Engaging the New Government

The CBC has reported that the country has been quivering with anticipation as Prime Minister-designate Trudeau prepares assume power and announce his new cabinet today. November 4th will mark the introduction of what is reported to be the most diverse and regionally representative in Canadian history.

After a near decade long hibernation spent deep in wilderness of the opposition benches, the Trudeau Liberals have emerged as Canada’s government. The Prime Minister will announce his cabinet and a renewed approach to governing the country, including a series of campaign promises and policy issues that will take on the immediate agenda for the government.  Keeping in mind of course that the Liberals have been out of office since before Apple’s App Store went live; social media was just in its infancy, and everything went wrong with the economy in 2009.

Experience counts for a lot in government, but it isn’t everything. After a decisive 2015 election victory, Mr. Trudeau had a strong supporting cast from which to choose his closest elected advisors, some of whom have previously held cabinet positions or senior roles in the private sector. Reputation and resumes aside, the learning curve for a federal minister is substantial and unrelenting.

As a stakeholder, you have both an opportunity and an obligation to your constituencies to ensure your advocacy and lobbying efforts are in motion. First impressions are critical as new ministers looking for the quick wins, friendly faces and good counsel. Ministers and their staff will be briefed for numerous hours a day and want to know what your key issues are, what events you have and most importantly what support you are looking for.

A change in government doesn’t entirely wipe the slate clean, as federal bureaucrats do tend to have long institutional memories. However this does provide you with a new opportunity to create new momentum for your organization to build relationships, educate and influence the development of public policy under the Trudeau banner.

The question for you, your organization and your sector is whether or not you are prepared? Do you have a plan in place and the knowledge of process and protocol to actively engage a new government and ensure not only that your voice is heard, but that you are able to become a key influencer of government policy, one that ensures an optimal operating environment.

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