With recent elections in Ontario and Alberta, along with ongoing challenges to Catholic education in Canada, the national landscape has shifted dramatically in the last year. Dr. Robert Murray, Managing Director of the Government Affairs and Public Policy Practice Group at Dentons Canada LLP, will be explaining what that means for educators at all levels and what we can learn from these national trends in his presentation entitled The Politics of Catholic Education in Canada.
“It’s important for trustees and administrators across the country to make sure that they recognize that local decisions are never simply local,” says Dr. Murray. “They can have both provincial and potentially national consequences.”
Dr. Murray’s presentation will help attendees see the parallels and connections between seemingly disparate things going on across the country. He says it can be easy for individual school boards to assume that they are the only ones dealing with an issue, when that’s almost certainly not true.
“Catholic education is very much a pan-Canadian gift, but that means that there are some pan-Canadian threats to it,” he explains. “So being able to understand how some of those threats and opportunities manifest themselves in individual provinces and exploring what we can learn from that across the country, I think will be valuable.”
Dr. Murray says that by learning how to identify these various threats and opportunities to Catholic education, advocates will be better able to mitigate the threats and seize the opportunities. It all comes down to seeing the bigger picture.
“When you are able to understand some of the broader national political and policy trends that are affecting and will be affecting education in the future, you will be better equipped to make decisions at the board table and at the local level,” he says.
Dr. Murray Biography
Dr. Bob Murray is Managing Director of the Government Affairs and Public Policy Practice Group at Dentons Canada LLP. His Dentons practice focuses mainly on strategic counsel, planning and development, risk analysis and mitigation, crisis and issues management, public policy development and analysis, organizational change and reorganization, and government affairs. He has advised both public and private sector clients across a variety of sectors including Education, Economic Development, International and Internal Trade, Energy, Advanced Education, Forestry, Environment, Municipal Affairs, Transportation, Intergovernmental Affairs, Labour and Employment, International Organizations, and Corporate. He has held executive-level positions in the economic development, think-tank and education sectors, and has served as a university faculty member at multiple Canadian universities.