Camp action démocratie de l’Ontario 2015

April 16th, 2015 by CIVIX

Il y aura plus de 200 enseignants qui se rassembleront à Toronto aujourd’hui et demain afin de participer au Camp action démocratie!

Cette formation professionnelle organisée par CIVIX, aura lieu au Musée royal de l’Ontario ainsi qu’à l’Arcadian Court.  Au cours des deux prochains jours, les enseignants participants auront la chance de développer leurs connaissances du processus électoral, de la recherche faite dans ce domaine et des tendances électorales. De plus,  ils apprendront de nouvelles techniques et de nouveaux outils qui les aideront à mieux enseigner ce qu’est notre démocratie et à motiver un engagement auprès de leurs élèves.  L’objectif est de stimuler l’intérêt politique des enseignants et d’améliorer leur capacité d’exécution du programme Vote étudiant.

Cet événement ne pourrait avoir lieu sans l’appui important d’Élections Canada, du Elemetary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, du Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association, du Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, du Ontario Teachers’ Federation et de la Fondation Trillium de l’Ontario.

Voici un condensé de l’horaire des deux prochains jours : jeudi soir, Althia Raj, dirigera une tribune pluri-partis sur la politique fédérale suivie d’une discussion animée avec les commentateurs politiques Amanda Alvaro, Robin MacLachlan et Stockwell Day.  Le lendemain nous aurons un aperçu  du fonctionnement des  campagnes électorales où  Kathleen Monk, Jaime Watt et David Herle partageront leurs avis d’expert, le tout animé par Desmond Cole.  Des présentations de la Boussole électorale,  Samara,  Abacus Data et de Twitter Canada auront également lieu. 

CIVIX a coordonné des programmes du Vote étudiant en Ontario pour les quatre dernières élections fédérales, les quatre dernières élections provinciales ainsi que pour deux élections municipales (dont celle de l’automne 2014).  Au cours de la dernière élection provinciale ontarienne, plus de 170 000 étudiants ont voté des 1 300 écoles participantes.

Le premier Camp action démocratie en Ontario a eu lieu en avril 2011. Vous pouvez visualiser des vidéos des diverses présentations en cliquant ici ou regarder un récapitulatif de la conférence ci-dessous (en anglais seulement) :

Suivez nous à @CIVIX_Canada et @voteetudiant et partez une conversation à #DemocracyBootcamp.

Pour plus d’information, n’hésitez pas à nous contacter à salut@civix.ca.

 

Posted in French, Nouvelles | Leave Comments »

Democracy Bootcamp Ontario 2015

April 16th, 2015 by Dan Allan

More than 200 educators from across Ontario are set to gather in Toronto today and tomorrow for Democracy Bootcamp!

Hosted by CIVIX at the Royal Ontario Museum and the Arcadian Court, Democracy Bootcamp will cover the basics of elections, voting research and trends, and techniques and tools to educate and engage students in our democracy. The conference is intended to improve the political knowledge, interest, and instructional capacity of classroom teachers, and enhance their delivery of the Student Vote program.

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Democracy Bootcamp is made possible with support from Elections Canada, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, the Ontario Teachers’ Federation and the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

The schedule for the two-day event includes an all-party forum on federal politics hosted by Althia Raj, a pundits panel featuring Amanda Alvaro, Robin MacLachlan and Stockwell Day, and an insider’s look at election campaigns hosted by Desmond Cole and featuring Kathleen Monk, Jaime Watt and David Herle. Additional discussions will feature Vote Compass, Samara Canada, Abacus Data and Twitter Canada.

CIVIX has organized Student Vote projects in Ontario during the last four federal and four provincial elections, as well as two municipal and school board elections (including the most recent municipal and school board elections in the fall of 2014). During last year’s provincial election, more than 170,000 Student Vote ballots were cast from over 1,300 schools.

A British Columbia Democracy Bootcamp took place in Vancouver in February; photos are available here. Bootcamps in Quebec and Alberta are being planned for later this year.

The first Democracy Bootcamp for Ontario teachers was held in April 2011. Videos of the panels are available here. You can watch a video recap of the event here:

Follow us at @CIVIX_Canada and @studentvote to keep tabs on #DemocracyBootcamp.

