British Columbia led the way with a citizens’ assembly in 2004, a deliberative method which has been deeply influential among deliberative democrats. In 2006 a similar process, the Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform was undertaken in Ontario.
Peter MacLeod was part of the secretariat that oversaw the Students’ Assembly on Electoral Reform which ran alongside the Ontario Citizens’ Assembly and whose findings were presented to the Citizens’ Assembly.
Peter has applied the principles of those democratic innovations to make it a routine occurrence in Canada. He’s done this through his efforts with MASS LBP over the past decade, using civic lotteries and long-form deliberations, among other methods.
Peter offers a model for working closely with the public sector and everyday people in constructive ways. This particular episode would resonate for those charged with the difficult task of overseeing government decisions.
Fran Peavey’s Listening Post
Peter MacLeod is the co-founder and Principal of MASS LBP, and one of Canada’s leading experts in public engagement and deliberative democracy. Since its founding in 2007, MASS has completed more than 200 major policy projects for governments and public agencies across Canada while pioneering the use of Civic Lotteries and Citizen Reference Panels and earning international recognition for its work.
Peter frequently writes and speaks about the citizen’s experience of the state, the importance of public imagination, and the future of responsible government.
A graduate of the University of Toronto and Queen’s University, he is an Action Canada fellow (2003) and a recipient of the Public Policy Forum’s Emerging Leaders Award (2008). In 2013, he launched Wagemark, the first international wage certification standard aimed at reducing workplace pay disparities while promoting corporate competitiveness. He was also appointed to serve on the Ontario government’s open government task force. He is the past chair of Toronto’s Wellesley Institute for Urban Health, and currently serves on the boards of Tides Canada, an environmental charity, as well as the Environics Institute and the YMCA of Greater Toronto. He is also an adjunct lecturer at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.