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February 8, 2000
City of Toronto Examines Civic Participation Practices
The City of Toronto is inviting residents to participate in a five-part seminar
series entitled Building the New City of Toronto: Reflections on Civic
Engagement. This series will help to develop a framework for civic
participation in the City of Toronto.

The first seminar, Challenges of Civic Engagement, will be held on Thursday,
February 10, 2000 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., at Metro Hall in the Council
Chamber. This seminar will focus on the meaning of civic involvement, civil
society and enhancing participation in contemporary Canadian society and in the
City of Toronto. The seminar will also look at how global societal trends
influence our participation in municipal government.

"The City is looking for meaningful and innovative avenues for people to
participate in our local government," said Councillor David Miller, who is
leading this initiative. "People should be able to express their opinions and
participate in political decision-making processes."

The first seminar will feature panel discussions from leading experts in the
field of civic engagement, followed by a question and answer period. Panelists

- Dr. Janice Stein from the Political Science Department at the University of
Toronto. Dr. Stein will focus on how global trends impact civil society and on
the issues of accountability, representation and control in the participatory
- Dr. Roger Keil from the Environmental Studies Department at York University.
Dr. Keil will explore how globalization trends versus traditional concepts of
citizenship have created a need for new forms of participation at the local
- Mr. Phillip Haid from the Institute on Governance in Ottawa. Mr. Haid will
review innovative approaches and technologies, which successfully build civic
communities. He will also describe effective tools to encourage the
participation of young people in community life.

The seminars allow Toronto communities, elected officials, city staff and
academics to engage in discussions that will strengthen future community

The next seminar in the series, scheduled for Tuesday, April 18, 2000, will
feature keynote speaker Dr. Benjamin Barber from Rutgers University in New
Jersey. Dr. Barber is an internationally acclaimed author and scholar who has
written numerous books and articles on the topic of civic engagement.

An announcement will be made prior to each seminar in the series.

Media Contact
Access Toronto
(416) 338-0338



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