GovMaker Conference

GovMaker Conference

GovMaker 2019, April 29-30, Fredericton Convention Centre


April 29, 2019

7:45 am Breakfast

Location: Pointe-Sainte Anne Foyer

8:30 am Opening Remarks

Location: Pointe-Sainte Anne C

9:00 am Keynote I: How We Used Policy Design to Make Population Aging in NB a Problem: And why we likely won’t know how to fix it

Presenter: Herb Emery
Location: Pointe Sainte-Anne C

Population aging in New Brunswick is perceived as creating particularly early and strong economic and policy challenges compared to other provinces outside the Atlantic region.  Many contend that our population aging problem is a product of slow economic and population growth, hence we can solve the problem by increasing one or both of economic and population growth.  While this view is “not wrong”, it ignores that historical choices for how to finance public services has created the fiscal challenges that we hope to solve with population and economic growth.  The alternative approach would be change how we finance public services; abandon one-size fits all resource allocations and invest in reducing the needs for public services and supports so that we can meet the needs of aging New Brunswickers whether population and GDP grow or not.  

10:00 am BREAK

Location: Pointe-Sainte Anne Foyer

10:30 am Breakout Session: Population Growth – New Brunswick’s Official Bilingualism on Geographic Mobility. 

Presenter: Li Wang
Location: Pointe Sainte-Anne C

This study conducted in the Statistics Canada New Brunswick Research Data Center at UNB investigates how second language acquisition influences out-migration from New Brunswick and mobility within the province. New Brunswick experiences high levels of out-migration and intra-provincial migration from rural areas to urban areas. Using Census data for 2001, 2006 and 2016, and National Population Survey data for 2011, we find that out-migration is most likely among English mother tongue New Brunswickers but after 2001, French language acquisition is associated with lower rates of out-migration.  Second language acquisition by both English mother tongue and French mother tongue persons is associated with higher rates of intra-provincial mobility. This study suggests that the Province’s investment in French language acquisition for Anglophones is effective for retaining population.  Second language acquisition generally improves labour market efficiency in New Brunswick by increasing geographic mobility. 

11:15 am Breakout Session: Population Growth – Retention of immigrants in NB: A quantitative analysis using provincial administrative data

Presenter: Pablo Miah
Location: Pointe Sainte-Anne C

According to 2016 Census, the New Brunswick population declined between 2011 and 2016; no other province experienced such a decline. The Government of New Brunswick has identified immigration as key for addressing stagnant population growth and a resultant shrinking of the labor force. However, while the number of immigrants arriving in New Brunswick is rising, it is not clear if they remain in the province after arrival.

This study examines the factors that influence immigrant arrival and retention in New Brunswick. Using Citizen Database (Medicare eligibility and status), the primary purpose of the study is to compare retention rates of immigrants, refugees, and interprovincial migrants in New Brunswick for the period of 2008-2017.   The study enables to assess the adequacy of the provincial administrative data for this type of analysis. Relative importance of various determinants of retention (age, source of region) have also been estimated.

10:30 am Breakout Session: Economic Growth – Persons with Disabilities; The Economic Engine That Could…

Presenter: Randy Dickinson
Location: Marysville

Economic and social policy analysts are very much aware of the population demographics of the province of New Brunswick. We have an aging population with a relatively small overall population growth achieved through immigration. Concerns are already being expressed about the shrinking labour force and the sluggish economy that may not be able to sustain the province going forward unless significant different actions are taken.

Randy will review recent population data released from Statistics Canada and discuss the challenges and opportunities created by our rising disability population and how we can respond to them. Increasing the rate of both regular part time and full-time employment of persons with disabilities could revitalize our workforce as well as reducing unnecessary growth of social services and health costs. Workers compensation and insurance programs could also strengthen their support for disability management programs to enable injured workers to return to an accommodated workplace. Improving accessibility in the marketplace would create both employment and disability customer revenue opportunities as well as responding to support needs.

Rather than being perceived as a burden or as charity cases, we want to transform the image of persons with disabilities as helping to drive the economic engine of New Brunswick!

11:00 am Breakout Session: Economic Growth Designing change for success

Moderator: Greg Lutes
Panelists: Bill Thompson, Patrick Lacroix & Laurie Guthrie
Location: Marysville

Economic development activities rarely fall within neat municipal boundaries. There is ‘friendly competition’ between regions for project location, infrastructure, and jobs. But success requires the same actors to use ‘friendly coordination’ to maximize human, natural, and physical resources.

