We are currently looking for our 44th Fellow to join our team for Fall 2018.
Gosbee Fellowships typically last 12-16 weeks and are open to students and recent graduates. We expect a full-time commitment. Fellows can expect to develop their research and project management skills, and gain valuable experience working to design and deliver various public engagement initiatives. The 44th Fellowship starts on September 10, 2018. The position is based out of our office in downtown Toronto.
The deadline for applications is 11:59 p.m. (EST) sharp August 19, 2018.
The deadline for references to submit letters is 11:59 p.m. (EST) sharp August 21, 2018.
Successful applicants will be offered an interview on or between August 23 to 24 at our Toronto office or via videoconference.
Note: the application form requires that you upload your resume and cover letter separately. Also, your application will require one reference letter and one reference we can contact by phone — both submitted by the reference deadline.
The Irish Citizens’ Assembly was established in 2016 to examine five issues and make recommendations to the Houses of the Oireachtas (the Legislature of Ireland) for further debate by elected representatives. The Assembly is made up of a chair and 99 randomly selected citizens who are broadly representative of the Irish electorate.
One of the five issues the Assembly was asked to examine was the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution which, passed in 1983, made abortion illegal in Ireland. After six months of deliberation on the Amendment, the Assembly recommended abortions should be provided in a range of circumstances.
An all-party parliamentary committee charged with considering the work of the citizens’ assembly subsequently recommended legal abortion without restriction up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. This would first require an amendment to the Constitution, which are only possible by way of referendum.
On May 25, 2018, Irish citizens voted to approve the removal of Article 40.3.3 from the Irish Constitution, which prohibits abortion in Ireland. This ‘Yes’ vote allows the Oireachtas to pass laws regulating the termination of pregnancy. Following the referendum, the Irish government will bring legislation before the Dáil (the lower house of the Oireachtas) which will allow abortion on request up to the 12th week of pregnancy.
Learn more about the Citizens’ Assembly and their role in the referendum below:
This January, MASS staff travelled to Madrid for the founding meeting of Democracy R&D, an international consortium of organizations working to make deliberative democracy part of our political systems. There, we met David Van Reybrouck, a remarkable cultural historian, archaeologist, and author.
David's timely and provocatively titled book, Against Elections, is being published in Canada this April. In this book, David argues democracy is about more than elections and that recovering a more expansive idea of what it means to live in a democracy is essential to pushing back against rising populist ideals.
As we head into what promises to be a fierce political super-cycle, with municipal, provincial and federal elections each on the horizon, we hope you’ll join us for this important discussion about our democratic past and future.
We're looking to expand our team, adding a new project director and project coordinator later this fall. Applicants should have a rare mix of qualities to help us build our practice and raise our game. MASS LBP is a private company with a public mission: to assist governments to connect with citizens in inventive and effective ways, as we work towards common ground on the defining political issues of our time.
In April, more than 120 researchers, policy-makers, public health officials, law enforcement professionals, drug users and community organizers met to examine the future of Canada’s domestic and international drug policies.
Sponsored by the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, Canada's Drug Futures Forum brought together over 20 speakers, including Canada's Minister for Health Dr. Jane Philpott, to explore issues including international control and management; decriminalization, regulation and harm reduction; integrating policing and public health; and strategies for health and social equity. The two-day conference concluded with attendees drawing up and submitting a set of recommendations to improve Canadian drug policy.
Thirty-six residents of the City of Duncan and the Municipality of North Cowichan on Vancouver Island have been randomly selected to sit on the Citizens’ Assembly on Municipal Amalgamation. The elected councils of both municipalities commissioned the Assembly to learn about the needs and interests of local residents, examine the implications of creating a new, amalgamated municipal structure, and advise local councillors and their administrations on the conditions under which the municipalities should proceed.
The Assembly will meet six times between January and April 2017, and members of the Assembly will host a public meeting on February 2 to hear the views of their neighbours in the area.
On Jan 9, 2017, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care announced it will provide funding for supervised injection services (SIS) in Toronto. These services will offer a safe and hygienic environment for people to inject pre-obtained illicit drugs under the supervision of a nurse. SISs have been shown to be an effective way to reduce the harms that can arise from drug use, including deaths from overdose.
