Two Years In

1 - On Friday June, 26, 2015 I sat on a panel organized by Pearson Center to discuss the future of the Canadian Public Service. This day also marked two years of living in Ottawa for me. This was possibly a very meaningful way of celebrating the second anniversary of stepping out of the lows and holding on to high hopes for me. I moved to Ottawa with a bunch of wishful thinking about doing what I know I am made to do: to create, to speak up and to connect the under-recognized to the upper-hand and the holders of values. To become one with the highs, and never forget I am one of “the others” who go through thick and thin in a quest for recognition. Plus, I had never lived in any Canadian city more than two years. I passed that threshold. As a non-Canadian, I sat there and as I made my internationally influenced points about which direction I believe the Canadian public service should move towards, I realized my gratefulness for the opportunity, and for having come to have the honor of sitting among the great people who unconditionally “include” me and my “diverse” thinking into high profile forums as such, makes me even more proud of where I come from and what I bring to the table.

2 - In my main presentation and in relation to my doctoral subject of interest which is student mobility and its relation to Canadian citizenship, I mentioned how realization of socio-economic issues that foreign students face after graduating from Canadian academic institutions inspired me to write a dissertation in the hope of making a change in public policy. In essence, issues of un- and under-employment are not exclusive to immigrants and foreign students. Youth in general are facing high unemployment rates especially after the 2008 recession (13% and higher), and now 20% of Canadians are foreign born; we’re all in this together. Theoretically, the era of globalization has introduced many challenges to the function of what we know as “the state”. By situating Canada’s public service within the context of globalization we see that, retaining the traditional/capitalist role and inclination towards nationalistic values distances the state from its citizens (despite that there is presumably a democratic system in place, the state could have a very top down function). With magnifying security threats, there is a higher chance that a well written democracy can turn into a police state.

3 - Below, and in response to one of the comments, I am emphasizing how digitization of services and ease of access should not disintegrate the public from the government and rather, it should help to create more horizontal lines between the two. This is essentially the global transformation of the state according to the will of the people as it approaches them, not as “citizen – subjects” but “citizen – consumers” and “commentators”. This way the state responds to their requirements and demands (democratically). This not only encourages public's demand for change but also entails quicker implementation of progressive ideas from the side of public servants who are actually the closest arm of the state to people.