What’s the difference between public policy and politics?
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So, what is the difference between policy and politics?
Politics and public policy are interconnected, even though they both play their own special part in how the government works.
Politics is about who will govern. So which politicians are elected to power is based on the ideas they put forward about how they will run things and then how they will maintain support if they are elected. Politicians can be elected to municipal, provincial, territorial, federal, or First Nation governments.
Public policy is what the government actually does. This takes the form of public servants who work with politicians to turn their ideas into public policy. Public servants are employees of the government. They are not elected; they are hired to work for the government.
Fellows featured in this module
Daria Hobeika B.C.L., LL.B., MBA enjoys working on complex societal issues and steering organizations toward sustainable models. A generalist, deep thinker and committed doer, she is known for her sound judgment, straightforwardness, calmness, and rigour. She excels in complex and high-pressure environments and stands out for her ability to communicate clearly.
A former Chief of Staff to a minister of the Government of Quebec, Daria has intimate knowledge of the workings of the highest levels of policy and decision-making, as well as of the legislative and regulatory processes. She has led work on a cross-departmental portfolio of pan-Canadian issues and was instrumental in the elaboration and implementation of a new vision for this portfolio. She also served as the content director for an outgoing Premier during a provincial electoral campaign.
Today, Daria helps corporates, investors, and public organizations understand and manage their climate risks, including setting a climate ambition and governance structure and a disclosure strategy. Before founding Clearsum, Daria completed an Executive MBA (HEC Montreal – McGill). She holds bachelor’s degrees in civil and common law (McGill) and is a member of the Quebec Bar (2006).
In her free time, she learns through reading, volunteering, and travelling.
She also loves to dance.
Jasmine (Jas) Irwin is a Senior Associate at Springboard Policy, a public policy consulting firm that helps organizations to use their voices and expertise to shape important policy conversations. Jas has always been drawn to good ideas and driven to maximize their impact by helping to communicate those ideas to others in clear and compelling ways. She has eight years of experience working at the intersection of communications and policy to build consensus and spur change.
In her current role, Jas has spearheaded projects ranging from mapping the infrastructure gap in Canada’s North, to examining the role of artificial intelligence tech on children’s privacy rights, to researching career guidance as a policy tool for those with barriers to work. Before joining Springboard, Jas worked as a Policy Advisor and Press Secretary to Ontario’s Deputy Premier, where she worked on key policies like the transformation of Ontario’s Student Assistance Program. She began her career working in post-secondary student advocacy, creating province-wide campaigns on issues like tuition affordability and pay equity.
Raised in London, Ontario, Jas has a B.A. in Media and the Public Interest from Western University, and an M.A. in Political and Legal Thought from Queens University. At Queens, her research focus was on corrections policy in Canada and the overrepresentation of Indigenous women in high-security settings.
Jas also enjoys reading, lightly interrogating friends and strangers about the things they are interested in, and performing live comedy.
Émily Soulières is an experienced public servant currently working for Service Canada in Quebec. As a senior manager in the Assistant Deputy Minister’s office, Émily focuses on issues management, as well as advising and making recommendations on a wide range of issues.
Since joining the Public Service of Canada in 2011, Émily has had the opportunity to play strategic roles and work on key files, including governance for the Department of National Defence, Global Affairs Canada’s consular policies and, more recently, the delivery of essential programs and services to Canadians for Employment and Social Development Canada.
In July 2019, Émily left her job with the Government of Canada in order to seek out new experiences in the private sector and a new life on Canada’s West Coast. For nearly three years, she lived in Vancouver and had the privilege of working for Navitas, a growing Canadian company and leading global education provider.
The COVID-19 pandemic gave Emily the space to self-reflect, re-examine her own values and priorities, and rethink her future. Seeing the plight worsening for the most vulnerable Canadians during the pandemic, Émily understood that she wanted to dedicate her career to building a richer, more inclusive Canada. This is why she seized the opportunity to return to her roots and resume her career in the federal public service.
Émily firmly believes that the Government of Canada has a key role to play in developing bold, innovative, hands-on solutions to today’s major social, economic and political issues, such as the labour shortage, care for seniors, support for individuals with mental health issues, systemic racism and youth disengagement.
Émily is fluent in English and French and has a basic knowledge of Arabic. She grew up in Gatineau and has a bachelor’s degree in Conflict Studies and Human Rights from the University of Ottawa. She now lives in the Greater Montréal area.