The SISs will be added to the existing clinical health and harm reduction services at three locations: The Works (a service of Toronto Public Health), Queen West - Central Toronto Community Health Centre, and South Riverdale Community Health Centre. As part of the process to offer SISs, these three agencies commissioned MASS to undertake a community consultation process in April 2016. We heard from hundreds of community members through a series of public meetings, open houses, focus groups, and an online survey.
Metro News reported on the Toronto Planning Review Panel, a group of Toronto residents brought together to provide recommendations to City staff on important planning issues. MASS was commissioned by the Toronto Planning Division to recruit and select the panelists, who are demographically and geographically representative of the city. MASS also ran an orientation and training session over four Saturdays, and has helped to organise and facilitate the panel’s bimonthly meetings.
Canada's health care system allows Canadians to visit their doctor and obtain medical services free of charge. But when it comes to filling their prescriptions, many uninsured Canadians struggle with the cost. Policy makers are aware of the challenges. Canada’s federal, provincial, and territorial governments are looking into options to help make prescription drugs more accessible, affordable, and appropriately prescribed.
In October 2016, we invited 35 randomly selected Canadians to meet in Ottawa to consider whether there are better models that can improve access to prescription drugs. Over five days, this group heard from a range of experts, examined different options, and, together, developed a clear set of recommendations for Canada's health ministers and policy makers.
The panel's final report containing its recommendations will be shared with the federal health minister, her provincial and territorial counterparts, as well as other researchers and stakeholders.
Last spring, the Toronto Arts Council (TAC) commissioned MASS to help develop its first strategic plan. But contrary to the fashion for short three and four year plans, we urged TAC to take a longer view and develop a three phase plan that would help guide the organization through its next decade to 2025. Working alongside senior TAC executives and its board, we met with more than 100 stakeholders and arts champions, authored an optimistic discussion paper called "On the Bright Side", and welcomed our friends Shelagh Wright and Peter Jenkinson — two of the UK's foremost creative strategists — to share their unique international insights.
The result is a plan that distills TAC's work to its essence in four priorities and issues a call for recognizing all Torontonians as "Arts-makers." We think the plan is exciting, ambitious and resolutely civic-minded in its outlook. You can download your copy here.
This past April we collaborated with the Ministry of Tourism, Sport and Culture to host the first annual Ontario Sports Symposium for amateur sport on April 30th. Working closely with the Ministry, MASS brought together over 200 coaches, players, trainers, and administrators for a full-day event to discuss the implementation of Game ON: Government of Ontario's Official Sports Plan. Game ON, a legacy of PanAM, aims to improve Ontario's amateur sport system through increased participation, athlete development, and encouraging excellence.
Inspired by the successes of the Insite Supervised Inject Site in Vancouver, the City of Toronto set out to consult the public about the inclusion of similar services within existing community health centres. The Works, Queen West — Central Toronto Community Health Centre, and South Riverdale Community Centre are the proposed homes for the harm reduction services. These services will provide hygienic environments for people who inject drugs to do so under the supervision of a trained nurse. In addition, users will be provided improved access to other health services.
MASS LBP worked with the aforementioned community health service providers to design and manage a consultation process that included: large public events, focus groups, and a large-scale online survey. The focus of the consultations were on documenting and reporting the perceived benefits and concerns regarding the inclusion of supervised injection services in the community. In July 2016, Toronto City Council voted in favour of the creation of the three proposed SIS sites.
St. Michael's Hospital has adopted a new strategic priority of providing comprehensive health services to all local residents in central-east Toronto. MASS LBP was commissioned by St. Michael’s to strike a Residents’ Advisory Panel to determine how the hospital should respond to the diverse needs of the local community. In February of 2016, 5,000 randomly selected households across the community received a Civic Lottery invitation in the mail, asking for a resident to commit their time and volunteer on the Panel. From the 371 respondents, 28 Panelists were randomly selected to take part in the process. The Panelists represent the age, self-identified gender, and geography of the region. To date, the Panel has reached consensus on a set of guiding principles and priorities, including the design of an accessible information service for patients. Keep an eye out for the Panel's first major report in late summer of 2016.