Cleaning Up the Petro Mess - Duff Conacher





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Published on Jan 17, 2013

A presentation at Petro, Power, and Politics. Parkland Institute 2012 Conference.

Sun, November 25, 2012 | 11:59 am - 12:59 pm, CCIS, room 1-430

How to clean up this bad governance mess that threatens our health and welfare, and how to prevent it from being polluted again in the future.

Duff Conacher, LL.B., is an internationally recognized leader in the area of democratic reform and government accountability. He is a former Ralph Nader's Raider and he has worked as a researcher, community organizer and educator, legal intern and consultant. A graduate of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, he has a long-standing interest in democratic process and corporate responsibility issues. He was the main Founder of Democracy Watch, was Coordinator from 1993 to June 2011, and is still a Director and spokesperson on many issues for the organization. He is now Coordinator of the new national education charity Your Canada, Your Constitution, and also heads the firm GoodOrg.ca Consulting which provides advice and services to governments, businesses and citizen organizations in the areas of good governance, ethics, responsibility, communications, stakeholder and public relations. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Toronto.

As Coordinator of Democracy Watch, he led the organization to win more changes to laws, regulations and government policies than any other citizen advocacy group in Canada (as of June 2011, more than 110 changes strengthening government accountability and corporate responsibility measures in 16 key Canadian federal laws, 6 key federal policies, and 7 provincial laws). Many of the changes are world-leading.

Through this time period, Democracy Watch obtained national Canadian media coverage on average 10 times each month, and regional and local media coverage on average 40 times each month. As well, Democracy Watch's website, with more than 1.4 million hits annually, is the #1 citizen group website in Canada when the Internet is searched using the search words "democracy" or "government ethics" or "honesty in politics" or "money in politics" or "bank accountability" or "corporate responsibility".

Duff also led Democracy Watch to win the first-ever ethics court challenge of the federal government in July 2004, and the second-ever ethics court challenge in March 2009. Among the 40 leading good government and corporate responsibility reports he has authored or co-authored, he wrote the report on Canada for Transparency International's 2004 Global Corruption Report and wrote the first three reports on Canada for the 2007 Global Integrity Report, the 2008 Global Integrity Report, and the 2010 Global Integrity Report.

He also organized Democracy Watch's many coalitions -- the Canadian Community Reinvestment Coalition, (a nation-wide bank accountability coalition made up of 100 citizen groups), the Corporate Responsibility Coalition, the Government Ethics Coalition and the Open Government Coalition -- which along with the Money in Politics Coalition are coordinated by Democracy Watch and its charitable partner organization, the Democracy Education Network (DEN).

Duff has also designed and delivered dozens of civics education and organizational development workshops over the past 17 years as Assistant Coordinator of DEN.

Conference Video sponsored by:
Health Sciences Association of Alberta

Conference Video produced by:

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