‘I worry about this’: Trudeau’s move to dissolve Indigenous affairs department prompts concern

While those closer to Indigenous issues are better placed to comment on the substance of the issues, some thoughts from a machinery of government perspective.

  • Changing machinery (i.e., splitting up departments or joining them together) should never be undertaken lightly;
  • In one sense, it is the ‘nuclear’ option to be used when other efforts have failed;
  • While the enabling legislation will have its challenges, the main challenge will lie in the various operational details that follow: organizational, staffing, and resources (as I know from my experience at Service Canada 2004-7 and the transfer of the Multiculturalism Program to then CIC in 2008);
  • These take time and do not necessarily bring out the best in people (e.g., the splitting apart of Trade from Foreign Affairs under the Martin government was particularly toxic);
  • It will be interesting to watch for any changes to the current deputies and associates within the next few months to a year;
  • Given all of the above, and that concrete results are unlikely in the short-term given the degree of internal issues involved, the government is planning already for a second-term.

The basic logic of having a separate services delivery organization makes sense, as service and implementation issues typically are given short shrift in an overall policy development culture:

Source: ‘I worry about this’: Trudeau’s move to dissolve Indigenous affairs department prompts concern – Politics – CBC News

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