articulate and act upon its global interests, including enhancing the profile and prestige of this campus community. In 2005, he helped secure and coordinate the campus visit of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, and His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh. He joined U of S International in 1999. Rob took political leave from the University from November 2007 – January 2016.

From 1997 – 1999, Norris served as a Legislative Assistant in the Canadian House of Commons, with a focus on Canadian foreign policy. As part of his duties, he worked closely with the House of Commons Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade as well as focused on policy issues and options relating to various geopolitical regions and international organizations.

Having earning various student scholarships and bursaries, Norris graduated with an Associate Arts Diploma, Red Deer College (1990), a B.A. (Hons.) in Political Science, University of Lethbridge (1992) and a M.A. in Political Science, University of Alberta (2004).

In addition to his current University duties, Norris comments on both local and global issues. For more than a decade, his articles, essays and reviews have been published in both the popular and academic press. He also works to build youth-focused bridges between Canada and the world; as a community contribution, he serves as Board Chair for Ottawa-based, Canada World Youth.

He is married to Carol Norris, a chemist within the Canadian Food Inspection Agency; within their blended family, they have three children: Jacqueline, Emmet and Hayden

Laurie PushorLaurie Pushor

Laurie Pushor is the Deputy Minister of the Saskatchewan Ministry of the Economy. This ministry’s mission is to advance economic growth to generate wealth and opportunity in Saskatchewan. The ministry includes the government’s major economic, resource and labour market development functions.

Laurie Pushor first joined the Ministry of the Economy serving as a Senior Advisor to the Deputy Minister. Prior to joining the Ministry of the Economy, he spent four years as a Chief of Staff with the Government of Saskatchewan. He was fortunate to serve as the Chief of Staff with Minister Harpauer in Social Services, with Minister Boyd in Energy and Resources, and Minister McMorris in Health. Prior to joining the Government of Saskatchewan, Laurie was the Director of Recruitment and Admissions for the University of Saskatchewan. This role included responsibility for Canadian as well as international recruitment and international student activities.

Moderator: Kristin BruceKristin Bruce

Kristin finished an undergraduate degree at the University of Saskatchewan in 2011. Following this, she took a year off to work and travel. Upon returning to Saskatoon, she started a Masters of Public Policy degree at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School (JSGS) of Public Policy. While at JSGS she completed a thesis looking at water governance and planning for future uncertainty in Saskatchewan under the supervision of Murray Fulton and Patricia Gober. After finishing the program in 2016, Kristin accepted a position with the Strategic and Business Planning Division at the City of Saskatoon as a Performance Improvement Coordinator.

The host committee would like to thank our sponsor, MNP, for its generous support.


The Partners in Public Service Event Series is being hosted by:


jsgs-logo                                     sask-youth-network-logo

Event Announcement: Partners in Public Service – Collaboration Across the Public Sector


The Partners in Public Service: Collaboration Across the Public Sector, promises to be  an evening of learning and connecting with colleagues across all levels and areas of the public sector. The event will feature a multi-disciplinary panel of public sector leaders discussing the importance of collaboration across jurisdictions and sectors,  and how we as a collective public service can better serve our citizens.

This evening will also provide you with an opportunity to forge new partnerships with your counterparts and to learn more about our host organizations.

Thursday, March 2, 2017
5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Artesian On 13th
2627 13th Avenue
Regina, SK

Appetizers and a cash bar will be provided.

Please register with Katie Chesterton ( by Monday, February 27, 2017.

The host committee would like to thank our sponsor, MNP, for its generous support.


The Partners in Public Service Event Series is being hosted by:


jsgs-logo         sask-youth-network-logo

JSGS Announces the 2017 Tansley Lecture – “Canada and President Trump: How do we manage?”




Presented by: Colin Robertson, former Canadian diplomat

For generations, Canada and the United States have shared the most important economic, social and security bilateral relationship in the world. Both nations have reaped the benefits of deeply integrated economies with supply chains that serve a market of approaching 400 million people and framed by the North America Free Trade Agreement. Together, Canada and the U.S. have carved out a relationship that is a model for the world. But with the election of the Donald Trump administration, many of the cornerstones of that relationship are being questioned. Join Colin Robertson as he explores the uncertain and critical era into which Canada-U.S relations are entering.

A former Canadian diplomat, Colin Robertson is a Senior Advisor to Dentons LLP living in Ottawa, and working with the Business Council of Canada. He is Vice President and Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, an Executive Fellow at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University. He is on the advisory councils of the Conference of Defence Associations Institute and the North American Research Partnership. Colin writes a column every two weeks on foreign affairs for the Globe and Mail and is a regular contributor to other media.

Tickets and Registration:

Corporate/Group table – $450.00 + GST
Individual – $55.00 + GST
Student – $30.00 +GST

In purchasing a corporate/group table, you will receive four seats at a table of eight. The remaining four seats will be subsidized tickets for JSGS students.

Follow the event on Twitter at #2017Tansley

Event Details

When: April 05, 2017
Time: 05:00 PM – 09:00 PM
Location: Ballroom B, Queensbury Convention Centre, Evraz Place, Regina, SK


Karen Jaster-Laforge

Public Policy Book Club – The Nordic Theory of Everything

nordicOn Monday, February 27th, the Public Policy Book Club will be discussing “The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life” by Anu Partanen.  If you are interested in joining, email You can also check out to see what other books are on the reading list.