Please contact hello@civix.ca for more information.

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International Experiences in Strengthening Budget Literacy: Bringing the Student Budget Consultation to Moscow

April 14th, 2015 by CIVIX

“Hey Paul,” was how the email from my colleague Dan started. “We’re giving a presentation on the Student Budget Consultation to the Russian Ministry of Finance on April 2 via Skype. In the rare chance we needed to get you to Moscow to give the presentation in person, could that be possible?”

Since the beginning of March, I have been working remotely for CIVIX from Geneva, Switzerland. Since CIVIX programs are run exclusively in Canada (for now, at least), I didn’t expect to by flying around Europe to talk about our work. I was completely wrong.

Within a few days of Dan’s initial email, my flights and hotel were booked, and I started working on a presentation and made sure that I knew every little detail about the Student Budget Consultation.

Paul 1

My presentation was part of a workshop organized by the World Bank and the Russian Ministry of Finance, who are currently working together on a pilot project to start teaching budget literacy to high school students in several regions across Russia. The project is still in the early stages, and this workshop was designed to establish goals, priorities and to learn from budget literacy initiatives in other countries. There were about 50 participants in total, which included the Russian Deputy Minister of Finance, World Bank staff, bureaucrats from the ministries of Finance and Education, international experts, representatives from the pilot regions and other education stakeholders.

My presentation was part of a panel on “International Experiences in Strengthening Budget Literacy.” The other presenters were from South Africa and Brazil, as well as from the US and the Netherlands via Skype. In my 30 minute presentation, I talked about the goals of the Student Budget Consultation, shared some of the program videos, looked at parts of the survey and the results of past years, and answered questions from the audience. My presentation was well received, and I think it combined with the other international presentations to give the project leaders a good idea of what is possible and what works in budget literacy initiatives.

One of the common themes of the workshop was the need to create citizen demand for budget information. Even if governments are completely transparent about their budgeting processes, it is meaningless if citizens do not care or cannot understand the information. This is why it is so important for financial literacy programs to be in schools, because they help create informed and engaged citizens who will demand transparency and hold governments to account.

Paul 2

The international component of the workshop also opened my eyes to the interesting work being done in the areas of civic education and budget literacy in other countries. As our work is focused in Canada, it was useful to hear from experiences from countries as diverse as Brazil and South Africa. It was also very interesting to hear about the vast differences between Russian regions, as well as a strong rural-urban divide in the quality of education. Being massive countries with pronounced geographical differences is something that Russia and Canada certainly have in common, and we share the challenge of trying to establish budget literacy curriculum that works for everyone.  

The two day workshop ended on a Friday afternoon, and then I spent the weekend doing some sightseeing in Moscow. It was great to see some of the historical sites while spending time just wandering around the city.

Now I am back in Geneva, but the CIVIX Student Budget Consultation European Spring Tour will continue next month in Warsaw, Poland. Stay tuned!

Paul Anderson
CIVIX European Bureau Chief

Posted in English, Student Budget Consultation | Leave Comments »

Récapitulation hebdomadaire: 10 avril 2015

April 10th, 2015 by CIVIX

Élections à venir

Suite à de nombreux mois de spéculation, le Premier ministre de l’Alberta, Jim Prentice ainsi que le Premier ministre de l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard, Wade MacLaughlan, ont finalement déclenché des élections dans chacune de leur province respective.   Les résidents de l’ÎPE se rendront aux urnes le lundi, 4 mai et les albertains suivront, le mardi, 5 mai.

Vous pouvez suivre la campagne électorale en Alberta sur la page web «  Élections Alberta 2015 » de Radio-Canada,  qui observe de près l’évolution de cette élection provinciale.

 Étant donné le faible taux de participation aux élections depuis les dernières décennies,  Élections Alberta a lancé une campagne multiplateforme pour inciter les jeunes albertains à voter le 5 mai.  Également, les étudiants des écoles élémentaires et secondaires en Alberta et à l’ÎPE auront la chance de voter pour leur candidat local grâce au programme Vote étudiant. Les enseignants peuvent inscrire leurs écoles dès maintenant!