New Brunswick faces significant obstacles to lift local economies due to major sectoral changes, create new municipal entities with basic capacity for economic development, and to take advantage of opportunities to innovate. The common challenge is bringing together community leaders to seek common goals while overcoming negative pressures. A designed approach is needed that can rally communities. Use of communication and governance tools must be a constant activity during the process, from beginning to end. 

The current environment offers opportunities (social media, regional entities) but also obstacles (disappearing local media, heightened cynicism). The desire to move communities forward can’t rely on good will alone. A plan based on change management principles is required.

Our panel of experts will examine recent New Brunswick experiences and discuss whether improved design can lead to better results. Bill Thompson helped revive the greater Sussex area following the unexpected closure of a $2 billion potash mining operation. Patrick Lacroix has studied the communications tools that have helped (or hindered) a number of regionalization projects. Laurie Guthrie has a 25 year career in the ever changing economic development sector in the Fredericton Capital Region.

11:30 am Breakout Session: Economic Growth Ecosystem of Indigenous Entrepreneurship in NB

Presenters: Shannon Polches & Jean-Francois Mallet
Location: Marysville

This presentation will talk about Indigenous Entrepreneurs and the successes and/or barriers they face.  We will explore communities and what entrepreneurship means to the Indigenous community.

10:30 am Breakout Session: Healthy Aging – Évolution de la clientèle fréquentant une banque alimentaire de la région de Moncton N.-B.

Presenter: Jeanne Godin & Julie Caissie
Location: Nashwaaksis

Au Nouveau-Brunswick, 15% des ménages sont en insécurité alimentaire (IA), soit un taux au-dessus de la moyenne nationale. Afin d’orienter les actions futures sur l’IA, il est nécessaire de comprendre les facteurs en lien avec cette problématique et l’évolution du profil des bénéficiaires. Ce projet visait à 1) décrire les caractéristiques des bénéficiaires fréquentant une banque alimentaire de la région de Moncton entre 2016 et 2019, et 2) d’analyser les facteurs socioéconomiques des ménages associés au budget mensuel disponible pour l’achat d’aliments.

Cette étude rétrospective a utilisé les données administratives colligées auprès des bénéficiaires de la banque afin de recueillir les montants provenant de différentes sources de revenus, les dépenses mensuelles des ménages ainsi que le budget disponible pour l’achat des aliments. Des analyses descriptives ont été menées pour décrire le profil des bénéficiaires et des régressions linéaires multivariées ont été effectuées pour évaluer la relation entre le budget alimentaire mensuel disponible et les diverses sources de revenus et de dépenses du ménage et leur évolution dans le temps.

Les résultats montrent une augmentation du nombre de demandes à la banque alimentaire. L’âge des demandeurs est en hausse. Les revenus des demandeurs en provenance de différentes sources n’ont pas augmenté mais les coûts en lien avec le logement ont subi une hausse. Les résultats des régressions linéaires montrent qu’un plus grand revenu en provenance de l’assistance sociale, de l’emploi, de la pension de vieillesse et des prestations pour soutenir le ménage permettaient d’augmenter les fonds disponibles pour l’achat des aliments.

11:00 am Breakout Session: Healthy Aging – A Brave New World: The Potential of Big Data & Evidence-Driven Decision-Making in Health Policy Innovation

  • Jenna Roddick, Coordinator – Research & Knowledge Translation, AGE-WELL National Innovation Hub APPTA
  • Amy Palmer PhD, Data Scientist, Horizon Health Network
  • Rosalie Wang PhD, OT (reg.), Assistant Professor, Intelligent Assistive Technology and Systems Lab, University of Toronto
  • Candice Pollack, Executive Director, AGE-WELL National Innovation Hub APPTA
Location: Nashwaaksis

For the first time in our history, Canadians over the age of 65 outnumber children under the age of 15. This demographic change in our population is ushering in an era of re-conceptualization of health and social services; governments, industries, and communities are directing their attention, and their efforts, to promoting healthy aging throughout the life-course. With Big Data and new technologies at their disposal, government has an unprecedented opportunity to co-develop evidence-informed solutions to some of the most complex social and economic policy challenges of an aging population.

This panel will invite specialists from a diversity of backgrounds to reflect on the potential that Big Data, new technology, and scientific evidence brings to innovation in the policy development process. We will begin by exploring the power of Big Data in identifying trends and informing solutions for health policy decision-making. This will be followed by an overview of technologies that can act as catalysts for healthcare and social innovation for our aging population, and a discussion of the policy barriers to their implementation. The panel will close with an analysis of the role policy-research partnerships focused on effective knowledge translation can play as a prospective tool for facilitating evidence-informed decision-making that will support healthy aging for Canada’s population.