From the publisher:

Impassioned and timely, this big think book by a Finnish journalist who is now a U.S. citizen asks Americans to consider the Nordic way of life as a means of nurturing a happier, saner, and fairer society.

At a May 2012 conference on social mobility, where experts discussed whether people worldwide were attaining a better life than their parents’, Ed Miliband, the leader of the British Labour Party, made a surprising quip: “If you want the American dream, go to Finland.” For decades, the country best known for opportunity had been the United States. No longer, said Miliband.

Anu Partanen, however, had recently left Finland and moved to America for the love of her life, a man who would ultimately become her husband. Their relationship flourished, but she found that navigating the basics of everyday life—from health insurance and taxes to education and child care—was much more complicated and stressful than anything she had encountered in her homeland. At first she attributed her crippling anxiety to the difficulty of adapting to a freewheeling new culture. But as she got to know Americans better, she discovered that they shared her deep apprehensions. To understand why life in Finland is so drastically different from the way things are in the United States, Partanen began to look closely at both countries.

In The Nordic Theory of Everything, Partanen compares living in the United States with life in the Nordic region, focusing on four key relationships—parents and children, men and women, employees and employers, and government and citizens. She debunks criticism that Nordic countries are socialist “nanny states,” revealing instead that it is we Americans who are far more enmeshed in unhealthy dependencies than we realize. Step-by-step, Partanen explains that the Nordic approach allows citizens to enjoy more individual freedom and equality than we do.

Partanen wants to open Americans’ eyes to how much better things can be—to show her beloved new country what it can learn from her homeland to reinvigorate and fulfill the promise of the American dream. Offering insights, advice, and solutions, The Nordic Theory of Everything makes a convincing argument that we can rebuild our society, rekindle our optimism, and restore independence to our relationships and lives.

Based in Regina, the Public Policy Book Club is comprised of senior and mid-level public servants working for the federal, provincial, or municipal governments, employees of Crown corporations, as well as academics, researchers and students. However, the Public Policy Book Club is open to all thoughtful minds that are curious about the current trends and issues in public policy.

8th Annual JSGS Wine & Cheese Reception – February 10th, 2017


The Johnson-Shoyama Graduate Students’ Association (JSGS-SA) cordially invites you to attend the 8th Annual JSGS Wine & Cheese Reception being held on Friday, February 10th, 2017.

The Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy is a leader in creating skilled professionals in public policy, administration and management leadership for the public, private and non-profit sectors.

This social event, hosted by the Students’ Association, is an excellent opportunity for senior leaders to connect with students, alumni and faculty.  We hope you are able to join us in what has become the best opportunity to meet the best and brightest emerging future leaders in Saskatchewan.

Wine and Cheese Reception

Friday, February 10th, 2017


Rotunda on the Terrace 10 Research Drive

University of Regina

Refreshments Provided

Please R.S.V.P. to


New Professionals Network Launch


IPAC National Officially Announces the 2017 National Year of Dialogue


January 10, 2017

A nation-wide initiative bringing Canadian public administrators together with First Nation, Metis and Inuit government officials and leaders for shared learning is being launched this week by the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC).

The National Year of Dialogue for Reconciliation and Renewed Relationships is a series of national and regional events to create opportunities for colleagues to learn from one another, to talk about what a renewed relationship could mean, and to establish new networks and working relationships. Events will also contribute to the fulfillment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s call to action for the education of public servants.

“As Canada celebrates its 150th year, this is a meaningful way to contribute to the unfinished business of Confederation – by acknowledging the progress being made, learning from the past, and helping to develop better future working relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous governments.” – David Morhart, President

“IPAC is pleased to be able to bring its unique strengths, commitment, pan-Canadian network of public administrators, and academic and private sector partners to support the development of improved relationships with Indigenous governments and organizations: relationships built on respect, cooperation and partnership.” – Robert Taylor, Chief Executive Officer

IPAC is Canada’s leading network of municipal, provincial/territorial and federal public servants, academics, and other partners who care about public service excellence. A non-profit, strictly non-partisan organization, with 19 volunteer chapters located in every province and territory across the country, IPAC supports public administrators at all levels of government to do a better job at what they do – through training, conferences, scholarly research and the promotion of best practices and innovation through publications and prestigious awards.

More information about the National Year of Dialogue, including a list of coming events is available at:

Or contact:

Catherine MacQuarrie, Senior Executive in Residence

Indigenous Government Programs, IPAC

JSGS Public Workshop: The Relationship Between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous People

On March 7, 2017, the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy will be holding a public workshop on The Relationship Between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous People at the University of Regina campus.  In the spirit of 2017: IPAC’s National Year of Dialogue, we proud to promote this workshop to all IPAC Saskatchewan members interested in learning more about the past, present, and future relationships between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous peoples.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada made the following Call to Action which this workshop supports:

“We call upon the federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments to provide education to public servants on the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal-Crown relations.  This will require skills-based training and intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.”