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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
July 4, 2015

Canadian Excellence

The Evolution Of Government Communications In Canada

The Public Affairs Bureau of the Government of Albertahas been the subject of a great deal of scrutiny by both politicians, journalists and scholars. I am interested in the evolution of this organization within the Government of Alberta from a scholarly perspective, trying to understand its historical evolution and what this says about both Alberta politics in the particular and patterns of political communication and representation in Canada in genera. The base of this research project is my thesis completed at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario under the supervision of Dr. Jonathan Rose. While publications from this thesis are forthcoming, one of the more substantial findings from my thesis is presented in this paper, presented at the 2009 meeting of the Canadian Political Science Association. I found that one of the causal forces that contributed to a decision by the Klein government to adopt a more sophisticated and centralized form of government communications was the increasing demands by citizens and social movements for increased transparency and participation in the political process. Accommodating these demands without jeopardizing the government's policy agenda required a strong and centralized public relations bureaucracy to manage these systems of participation.

The first paper from this project has been accepted, pending revisions, for publication in Canadian Public Administration in March 2014.