12:00 pm LUNCH

Location: Pointe-Sainte Anne Foyer

12:45 pm Plenary: Economic Immigration Prototype – Capacity for Courage: Prototyping Welcoming Schools

Presenters: Kathy Whynot & Heather Jordan-Keats
Location: Pointe-Sainte Anne C

Over 60 teachers from the anglophone school district participated in an innovation lab (with a strong design thinking component) to help develop diversity programming in their schools. Over the past year thousands of students from kindergarten to grade 12 have been in engaged in helping make their schools more welcoming to newcomers and diversity.  The goal of this prototype was to help build more welcoming communities in NB through the students we can reach the parents. 

1:15 pm Keynote II: Designerly thinking for policies and services: the data scientist, programmer and designer didn’t meet in the bar…but in Government

Presenters: Ryan Hum
Location: Pointe-Sainte Anne C

What would happen if a data scientist, HCI programmer and a designer came together to re-imagine solutions to social challenges? What if policy makers and change agents used the same human centred design methods that HCI/UX’ers and product designers use to build apps, games, websites and products? Could we create better policies? Better services for citizens? What if coders were programming government services instead of software?

This presentation will explore how governments are embedding design methodologies to discover new and more effective ways to tackle long standing, complex problems. From designing empowering work environments for people with disabilities, to improving toy safety recalls, to data visualizations to empower citizens to engage in the energy dialogue…see how understanding users can re-program government!

2:00 pm Workshop: Introduction to Service Design

Presenters: Jules Maitland & Shawni Beaulieau
Location: Pointe-Sainte Anne C

This workshop will be designed to share Service Design methods, tools, and resources that can be used when taking an open government approach to tackling public policy issues and designing public services.

Service design is about making the services you deliver useful, usable, and valuable to the people you serve. It is “the activity of planning and organizing people, infrastructure, communication and material components of a service in order to improve its quality and the interaction between service provider and customers.”*

This TWO-HOUR Workshop provides an overview of the practice of Service Design, and introduces participants to some of the key methods that Service Designers use to create and communicate their designs. Participants will gain experience working collaboratively on exercises to:

• Define and use personas to focus service design efforts, and

• Document a persona’s experience in a user journey map to identify opportunities to improve moments that matter to the service user.

Participants will then be shown how personas and journey maps can be used to inform the design of new services – using service blueprints to outline the touchpoints across the service experience (before, during, and after service delivery), and the people, places, props, and processes requirement to support them.

For the above exercises, workshop participants will be given the opportunity to choose which policy/service area that they work on: population growth, economic growth and healthy aging.

* Sangiorgi, Daniela & Prendiville, Alison. (2017). Designing for Service. Key Issues and New Directions.

3:00 pm BREAK

Location: Pointe-Sainte Anne Foyer

3:30 pm Workshop: Introduction to Service Design (Continued)

4:30 pm Closing Remarks

April 30, 2019

7:45 am Breakfast

Location: Pointe-Sainte Anne Foyer

8:30 am Opening Remarks

8:45 am Keynote III: The future of public sector innovation: Designing for the next governance model

Presenter: Christian Bason
Location: Pointe-Sainte Anne C

In his presentation, Christian Bason will take stock of global developments in public sector innovation, and share how design approaches can be powerful tools to create not only better services through citizen engagement but also to shape more human-centred ways of governing. He will suggest ways we can expand our thinking about the future, to create more public value as well as sustainable growth. Finally he will propose ways public managers can lead these challenging processes of change.

10:00 am BREAK

Location: Pointe-Sainte Anne Foyer

10:30 am Breakout Session: Population Growth – Inclusive Decision Making: Turning Evidence into Action

Presenters: Julie Smith & Katie Davey
Location: Pointe Sainte-Anne C

Part 1: Julie will begin by delivering an overview of inclusive decision making including GBA+ and real live examples of both policy blunders and inclusive successes.

Part 2: Katie will lead a workshop style portion which will build off Julie’s presentation by providing each group with relevant policy considerations relating to population growth — for example, welcoming communities. The groups will discuss their policy from various inclusion lenses while identifying challenges and potential adaptations to report back to the group.

Our collective goals will not be achieved without the evidence based removal of barriers for all citizens.

