Status of Women Canada Consultations

Discussion Paper on Approaches to Consultation

September 15, 1997

Dear Friend:

During national and regional consultations in 1996, Status of Women Canada (SWC) made a commitment to develop a policy on consultation. I believe that consultation is essential to the public policy process in Canada. Policy-makers need to hear the opinions, concerns and suggestions of Canadians before they take decisions. And, for me, consultation provides a direct link to the ideas and concerns of the women of Canada, and is an important tool for my discussions with my Cabinet colleagues on public policy issues affecting women.

SWC has developed the enclosed Discussion Paper on Approaches to Consultation, which outlines our proposed policy on consultation, including the 13 key principles, methods, constraints and follow-up.

This Discussion Paper reflects feedback from the 1996 consultations, input from a Task Group comprising a cross-section of representatives of women's and other equality-seeking organizations, researchers and research organizations and other federal government departments with experience in national and regional consultations. It also reflects discussion within SWC, which focused on ensuring that the commitments we make in our policy on consultation are realistic.

We now believe that we have the basis of a good, solid consultations policy. It is being sent to you and over 2,000 other individuals and organizations across Canada for comment by November 14, 1997. At that time, all input will be reviewed, analyzed and, where appropriate, incorporated into the final SWC Consultation Policy which will be sent to you this fall.

I encourage you to take the time to review this Discussion Paper, as this policy will be an important guide for SWC as it organizes and evaluates consultation events. I will also be sharing SWC's policy with my colleagues as I encourage them to consult with women in their policy work.

Yours sincerely,

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Last updated: sep 18 1997