Restoring Trust and Integrity in Our Institutions

By George, Rick | Canadian Speeches, May-June 2003 | Go to article overview

Restoring Trust and Integrity in Our Institutions


George, Rick, Canadian Speeches


Improvements in transparency, participation and accountability are urged to regain trust and confidence in the public and private sector institutions that "make Canada the best place in the world to live." Speech as co-host of the Public Policy Forum 16th annual testimonial dinner, Toronto, April 10, 2003.

In 1997, the Public Policy Forum was established as a neutral venue where representatives of the public and private sectors could meet to learn and share ideas. Sixteen years later, the founding group of eight has grown to more than 150 sponsoring members, who play a key role in examining how public policy is developed in Canada.

The Public Policy Forum is unusual -- perhaps unique -- in that it does not seek to promote any specific view on policy issues. The Public Policy Forum is not focused on outcomes. Instead, it is focused on the idea that good policy -- good governance -- comes from the quality of the processes, and people, that drive policy development.

In this time of seriously diminished public trust in our institutions, this focus on the integrity of the processes and the people that manage them is more important than ever. And this is true whether we are speaking of private sector institutions -- the corporations and businesses that drive economic prosperity -- or public sector institutions -- the governments and agencies that serve the social needs and well-being of our citizens.

Why has the public's trust diminished? Many observers suggest the root cause lie in leadership placing too much emphasis on short-term results. As the CEO of a large corporation in Canada's most capital-intensive industry, I know only too well that the stock market's demand for immediate results is difficult to reconcile with long-term vision. But when critical decisions are based solely on near-term horizons, it's more than just poor management. It's an abuse of the trust shareholders place in corporate leaders to generate value in the long term.

The sometimes myopic focus on the short term is also an issue for our public institutions -- institutions in which all Canadians are shareholders. Our elected officials and senior policy makers often seem too focused on the next opinion poll or the next headline, instead of focusing on meeting Canada's needs for the next year or the next generation. When considering issues of critical importance to Canada, our public leaders must do a better job of understanding the long-term impact of their decisions. To regain public trust and confidence, they must construct balanced policies that truly serve Canada's future, not just political expediency.

We can't legislate the need for long-term vision. But we can guide our institutions toward that goal by joining the Public Policy Forum in focusing attention on the inputs that will get us there. I would like -- briefly -- to suggest three areas where we can work to make improvements: transparency, participation and accountability.

In terms of transparency, integrity, like justice, must not just exist -- it must be seen to exist. For the leaders of corporate Canada this means we must ensure investors have confidence in our governance practices and reporting. We can do that by pursuing best practices in corporate disclosure -- by explaining our business and operating results in a timely fashion and in language written for shareholders, not lawyers and accountants. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Restoring Trust and Integrity in Our Institutions
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.