James is the Director of the Explosives Regulatory Division with Natural Resources Canada. He started his career in consulting with Deloitte and the Royal Bank of Canada in Toronto. His time in the public service started at the Privy Council Office supporting the Clerk and the Prime Minister.
Prior to joining NRCan he worked with the Treasury Board Secretariat. He is a regular attendee of the World Policy Conference as a participant and speaker and is a Fellow of the Action Canada program. He is active in his community and a proud father of three little people. He graduated with a Masters of Public Administration from Dalhousie University in Halifax, a city he is proudly from.
Joshua has advised key decision makers in federal, provincial and municipal government and is committed to turning ideas into action. In his current role as Senior Policy Analyst with the Nova Scotia government’s Accessibility Directorate, he is working with municipalities, universities and community groups to ensure that Nova Scotians of diverse abilities can participate fully in daily life. In his previous role as Senior Policy Advisor to the Mayor of Halifax, he worked with residents, community groups and government to make Halifax a more inclusive, accessible and active community. He’s also worked in the Minister’s Office in both the Finance and Health portfolios with the Government of Nova Scotia, where he managed many of the key challenges facing provincial government. With the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Joshua helped to build strong, sustainable communities across the country by influencing policies and programs that fall within federal jurisdiction.
Joshua graduated with First Class Honours and the University Medal in Sociology from Dalhousie University and the University of Kings College in Halifax, and holds a Masters Degree in Social and Political Thought from York University in Toronto. Between degrees, he interned at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, where he assisted in the preparation of UNESCO’s strategy in the fight against racism and discrimination.
Following his Masters, Joshua participated in the Parliamentary Internship Programme in Ottawa. He is a dedicated father, a volunteer board member with Springtide, a grassroots organization dedicated to helping people lead change through politics with their integrity intact, and enjoys jogging, cooking and playing basketball.
Ayesha joined Global Affairs Canada in November 2021, where she is the Director of the Task Force responsible for establishing a Canadian centre for democracy. This mandate letter and platform commitment was most recently announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the December 2021 Summit for Democracy and has as its aim to amplify Canadian expertise to support of democracy and good governance.
Prior to this, Ayesha was the Director of Strategic Issues in the Intergovernmental Affairs Secretariat of the Privy Council Office. In this role, she supported the Prime Minister and the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs in their engagement with provinces and territories and helped to deliver on the government’s key commitments in areas of COVID response, health, climate, and reconciliation. Previously, Ayesha also led the whole-of-government effort to prevent and counter foreign interference in Canada’s democratic institutions and the 2019 General Election.
Ayesha was recruited into the federal government through the Management Trainee Program, following the completion of an Honours undergraduate degree in International Relations and a Masters degree in Public Administration at Dalhousie University. Her experience in government has included time in the International Affairs Division of Public Safety Canada, where she led the coordination of the department’s multilateral engagement with the United Nations and the Organization of American States on policy issues related to human rights, law enforcement, counter-terrorism, border security and corrections. For two years, Ayesha managed the Virtual Risk Analysis Cell, where she contributed to the federal government’s response to national-scale emergencies like the 2016 wildfires in Fort McMurray and in British Columbia, as well as 2017 floods in Ontario and Quebec, and assessed the impacts of natural and man-made hazards to Canada’s critical infrastructure assets and systems.
Outside of work, Ayesha serves as President of the Board of Directors of the National Capital Branch of the Canadian International Council, making her the youngest branch President and first person of colour to occupy the post.
She is a 2015-16 Action Canada Fellow and Chair of the Action Canada Board of Directors, and a regular participant in the Banff Forum. Her hobbies include sewing clothes for herself, bingeing true crime podcasts, and reading a mix of both fiction and non-fiction.
Louis-François Brodeur holds an MA in political philosophy, is a doctoral candidate in administration at HEC Montreal and has received a doctoral grant from the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture (FRQSC). His research focuses on professors’ academic freedom: how it emerges, interacts with its environment and changes. In recent years he has had the opportunity to present his research at numerous international forums. Alongside his academic activities, he serves on FQRSC’s Board of Directors.
His interests led him to be involved in many organizations. He has been President of Force Jeunesse —which promotes and works towards improving youth’s job prospects and equity between generations,— administrator at the Association francophone pour le savoir (ACFAS) —which promotes diffusion of knowledge,— and graduate student representative at the University of Montreal (FAÉCUM).
In addition to having organized, hosted and participated in several conferences on union renewal, secularism, reasonable accommodations, the future of civil service, he has also written on the university system. Finally, in his spare time, he is a cycling enthusiast and novice gardener.