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Triaging and the deliberative system in Toronto

Nick Vlahos, University of Canberra

Tue 8 September 2020

11:00am - 12:00pm

Virtual seminar

Seminar recording is available on our YouTube Channel


This presentation discusses how the deliberative system in Toronto overlaps with political and bureaucratic processes. Scalar and spatial relations set the foundation for outlining three types of public engagement within Toronto’s deliberative system, i.e. a City of Toronto governance committee, residents’ associations, and neighbourhood planning tables. Public engagement in Toronto is discussed as a series of triaging, whereby public deliberation is geared towards problem-sorting. Where there are cross-organizational alliances and supports in place to try and get ahead of problems, they face the larger structures that favour different or rather competing logics and policies supporting private economic and planning development. Given the limited capacities, resources, mandates, and integration in overlapping political and economic processes, public engagement mechanisms that prioritize triaging can only have limited system-level impacts.

About the speaker

Nick Vlahos is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance, University of Canberra, Australia.

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