An Update from the Samara Centre Team

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Happening Now Thursday, August 27, 2020 View Count = 510

An Update from the Samara Centre Team

With the end of summer fast approaching, businesses gradually re-opening, and schools starting back up, it's beginning to feel like the start of a new chapter. And so, we'd like to take this opportunity to share some important news with you.

Saying farewell and thanks to our Executive Director

After nine years with the Samara Centre for Democracy, Kendall Anderson has left the organization to spend more time with her family. We wish her all the best in her future endeavours.


Our Research Director Mike Morden will step in as Executive Director on an interim basis. Mike joined the Samara Centre in 2017 and has been instrumental in advancing our rigorous research agenda and ongoing push for democratic reform.

Heading to press

This September, we'll be publishing a new report based on our annual survey of Members of Parliament. As the pandemic continues to place an enormous strain on our democracy, this original research looks at how MPs have adapted to the crisis and how they think Parliament should operate. We are grateful to have received our highest-ever response rate, with 130 MPs—just under 40% of the House of Commons—taking the time to share their views and experiences.

Then, in October, we will be sharing new analysis of how Canadian democratic attitudes and ways of participating have shifted during the pandemic. We are also looking forward to co-presenting a panel discussion during this year's all-virtual DemocracyXChange Summit.

Proroguing Parliament, explained

With Parliament's prorogation until September 23rd, you may be wondering: What does “proroguing” mean, and how do you even pronounce it? Who decides to prorogue Parliament, and why? We answer these questions and others in this short and accessible explainer. Help us demystify the topic by sharing our explainer online or forwarding this newsletter to the civics teachers and community educators in your life!


To learn more about the recent decision to prorogue Parliament, listen to this radio interview with our Research Director or read this TL;DR-style piece from the Toronto Star.

Expanding your bookshelf with #SamaraReads

Looking for a timely and insightful read to close out the final days of summer? Over the past few weeks, we've been sharing a selection of political books recommended by our community on social media, including The Skin We’re In by Desmond Cole, Truth Be Told by Beverley McLachlin, and Canadian Justice, Indigenous Injustice by Kent Roach. We look forward to hearing what you think of our picks and thank our volunteers for offering such thoughtful suggestions.

Check out our ever-growing reading list on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and be sure to like and share your favourites! And keep an eye out for our upcoming contest for a chance to win the five books shortlisted for the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing (which also made it on the #SamaraReads list)!

We hope you enjoy the rest of your summer!

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