Autres nouvelles électorales

La course à la direction du Parti québecois se poursuit. Informez-vous sur chacun des candidats en lisant leur portrait en ligne.

Les Territoires du Nord-Ouest  ont repoussé la date de leur élection territoriale au 23 novembre 2015.  L’élection était sensée avoir lieu le 5 octobre, en pleine campagne électorale fédérale.

Annonces de retraites et de démissions

Les ministres fédéraux  Christian Paradis et Shelly Glover ont annoncé qu’ils ne se représenteraient pas aux prochaines élections fédérales. Par contre, tous deux continuerons à faire partie du cabinet et à siéger en tant que député jusqu’aux élections en octobre. 

Le député de Lambton-Kent-Middlesex Monte McNaughton a annoncé qu’il se retire de la course à la chefferie du Parti progressiste-conservateur de l’Ontario et appuie désormais Patrick Brown. Ils ne sont plus que deux à se disputer la direction du parti.

Budget fédéral

Le ministre des Finances Joe Oliver, a annoncé mardi que le budget fédéral sera déposé le 21 avril. Il a confirmé qu’il s’agira d’un budget équilibré.

C’est la troisième année consécutive que le programme de Consultation budgétaire auprès des élèves permet aux étudiants des écoles secondaire de partager leurs opinions sur le budget fédéral.  Cette année, plus de 5,500 étudiants de partout au pays ont participé au programme. D’ailleurs, 7 étudiants d’une école de  Brampton et d’Ottawa ont rencontré le Ministre d’État (finance) Kevin Sorenson afin de discuter des résultats préliminaires de la consultation budgétaire étudiante, hier. Ne manquez pas la publication des résultats complets la semaine prochaine!

CIVIX à l’Assemblée Nationale de Québec

Emily Barrette a représenté CIVIX au Colloque sur l’état de santé de la démocratie québécoise et canadienne qui s’est tenu à Québec à l’Assemblée nationale le 8 et 9 avril.  Merci à la Chaire de recherche sur la démocratie et les institutions parlementaires de l’Université Laval d’avoir organisé cet événement et d’y avoir inclus l’éducation civique!

Posted in French, Hebdomadaire Round-Up | Leave Comments »

Weekly Round-Up: April 10, 2015

April 10th, 2015 by Dan Allan

Election dates

After months of speculation, Prince Edward Island Premier Wade MacLauchlan and Alberta Premier Jim Prentice visited their respective lieutenant governors and asked for provincial election calls. PEI will head to the polls on Monday, May 4 and Alberta will follow on Tuesday, May 5.

Who’s running in your riding? Dave Cournoyer has put together a handy Twitter list of Alberta election candidates, and The Guardian has a great interactive map showing PEI candidates. Elementary and high school students in both provinces will have an opportunity to cast ballots for their local candidates through our Student Vote program. Educators can register now.

Other election news

The recent election news has not been limited to just Alberta and PEI. In Nova Scotia, Premier Stephen McNeil rejected a recommendation to implement fixed-election dates, despite a previous promise otherwise. Nova Scotia is currently the only province without fixed election date legislation.

The Northwest Territories election date was officially moved last week to avoid an overlap with the upcoming federal election. The territory was initially set to cast ballots on October 5, just two weeks before the federal vote. NWT voters will now head to the polls on November 23.

Retirements and resignations

On Good Friday, federal cabinet ministers Shelly Glover and Christian Paradis announced that they would not run for re-election this fall. Both will remain in cabinet and stay on as MPs until the election.

The federal Conservative caucus also lost Nanaimo-Alberni MP James Lunney, who resigned to defend his religious beliefs.

Veteran Nova Scotia NDP MLAs Gordie Gosse and Frank Corbett announced last week that they would be leaving politics immediately.

The Ontario PC leadership race is down to just two candidates as Monte McNaughton dropped out and threw his support to Patrick Brown. The party’s new leader will be chosen in May.

The federal budget

Finance Minister Joe Oliver will table the federal budget on April 21, and legislation to ensure balanced budgets will follow shortly thereafter.

