Presentation on theme: "Erin Tolley Metropolis Project 8 th National Metropolis Conference Vancouver, British Columbia 25 March 2006 The opinions expressed here are those of the."— Presentation transcript:
Erin Tolley Metropolis Project 8 th National Metropolis Conference Vancouver, British Columbia 25 March 2006 The opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Metropolis, Citizenship and Immigration or the Government of Canada. We See Diversity, But Is It Really Represented?
Overview Comparative project Elected officials at three levels of government in 11 Canadian cities Key questions: –Do elected officials mirror the population? –Any explanations? Patterns? –And why might it matter?
Patterns Observed Not a mirror on the population Under-representation of ethnic and racial minorities, women, non-Christian religions, young people, blue collar backgrounds Elected officials have lived in communities longer than general popn and tend to identify more frequently with a religion; European heritage, well-educated
Three Categories of Possible Explanations Social, economic and human capital (eg. money, networks, education) Numbers, time and space (eg. critical mass, residential concentration) Processes and systems (eg. institutional barriers)
Our Strangely Successful Capital Ottawa is a case study of a strangely successful city Profile of elected officials is not representative of the general population And yet, policies are generally inclusive and responsive to diversity
Diversity in Ottawa Immigrants19% Visible minorities18% Aboriginal1% Christian72% Muslim5% Non-official language as mother tongue 20% Figures expressed as a percentage of the population. Source: 2001 Census
Diversity in Ottawa (contd) Ethnicity % of popn (2001) % change (1996-2001) Canadian3537 English24-13 French21-8 Chinese444 Filipino135 Russian134 East Indian222 Source: 2001 Census
Elected Officials in Ottawa 38 elected officials in Ottawa at three levels of government Numerical under-representation of most groups: women, immigrants, visible minorities, Aboriginals, religious minorities
Elected Officials (contd) 11% immigrants (compared to 19% in general population) 3% visible minority (compared to 18%) 22% women (compared to 51%) None of non-Christian faith (compared to 8%) 7% with no religious affiliation (compared to 15%) Ethnicity largely consistent with patterns in general population
Elected Officials (contd) Well-educated; almost all have a university degree Most have lived in Ottawa for at least 15-20 years 62% have prior electoral experience
So Why Strangely Successful? Policy record is better than profile of elected officials might suggest Number of initiatives to ensure diverse viewpoints included. For example: Equity and Diversity Advisory Committee Community and Police Action Committee Ottawa 20/20 consultations Employment equity and audit
And Does Representation Really Matter Then? Of course it does! Democratic and legislative imperatives Pragmatic reasons too (eg. improved / more efficient decisions, increased buy-in, decreased apathy / civil unrest, promotion of Canadian model)