Media Releases

Being in the Public Service — Then and Now presentation

November 26, 2012

TORONTO, ON — “Being in the Pub­lic Ser­vice: Then and Now” is the third in the Gov­er­nance in Toron­to series pre­sent­ed by Cities Cen­tre at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to. Each event in the series pairs pre­sen­ta­tions by a prac­ti­tion­er and an aca­d­e­m­ic, and allows gen­er­ous time for audi­ence-led ques­tions, dis­cus­sion and debate fol­low­ing the pre­sen­ta­tions.


WHAT: Being in the Pub­lic Ser­vice — Then and Now

WHEN: Tues­day, Novem­ber 27, 2012  6:30–8:30pm

WHERE: FitzGer­ald Build­ing, 150 Col­lege Street, Room 103, Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to

What is the role of the pub­lic ser­vice? Has amal­ga­ma­tion changed Toronto’s pub­lic ser­vice, and if so, how? What are the struc­tures and rela­tion­ships of our pub­lic ser­vice? How have they changed over time, and why? These are a few of the ques­tions the forum will exam­ine

The pre­sent­ing speak­ers will be Ceta Ramkha­lawans­ingh, for­mer City of Toron­to pub­lic ser­vant, and Pro­fes­sor Mar­tin Horak. Audi­ence and pan­el dis­cus­sion, mod­er­at­ed by Richard Stren, will fol­low the pre­sen­ta­tions.

Ms. Ramkha­lawans­ingh will trace the chang­ing “tug-of-war” in rela­tions among senior City staff, elect­ed offi­cials, the media, and the pub­lic.

The Toron­to pub­lic ser­vice is charged with devel­op­ing and admin­is­ter­ing long-range pol­i­cy.  Pro­fes­sor Horak will address chal­lenges to this process, such as the effects of amal­ga­ma­tion and an unsta­ble coun­cil.

The Gov­er­nance in Toron­to lec­ture series seeks to clar­i­fy the for­mal and infor­mal ways in which large and present­ly under­uti­lized oppor­tu­ni­ties for improve­ment in gov­er­nance exist in Toron­to.

Ceta Ramkha­lawans­ingh came to Cana­da in 1967 with her fam­i­ly from Trinidad and Toba­go. Before join­ing the Toron­to Pub­lic Ser­vice where she worked for three decades man­ag­ing diver­si­ty and human rights pro­grams, she was and con­tin­ues to be a cit­i­zen activist on land use and her­itage con­ser­va­tion issues, an aca­d­e­m­ic, author, researcher and pol­i­cy ana­lyst. She has been engaged in local, provin­cial, nation­al and inter­na­tion­al endeav­ours on social jus­tice issues and has served on the boards of sev­er­al NGOs.

Ceta has con­tributed to sev­er­al books and jour­nals and has received many awards includ­ing the New Pio­neers Award (1999) and U of T’s Arbor Award (2000). In 2002 she became an Hon­ourary Mem­ber of U of T’s Women and Gen­der Stud­ies Insti­tute (2002) to recog­nise her role in estab­lish­ing the Women’s Stud­ies Pro­gram. She holds U of T degrees and diplo­mas at the grad­u­ate and under­grad­u­ate lev­el.

Mar­tin Horak is Asso­ciate Pro­fes­sor of Polit­i­cal Sci­ence and Direc­tor of the Local Gov­ern­ment Pro­gram at the Uni­ver­si­ty of West­ern Ontario. His book, Gov­ern­ing the Post-com­mu­nist City: Insti­tu­tions and Demo­c­ra­t­ic Devel­op­ment in Prague, won the Amer­i­can Polit­i­cal Sci­ence Association’s prize for best book in urban pol­i­tics. He has pub­lished work on a num­ber of aspects of pol­i­tics in Toron­to, includ­ing amal­ga­ma­tion and mul­ti­level pol­i­cy­mak­ing. His cur­rent work focus­es on the com­par­a­tive study of mul­ti­level pol­i­tics in a num­ber of fields, includ­ing neigh­bour­hood pover­ty and urban trans­porta­tion.

Mod­er­a­tor Richard Stren is Inter­im Direc­tor of Cities Cen­tre and Pro­fes­sor Emer­i­tus of Polit­i­cal Sci­ence and Pub­lic Pol­i­cy, Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to.

RSVPs are request­ed at


For more infor­ma­tion or for media RSVP, con­tact:

Richard Stren, Inter­im Direc­tor
Cities Cen­tre
Pro­fes­sor of Polit­i­cal Sci­ence and Pub­lic Pol­i­cy
Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to
Tel: (416) 978‑0350
Cell: (416) 817‑1330