For the third year in a row, our Student Budget Consultation program allowed Canadian high school students to share their input on the federal budget. More than 5,500 students representing every province and territory took part this year, and a group of participating students from Brampton and Ottawa discussed the preliminary results with Minister of State (Finance) Kevin Sorenson yesterday. Stay tuned for the full results next week!

For ongoing updates, follow us on Twitter at @CIVIX_Canada.

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Weekly Round-Up: March 27, 2015

March 27th, 2015 by Dan Allan

Each Friday, CIVIX provides a digest of the major events in Canadian politics.

Provincial election speculation

Despite a fixed date next spring, the Alberta government has reportedly been “ramping up” before a snap election call. Premier Jim Prentice addressed the province on Tuesday in advance of yesterday’s provincial budget, the “most radical“Alberta budget since 1994 . The Calgary Herald‘s Don Braid reports that the expected election could be delayed “delayed for a week or more,” and a court challenge has been filed arguing that the premier has no right to call an early vote.

Prince Edward Island is also on the verge of a provincial vote that could be called within days. What direction are P.E.I. voters looking? The Guardian speculates in an editorial and details nominated candidates on their interactive map. Speaking of the coming election, registration is open for the next P.E.I. Student Vote program!

A new LG for MB

Last week, David Johnston had his term as governor general extended by two years. This week, Janice Filmon was appointed as Manitoba’s new lieutenant governor.

Filmon is the wife of former premier Gary Filmon and is only the province’s second female lieutenant governor. Filmon will replace Philip S. Lee, who served as LG since 2009.

By-election breakdown

In other Manitoba news, it was announced last weekend that Manitoba’s The Pas riding would head to the polls on April 21 for a provincial by-election. The seat has been vacant since Frank Whitehead’s resignation in May 2014.

Montreal has a new city councillor! Voters in Outrement elected Marie Potvin to replace councillor Lucie Cardyn, who resigned in December.

By-elections could be triggered for two BC MLAs being targeted as potential recall candidates. A recall campaign has 60 days to collect signatures from 40 per cent of registered voters in the riding who were also registered in the last election.

Grading Canada’s democracy

Our friends at Samara released Democracy 360 this week, a report card on the state of Canadian democracy. Did Canada make the grade? The report gives Canada’s democracy a “C”, and warns that the political process now repels more citizens than it attracts – particularly young Canadians. You can read the full report here.

Could the next president be a Canadian?

Ted Cruz became the first Republican to declare himself a candidate for President of the United States in the 2016 election. Although he has since renounced his Canadian citizenship, Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta in 1970.

Does that disqualify Cruz from making a bid for the White House? His mother was born in the United States, allowing him to still qualify as a natural born Citizen.

For ongoing updates, follow us on Twitter at @CIVIX_Canada.

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Weekly Round-Up: March 20, 2015

March 20th, 2015 by Dan Allan

Each Friday, CIVIX provides a digest of the major events in Canadian politics.

Vice-regal renewal

On Monday, the Globe and Mail’s John Ibbitson suggested that Stephen Harper extend David Johnston‘s post as governor general with an election on the horizon. Canada’s head of state traditionally serves a five-year term and Johnston was slated to end his in early October, just ahead of the scheduled federal vote.

The prime minister listened. On Tuesday, it was announced that Johnston would stay on for two more years as his constitutional expertise might be required following an election that could result in a minority government. You can learn more about the role of the GG by watching our video.

Premier popularity

According to the latest quarterly survey from Angus Reid Global, Canada’s most popular premiers are Brad Wall (with 64 per cent approval) followed Jim Prentice and Stephen McNeil (tied with 43 per cent approval). Greg Selinger, who survived a leadership challenge earlier in the month, is at the bottom of the list with just 22 per cent approval.

Provincial election speculation

Speaking of Premier Prentice, many pundits are expecting “an early provincial election to be called later this month with a 28-day campaign ending with a vote in late April.” Unfortunately, Edmonton Sun columnist Lorne Gunter thinks the imminent Alberta campaign “will be a snoozer.”

