Mamidosewin (meeting place, walking together)

Open Caucus

In the spring of 2014, the Senate Liberals (now the Progressives) began our Open Caucus initiative. The goal of these meetings was to foster nonpartisan discussion on issues facing our country. We invited all parliamentarians as well as the public to take part in the discussions with a panel of experts on any given topic, and focused on informing ourselves and others on matters that are important to Canadians.


Open Caucus Themes

  • November 7, 2018 – Child Wellbeing in Canada

    The Open Caucus, a forum for discussion on issues of national importance, was first established in 2014 when Senate Liberals opened their Caucus doors to the public on Wednesday mornings. The Open Caucus is now co-sponsored by the Independent Senate Liberals, the Independent Senators Group, and the Office of the Government Representative in the Senate. This non-partisan collaboration now brings together three groups representing the majority of the Senate’s current membership.

    The discussion is open to all Members of Parliament, Senators, parliamentary staff, media, and the public.

    Canada continues to fall behind as compared with other developed countries when it comes to child wellbeing. According to a recent national study, suicide is the second leading cause of death among children, child mental-health related hospitalization rates are increasing and approximately 1 in 5 Canadian children continue to live in poverty.

    With Canada being ranked as the eighth-most prosperous nation in the world, there is a wide and worrying gap between the economic wellbeing of the nation and the wellbeing of children. In light of National Child’s Day on November 20th, we ask experts: what measures can be taken to improve and protect child wellbeing in Canada?

    Panelists were:

    • Dr. Amy Metcalfe: Assistant Professor in the Community Health Sciences Department at the University of Calgary. One of the lead researchers for the Raising Canada report
    • Stephanie Mitton: Representative, Children’s First Canada
    • Andrea Auger: Reconciliation & Research Manager, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada
    • Kathy Vandergrift: Chair and President of the Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children
    • Pamela Lovelace: Project Manager with Wisdom2Action

    The meeting took place:

    Wednesday, November 7, 2018
    9:15am – 11:15am
    Room 160-S, Centre Block

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    The Progressives