Forum › Forum › Questions for candidates / Questions pour les candidat·e·s › How will you ensure transparency and enable member participation at/in CIRA? › Reply To: How will you ensure transparency and enable member participation at/in CIRA?
MemberSeptember 23, 2023 at 7:13 pm
This is a great question, Daniel and thanks for raising it, as it is a critical matter that certainly resonates with many and is only gaining in importance (as we see around the world, including Canada). The importance of fostering genuine transparency and member participation cannot be overemphasized, especially in an era where the truth often finds itself at odds with speculation. I do like the ability to engage in a forum like this to see and absorb other responses to the questions.
Shaheen, I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiment on having a comprehensive stakeholder engagement plan. It’s vital for CIRA to establish a roadmap that is inclusive of not just its members but also its myriad other stakeholders, such as government entities, indigenous communities, and partners. It is my belief that a transparent organization doesn’t merely communicate its actions but the rationale and considerations behind them.
Addressing Alex’s concerns, it’s evident there’s a gap between CIRA’s practices and members’ expectations, especially regarding member-to-member communication. The concerns raised about the barriers, perceived or real, to accessing member lists underscores the very challenge we face. The juxtaposition of a fee as both cost recovery and a charitable opportunity certainly muddies the waters. If transparency and engagement are our true north, then such practices require re-evaluation. We must ensure that processes are transparent, fair, and in genuine service to member engagement, not to inhibit it.
I have been on a journey over my lifetime from when engagement meant an organization tells folks what is going to happen, writes down the comments, and then does what they were going to do anyway to today when many (indeed maybe not even the majority) of organizations truly want to engage. Engagement isn’t just about listening; it’s about fostering an environment where dialogue is free-flowing and feedback, even when critical, is not just accepted but actively sought. If there’s a perception, as Alex noted, that stakeholder engagement is unwelcome because of potential dissent or pushback, then that’s a culture issue we need to address head-on. This does add complexity, and it has to be balanced with continuing to progress, as no decision or action will satisfy everyone.
To stop my stream of consciousness and to get back to Daniel’s original query, my commitment is straightforward: I intend to champion an era of open dialogue. I aim to promote a culture where decisions are transparent, members feel valued, and every voice, whether in agreement or dissent, is heard and respected. If there’s a lingering sentiment of mistrust or disconnect, it’s a call to action for us to bridge that gap, not widen it.