New P.E.I. Premier Wade MacLauchlan has been “on the hot seat” for his first three weeks in office, and recently the debate has focused on including non-MLAs on legislature committees and the state of the economy. An election call is expected at any time and, like Alberta, the province could be casting ballots this spring.

Leadership race updates

Ontario Progressive Conservatives will elect a new leader in May, and the campaign has “taken a nasty turn” with allegations that candidate Patrick Brown ‘shortchanged’ the party by underreporting his fundraising numbers.

Alberta’s Wildrose Party will select a new leader later this month, and the three candidates “fought over floor-crossings and robocalls” at a radio debate on Tuesday.

In memoriam

Canada lost Nova Scotia MLA Allan Rowe and former Newfoundland and Labrador MHA Melvin Woodward this week. Rowe had represented the Dartmouth South riding since 2013, and was previously known as an anchor on Global TV. Woodward had served as Minister of Labrador Affairs, director for the Bank of Canada and was a founding member and head of the Labrador North Chamber of Commerce.

Registration is open for Student Vote Alberta

Want to bring the upcoming Alberta provincial election to your classroom? Registration is open for the next Alberta Student Vote program! The project is made possible due to financial support received from Elections Alberta and Alberta Education.

This will be the seventh Student Vote project conducted in the province. In the last provincial election, more than 85,000 students cast ballots from 761 schools. You can watch a video recap of the 2012 program here.

For ongoing updates, follow us on Twitter at @CIVIX_Canada.

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Weekly Round-Up: March 13, 2015

March 13th, 2015 by Dan Allan

Each Friday, CIVIX provides a digest of the major events in Canadian politics.

Leadership races

It was confirmed on Sunday that embattled Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger would remain on as Manitoba NDP leader. In a tight leadership race, Selinger defeated former ministers Steve Ashton and Theresa Oswald during the second round of voting.

The Newfoundland and Labrador NDP also elected a new leader last weekend. On Saturday, Earle McCurdy beat out Mike Goosney and Chris Bruce for the party’s top job. The province will hold a provincial election this fall.

In anticipation of an April provincial election, Alberta’s Wildrose Party will elect a new leader on March 28. Rules for the race were confirmed this week, as were the three candidates: Drew Barnes, Linda Osinchuk and Brian Jean. You can learn more about the candidates here.

Elections and by-elections

The Alberta legislature resumed this week for the first time since the mass defection of Wildrose MLAs in December, but many expect the session to be cut short by an election call. The decision to issue the writs will ultimately fall to Alberta’s Lieutenant Governor Donald Ethell and he was interviewed this week about the possibility of an early vote.

Many believe that Prince Edward Island could also be headed towards a spring election and The Guardian has a handy map of candidate nominations.

Quebec’s Richelieu riding went to the polls on Monday and Parti Quebécois candidate Sylvain Rochon came out on top with 36 per cent of the vote.

Explaining transfer payments

Have you always been too embarrassed to ask about transfer payments? Thankfully, the Mowat Centre has an explainer on why the payments exist, how they work, and why they matter. You can also learn more about transfer payments through our Student Budget Consultation video on ‘Expenditures’ with Finance Minister Joe Oliver.

Elections office updates

Elections Ontario released their post-election report on Tuesday. The report makes several recommendations for future elections, and also highlights the Student Vote program we ran in nearly 1,700 schools across the province.

After significant delays and inaccurate data on election night, Elections New Brunswick announced last week that they would be scrapping electronic vote-counting software for future elections.

Welcome to the team, Amélie!

We are very excited to welcome Amélie Laurin-Gravel to the CIVIX team as Communications Coordinator.

For ongoing updates, follow us on Twitter at @CIVIX_Canada.

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Weekly Round-Up: March 6, 2015

March 6th, 2015 by Dan Allan

Each Friday, CIVIX provides a digest of the major events in Canadian politics.

Leadership races

Two provincial political parties are holding leadership conventions this weekend: the Manitoba NDP and the NL NDP. Manitoba premier Greg Selinger faces off against challengers Theresa Oswald and Steve Ashton. In Newfoundland and Labrador, Chris Bruce, Mike Goosney and Earle McCurdy are in the running for the party’s top job.