Originally limited to considering gender, the gender-based analysis plus model has evolved to become an inclusion-based model that considers factors including but not limited to age, geography, income, disability, culture, language – and gender. Often misunderstood as a bureaucratic process that only benefits small groups of people, inclusive decision making, if applied rigorously, is a powerful tool to train policy makers on how to apply evidence, impose transparency and ensure meaningful engagement that will improve outcomes and encourage smarter social and financial investments.

We will use population growth as a case study and provide each group with a policy topic in relation to population growth, for example — creating welcoming communities. Through the analytical tools discussed, each group will discuss and report back to the room on their identified inclusion decision making considerations of their respective policy topic.

This workshop will give participants the tools to begin understanding the intersectional layers of population growth, the understanding of how data and evidence plays a key role in the application of inclusive policy, and the understanding of how to implement inclusive decision making into policy and organizational design when gender may not appear to be a factor.

10:30 am Breakout Session: Economic Growth – How Data and Technology Foster Environmental Sustainability.

Moderator: Erin Flood
Panelists: Briana Cowie & Jamey Smith
Location: Marysville

In this discussion we will be speaking to leaders using open data and big data to identify and support sustainable economic development in our resource sectors- fisheries, forestry, agriculture, climate adaptation.

10:30 am Breakout Session: Healthy Aging – Healthy aging through manipulating the social environment. 

Presenter: Daniel Dutton
Location: Nashwaaksis

The environment within which individuals live their lives has a role to play in their health. Individuals can take actions to improve their health, but governments can take action on the social determinants of health through policy. This presentation will cover some examples of government policy that result in healthy aging despite not being health-specific. The benefit to seniors is only evident through data, and examples will include instances where data was shared/linked to uncover something new.

11:00 am Breakout Session: Healthy Aging – Physical Activity for ALL Seniors, How, and Why?

Presenter: Danielle Bouchard
Location: Nashwaaksis

Older adults should move more like most adults and children.  However for different reasons and in different ways. This presentation will focus on what are the goals to have older adults who have physical challenges.  What is considered ‘enough’ for someone living home and living in a nursing home?  The talk will also explain how we test if the benefits are obtained and why it is important to test them.  Finally, Dr. Bouchard will talk about some of her current projects in NB.

11:30 am Breakout Session: Healthy Aging – Breaking down barriers in health research

Presenter: Jeffrey Hebert
Location: Nashwaaksis

Non-communicable diseases are the major sources of disability and  mortality in Canada. Health research has traditionally ignored the interactions between different types of diseases. Dr. Hebert will discuss a different view of health research and present findings from ongoing projects in New Brunswick.

12:00 pm LUNCH

Location: Pointe-Sainte Anne Foyer

12:50 pm Social Innovation Research Fund Pilot

being launched by NBSPRN & NBIF

Presenters: Alec Manley & Laura Richard
Location: Pointe Sainte-Anne C

1:00 pm Keynote IV: Navigating an Equitable Digital Future

Presenter: Nasma Ahmed
Location: Pointe Sainte-Anne C

As we move towards a more technologically connected society, it is important for us to navigate it’s impact on us, our communties and society at large. During this talk I will be exploring how we can learn from the past to help build a path for the future. From the early days of the internet to rise of internet of things how do we centre our social values in the continuously changing digital ecosystem. Our pasts are interwoven with the possibilites of the future. To build a more just and equitable future, we must reckon with what we have lived through, what we experience in the present and what is foreseeable. This will be an exploration, the beginnings of a journey that can help us build a better world.

2:00 pm Lightning Talks

Location: Pointe Sainte-Anne C


The Canadian Open Movement 2019

Presenter: Lorna Brown

After five successful Canadian Open Data Summits (CODS), including one in New Brunswick, and in a landscape of digital transformation including Digital NB and the Canadian and Ontario Digital Services, the Canadian “Open” community has rapidly gained momentum since the autumn of 2018. Overlapping circles of passionate citizens across Canada meet regularly to create partnerships and to advance two exciting near-term deliverables:

  • the Open Hub, a web portal/clearinghouse for Open information in Canada; and
  • a non-profit member-based entity to steer future CODS.

Hackathons/workshops on the Open Hub at events such as Civil Society Day will engage participants in co-creating Hub content. The facilitators offer GovMaker the opportunity to be the first conference to hear the details, so attendees can learn how to leverage the momentum of the movement for their own policy areas – and grow the national Open family.

If democracy dies in darkness, democracy thrives in the open. All policy areas – including the three in focus at GovMaker V – demand and will flourish from the power of using data for evidence. The three policy areas are well-chosen because they are inextricably linked in New Brunswick. We can no longer create economic growth without population growth, and unless we succeed at these two we won’t have the necessary resources to support healthy aging.

