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Book Review

Invenire Books

Invenire Books

by Various Authors

coverWho do we think we are: Canada’s reasonable (and less reasonable) accommodation debates

by Robin Higham 

A readable and entertaining short-course for ordinary citizens, non-experts who want to participate in the national conversations about the challenges and opportunities generated by the arrival in Canada of so many newcomers. The characters in these twelve contrived discussions discover a uniquely Canadian modus-vivendi that keeps us negotiating and accommodating rather than deciding and excluding. They propose an updating of the model in order to keep the file on the identity question open and active and to ensure continued debate about who we think we are. Can we hold it all together while they talk about it?




Meet the Cast of Characters

Chapter 1. Diversity: You can run but you can’t hide

Chapter 2. Accommodation: so what is your problem?

Chapter 3. Our home-grown myths

Chapter 4. The international scene

Chapter 5. Some characteristics of some Canadians some of the time

Chapter 6. Citizenship and ranking loyalties

Chapter 7. Canada’s Model C

Chapter 8. Blocking reasonable accommodation

Chapter 9. Identity neurosis? Just change channels

Chapter 10. But what if we’ve got it right?

Chapter 11. Fine tuning Model C

Chapter 12. Negotiating the non-negotiables: The file that never closes

Chapter 13. Afterthoughts in a sports bar

End-Note: Three Canada-EU Diversity Conferences


coverProfession: public servant

by Ruth Hubbard

Profession: public servant offers glimpses into the federal government’s corridors of power during a decade of profound change and underscores the importance of learning for individuals, groups, and organizations in today’s fast-paced world. It sets out a former deputy minister’s take on the ‘burden of office’ of the role and on the difficulties of staying out of one ditch – excessive concern with safeguarding a few key principles – without sliding into another – being too anxious to please or too tempted to put personal interests first. The story emphasizes the constructive contribution of experience and imagination, especially when it is enriched by on-the-job reflection.





  1. Camelot: joining the profession

  2. Treasury Board Secretariat and the Foreign Investment Review Agency / Investment Canada (1977-1984)

  3. Good luck: the right person in the right place at the right time

  4. Customs and Excise (1988-1992)

  5. Bad luck: the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time

  6. Canada Employment & Immigration Commission, Supply and Service Canada and the Royal Canadian Mint (1992-1994)

  7. Between a rock and a hard place: could it ever have worked? 

  8. Public Service Commission of Canada and transition (1994-2000)

  9. Conclusion

Annex 1. The “Way Forward” proposal of the Public Service Commission 

Annex 2. What makes a good deputy minister?

Glossary, abbreviations and terms

cover3Scheming virtuously: the road to collaborative governance

by Gilles Paquet

Scheming virtuously is an invitation to subversion, but also a somewhat personal account of the displacement of the dominant governing regime (Big-G centralized government) by small-g collaborative governance, in a world where power, resources and information are widely distributed. In this new world, the citizen’s burden of office is clear: to be a producer of governance. Scheming virtuously is the order of the day – active engagement, imaginative problem-reframing, astute organizational design, and effective action within the bounds of the appreciative systems in good currency and beyond.



Preamble The genealogy of a manière de voir 

Introduction Foundations 

Part I Early probing 

Chapter 1 Ill-structured problems and experimental intelligence 

Chapter 2 MRI for an arterio-sclerotic socio-economy 

Part II Questioning assumptions 

Chapter 3 State-centricity as dogma

Chapter 4 Solidarity organizations as under-rated option

Chapter 5 Stewardship versus leadership

Part III Sketching and designing 

Chapter 6 Federalism as social technology 

Chapter 7 An informational view of the regulatory process 

Chapter 8 An agenda for change in the federal public service 

Part IV Informational and learning perspectives

Chapter 9 Lamberton’s road to the information and learning economy

Chapter 10 Evolutionary cognitive economics: provisional framework

Conclusion Guideposts on the road to collaborative governance 


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