The Ontario PC Party is in the midst of their own leadership race and Patrick Brown has reportedly sold more party memberships than opponents Christine Elliott and Monte McNaughton. “This isn’t your old-fashioned convention,” and the National Post details how the process will play out.

The PEI PC chose Rob Lantz as their new leader last weekend over James Aylward and Darlene Compton. The final tally has been kept secret, but the vote reportedly went to a second round.

Elections and by-elections

Next on the agenda in Prince Edward Island is a provincial election that many expect will be called this spring by new Premier Wade MacLauchlan. The latest polls show the Liberals have “maintained their lead” over the PC. It was also announced this week that the Island Party will be running candidates.

There is also election speculation running throughout the province of Alberta, and Premier Jim Prentice expects that the upcoming budget “will be so radical it will likely trigger an election.”

Voters in Quebec’s Richelieu riding head to the polls on Monday for a provincial by-election to replace Parti Québécois MNA Élaine Zakaïb.

Democracy Bootcamp BC

We gathered 130 British Columbia educators in Vancouver last week for Democracy Bootcamp! The two-day was designed to improve the interest, knowledge and instructional capacity of teachers to teach democracy and citizenship in the lead-up to the 2015 federal election and the Student Vote program.

Looking for a recap of the great panels, presentations and discussions? Attending teachers blogged about their experiences herehere and here.

What else we’ve been up to

We partnered with the Toronto Foundation to bring the Vital Signs® Report into Student Vote classrooms across the city last fall. Students learned about issues affecting their city in more detail, and encouraged discussion about how different candidates would address those questions.

Last week, we released our video recap of Toronto Foundation President & CEO Rahul Bhardwaj’s visit to a Grade 9 class at Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute. You can watch it here:

For ongoing updates, follow us on Twitter at @CIVIX_Canada.

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Weekly Round-Up: February 27, 2015

February 27th, 2015 by Dan Allan

Each Friday, CIVIX provides a digest of the major events in Canadian politics.

PEI’s new premier

Wade MacLauchlan was acclaimed as PEI Liberal leader last weekend and was sworn-in as premier on Monday. MacLauchlan will also serve as finance minister, replacing Wes Sheridan (who “quietly resigned” as MLA on Tuesday).

MacLauchlan is the province’s 32nd premier, replacing the outgoing Robert Ghiz. A provincial election call is expected soon, and The Guardian says a spring vote is “a virtual certainty.”

Leadership races

Prince Edward Island’s Progressive Conservatives (the province’s official opposition) are also about to elect a new leader. The party gathers in Charlottetown tomorrow and will choose between James Aylward, Darlene Compton and Rob Lantz. A record number of votes have already been cast in advance polls.

Alberta’s Wildrose party met in Calgary last weekend to “plot their election strategy.” The party had initially planned to elect a new leader in June but have decided to move up their leadership vote so a leader is in the place in case there is a spring election. Former MP Brian Jean became the first candidate to enter the race on Wednesday.

In the Ontario PC race, Patrick Brown received an endorsement from the Great One, Wayne Gretzky himself.

Both the Newfoundland and Labrador and Manitoba NDP also are in the midst of leadership races that culminate next month.

Early election calls?

In addition to possible early elections in PEI and Alberta, there is still speculation that Prime Minister Stephen Harper might call an election this spring. The federal NDP has told riding associations to be ready for a snap vote by April 1, just in case.

“Changes are ahead for the federal election,” regardless of when it takes place, according to an interesting Q & A with Elections Canada’s chief electoral officer Marc Mayrand. It is also being reported that the Green Party could be excluded from leaders’ debates for the upcoming election.

Democracy Bootcamp BC

More than 125 educators from across British Columbia have assembled in Vancouver for Democracy Bootcamp! The professional learning conference is intended to improve the interest, knowledge and instructional capacity of classroom teachers to teach democracy and citizenship in the lead-up to the 2015 federal election and the Student Vote parallel election program.

Democracy Bootcamp BC 2015 is made possible with support from Elections Canada, Elections BC and the Vancouver FoundationVancity and the Simon Fraser University Centre for Dialogue. Learn more here.

For ongoing updates, follow us on Twitter at @CIVIX_Canada.

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