FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
“Let’s talk… Social Cohesion in New Brunswick” sheds light on our new framework, in which all our actions are now part. It is on this basis that we will now officially begin the strategic phase of our mandate, continuously measuring social cohesion in New Brunswick (in a constantly evolving context), and providing ever more focused and innovative solutions to make New Brunswick a leader in the area of social cohesion, at both the national and international levels. This report is therefore part of our mission to act in the best interest of all New Brunswickers.
Why did you choose to make it public?
Transparency is one of our core values. Convinced that social cohesion is everyone’s business, we publicly inform of our broad directions, and invite all levels of government, economic actors, non-profit organizations, public organisms, corporations and all New Brunswickers to join our movement and work with us. Together, social cohesion will grow within the province!
In what context and how was this framework built?
In June 2018, when we chose to expand our mandate to develop social cohesion in New Brunswick, we had to rethink our framework. For a year, in regular working sessions, our 5 Experts-in-Residence shared their ressources with us, and led our attention to the development of social cohesion in New Brunswick from different perspectives. This substantive work has allowed us to better identify the points on which to act as a priority, to clarify our methods (we will rely in particular on the GBA+ and the Social Cohesion Radar – read the details below), and to identify the new stakeholders. Today, we are ready to begin the strategic phase of our mandate.
What expertise did you rely on?
Five Experts-in-Residence, representing each of New Brunswick’s cultural communities, and living in different regions, guided us in the development of our new framework:
– Reem Fayyad: Researcher and analyst in health, advocate for equity, community development, diversity, women and children’s well-being.
– DJ Joseph: Elsipogtog’s Nation Administrator. (DJ Joseph is Mi’kmaq)
– Kim Nash-McKinley: Director of Economic Development for The Saint Mary’s First Nation. (Kim Nash-McKinley is Maliseet)
– Stephany Peterson: PhD Candidate, Interdisciplinary Studies
– Mathieu Wade: PhD in Sociology
What is GBA+, to which you refer to on page 14?
GBA+ is an analytical process used to assess how diverse groups of women, men and non-binary people may potentially be affected by policies, programs and initiatives. The “plus” in GBA+ acknowledges that GBA goes beyond biological (sex) and socio-cultural (gender) differences. We all have multiple identity factors that intersect to make us who we are; GBA+ also considers many other identity factors, like race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability (1).
Applied to the work of Dialogue NB, this system will help us to investigate how various policies and initiatives impact the everyday lives of Canadians, by taking into consideration all the identity factors ; we will be able to provide some valuable context to help balance resources for individuals, communities, and the province of New Brunswick as a whole.
Intersectionality : image illustrating some of the identity factors considered in GBA+. Source: Graphic produced by the five Experts-in-Residence, based on the model presented by Status of Women Canada.
What is the Social Cohesion Radar?
The Social Cohesion Radar measures three dimensions of a socially cohesive society (social relations, connectedness, and the focus on the common good), referring to different indicators.
Dialogue NB’s Experts-in-Residency panel from 2018-19 have adopted the Social Cohesion Radar as the framework for developing a provincial strategy. Source : Graphic produced by the 5 Experts-in-Residence,based on the model presented by the Bertelsmann-Stiftung Institute.
This year, how have you optimized your actions to support your reflexions?
We set out to work like a start-up organization, building on the research conducted by our five Experts-in-Residence, but also on the evidence. Through a systematic process of innovation, we interviewed 200 people across the province to understand their needs in terms of social cohesion. We have also prototyped our programs, enriching them with models suggested by our Experts-in-Residence. This monitoring work combined with our experiments has already allowed us to adjust some of our actions to the current realities of New Brunswick, including the “Dialogue Schools” programs (formerly called “My Friend Dialogue”), and the “Social Cohesion Lab for Youth”, and “Dialogue Communities.”
Dialogue NB is now beginning a strategic phase. What are your priorities?
Our in-depth work has allowed us to identify many of the challenges at the heart of New Brunswick’s development of social cohesion, including disparities between urban and rural communities, population growth, feelings of disconnection, acceptance of diversity as a source of strength, concrete implementation of the 94 recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada… These are all priorities that we intend to address methodally, following five strategic guidelines :
- The celebration of diversity and the bridging of differences is primordial to our mission.
- Dialogue NB’s role must include building and leveraging relationships with existing organizations to create and support resources that will help in the development and realization of programs and initiatives that build and sustain all aspects of social cohesion.
- Linguistic pluralism is a durable characteristic within New Brunswick; this includes not only English and French but Indigenous languages as well. Celebrating this image of the province is not only desirable, but necessary.
- An added level of support is needed for low-income families/individuals, the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities, and First People communities (2).
- Finally, Dialogue NB must advocate for a better understanding of the following three dimensions:
- Acceptance of diversity: The ultimate goal of this domain is for us to accept and respect others as a whole with potentially differing values, beliefs, and identities.
- Perceptions of fairness: Perception is highly personal, but the intention behind this goal is to have everyone feel and believe that they are treated equally, and that social resources are balanced and objectively distributed.
- Respect for social rules: Each of us has a responsibility to each other, and this domain seeks to ensure all of us understand, accept, and follow the social rules which have been enacted in order to ensure we are safe, accountable, and protected within the fabric of society.
As for our experts’ analysis, these three dimensions were identified as needing special attention across the province. These three areas are part of the social cohesion model chosen by our experts. For further clarification, please see the graphic on page 15.
Dialogue NB will use the GBA+ certification to guide all our initiatives in a way that reflects our local context. All of those affiliated with our organization are urged to undergo Gender-Based Analysis+ certification.
What echo will Dialogue New Brunswick give to the 94 call to actions of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada report?
Dialogue NB is dedicated to lobbying New Brunswick as a measure of support for indigenous-led organizations in their efforts to address the 94 calls to action proposed in the TRC report. Part of this advocacy includes a commitment to building respectful relationships, promoting cultural training, and professional awareness campaigns.
What are the challenges of development gaps between rural areas and large urban centers? What solutions do you plan to bring to reduce this division?
In the past few decades, movement from rural areas to our province’s main urban centers has created an uneven development. While some places have enjoyed sustained growth, others are facing decline. Dialogue NB supports all efforts structured towards bridging these gaps. New Brunswick cannot afford to aim all its focus on the major cities without accepting and promoting the value of its other regions. If we want growth across the province, we must fertilize the entirety of its land. A socially cohesive plan demands an understanding and acceptance of this overlooked but basic fact.
Is the residence of the five Experts-en-Residence complete?
Our five Experts-in-Residence have fulfilled their mission perfectly by carrying out an advanced and enlightening research, and proposing concrete tools. Their residency is now complete.
How do I get a printed version of the report?
We invite you to contact us
– by phone at 506-852-4494 (or toll-free: 1-866-224-4040)
– by email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
– or at the following address:
Dialogue New Brunswick
202-735 Main Street
New Brunswick E1C 1E5 Canada
Please include your address, and the number of copies you wish to receive in French and/or English.
- Source: Status of Women Canada
- Terminology proposed by our First Nations Experts-in-Residence