  • We can do well with good data
  • We can do better with good open data
  • We can do best with good open data together


Using Research Data to Inform Best Practice in 17 New Brunswick Research Schools

Presenter: Dr. Gregory Paterson

This research presentation will provide a general overview of the K-2 extended day research project currently in place in some New Brunswick schools.  Starting in September 2018, 17 schools across the Province started participating in a research project to increase instructional time for K-2 students by one hour per day. This time is being used to provide greater opportunities for students to reach the expected learning outcomes. This is a joint initiative between the New Brunswick Teacher’s Federation and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. The agreement included a minimum allocation of teacher prep time to support individual school based learning objectives. The project is expected to run for three years, and is being evaluated by local researchers from both English and French speaking domains of expertise. The research is engaging in a mixed-methodology multiple-case study approach.


Building Community – Developing Solutions – Changing Lives

Presenter: Sandi MacKinnon

Civic Tech Fredericton is comprised of volunteers from government, IT / business community and educational institutions who meet every Tuesday night to develop technical solutions that address social issues in our city. Members of the public sector, nonprofits and the community are invited to come and “pitch problems” that they would like assistance in creating solutions for. If members of the Civic Tech team feel that they can help, they collaborate with the community member to design, develop, test and implement a digital solution.

Civic Tech Fredericton will be profiling these two projects:

  1. Caring Calendar – Engaging our faith-based community to help them to coordinate their services to those in the circumstance of poverty
  2. Getting Seniors There – The role transportation plays in social isolation of older adults

Additional, and somewhat unanticipated, was the connection Civic Tech has to our new Canadians. With 16 members from: Brazil, Greece, Poland, Spain, Nigeria, Vietnam, UK, and India, all stating that they have developed meaningful relationships and real connections with the Civic Tech Team, we have become a catalyst for IT professionals and new comers to find gainful employment, meet like-minded professionals and feel more connected to their community.


Labo Créons la suite… Labo Jeunes engagé.e.s

Presenter: Chantal Abord-Hugon

Le Labo Créons la suite, est au service de la Politique d’aménagement linguistique et culturelle (PALC). Elle a été élaborée conjointement par les membres de la communauté acadienne et francophone et le ministère de l’Éducation et du Développement de la petite enfance (MEDPE) pour répondre aux besoins de l’éducation de langue française au Nouveau-Brunswick. Le concept de laboratoire d’innovation sociale a été vu comme l’outil idéal pour relever les défis complexes qu’implique la mise en œuvre de la PALC et offrir à la soixantaine de partenaires qui y sont engagés une démarche de collaboration innovante pour développer des solutions créatives.

Le premier cycle de Labo Créons la suite a porté sur l’engagement citoyen des jeunes. Cette problématique est très présente dans la PALC comme dans les principaux documents d’orientation du MEDPE. La question d’invitation de ce qu’on a appelé Labo Jeunes engagé.e.s était : comment pourrions-nous favoriser le cheminement des jeunes comme citoyennes et citoyens engagés et ouverts sur le monde ?

Les 24 participants au laboratoire étaient d’âges et de secteurs diversifiées. Ces personnes ont identifié 4 différents aspects de l’engagement citoyen des jeunes et se sont répartis en 4 équipes pour les approfondir. Il s’agissait de :

  • L’éducation au cœur de l’engagement
  • Engagement envers la francophonie
  • Engagement fort par la diversité
  • Authenticité et représentativité — engagement effectif

À l’issue du Labo Jeunes engagé.e.s chaque équipe a élaboré un prototype de solution. Des démarches sont en cours pour voir à leur mise à l’essai.

3:00 pm BREAK

Location: Pointe-Sainte Anne Foyer

3:30 pm Keynote V: Countering the digital consensus – where to automate government and where to avoid it?

Presenter: Bianca Wylie
Location: Pointe Sainte-Anne C

In a time where governments must respond to slow economic growth, three human forces – democracy, technology, and capitalism – are on a crash course with autonomy, choice, and freedom. Existing government technology policy, which amounts to a regulatory vacuum, has enabled technology to have outsize influence on social norms. And while governments can take technology back to be used as a tool for democracy, the window to do so is growing ever smaller. What should be automated in the delivery of public service and where should human decision-making be mandated? How can government build up its technical capacity and power? And how does public trust in government impact the role of the state in this new policy era?

4:30 pm Closing Remarks & Call To Action

Location: Pointe Sainte-Anne C
Thank you