Webinar – Election 44 and the Erosion of Democracy

The 2021 federal election campaign has seen unusual disruptions to campaign events and attacks on leaders, often connected to extreme-right and anti-vaccine movements, and opposition to COVID-19 public health measures. The erosion of democratic norms is a trend around the world, with the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol as the starkest example nearest to home.  

What does all of this mean for Canada? Do events in the current election campaign hold any warning signs for the state of democracy here? Watch our panel discuss these questions and more in a webinar we held on on September 16.



Les Perreaux
Les Perreaux
Editor-in-chief, Policy Options

Les joined the IRPP in August 2021, after more than 25 years covering national affairs across Canada. His most recent role prior to assuming the position of Editor-in-chief of Policy Options was as bureau chief and national correspondent for The Globe and Mail in Montreal. Prior to the Globe, he worked in newsrooms at The Canadian PressNational Post and The Saskatoon StarPhoenix. 


Stephanie Carvin
Stephanie Carvin
Associate Professor of International Affairs, Norman Paterson School, Carleton University

Stephanie’s research interests are in the area of international law, security, terrorism and technology. She holds a PhD from the London School of Economics and published her thesis as Prisoners of America’s Wars: From the Early Republic to Guantanamo (Columbia/Hurst, 2010). Her most recent book is Science, Law, Liberalism and the American Way of Warfare: The Quest for Humanity in Conflict (Cambridge, 2015). She previously held positions as a visiting scholar at George Washington University, a consultant to the U.S. Department of Defense Law of War Working Group, and an analyst with the Government of Canada focusing on national security issues.

Sanjay Ruparelia
Sanjay Ruparelia
Associate Professor and Jarislowsky Democracy Chair, Department of Politics and Public Administration, Ryerson University

Sanjay works on the politics of democracy, inequality and development. His books include Divided We Govern: Coalition Politics in Modern India (Hurst/OUP 2015), The Indian Ideology(Permanent Black 2012) and Understanding India’s New Political Economy (Routledge 2011). He co-chairs the Participedia network, which examines democratic innovations around the world, serves as associate editor for Pacific Affairs, and co-hosts On the Frontlines of Democracy, a monthly public lecture series with the Toronto Public Library. He previously taught at the New School for Social Research and Columbia University, and worked as a consultant for the Asia Foundation, United Nations Development Programme and United Nations Research Institute for Social Development.

Seher Shafiq
Seher Shafiq
Writer & Consultant

Seher is deeply passionate about community building, shifting narratives, and building an inclusive democracy. Seher currently works at North York Community House as the Active Citizenship Manager, where she is co-designing new civic engagement programming that will be adopted by settlement agencies across Canada. She is is also currently an Editor for Ryerson’s new First Policy Response initiative, which seeks to feature policy ideas that will get us through the COVID-19 crisis and to a fair and sustainable recovery.

Shauna Sylvester
Shauna Sylvester
Executive Director of the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, Simon Fraser University

For over 30 years, Shauna has served as a convenor and facilitator to hundreds of citizen, community and stakeholder dialogues at the local, national and global level. She has led several complex global dialogues on climate and peace, dozens of national dialogues on democracy, foreign policy and energy, and hundreds of dialogues locally on urban issues such as transportation and housing. She is the co-founder and first executive director of five pan-Canadian initiatives: the SFU Public Square, Renewable Cities, Carbon Talks, Canada’s World and IMPACS – the Institute for Media, Policy and Civil Society, a media and democracy organization that operated in Canada and in conflict and post-conflict zones around the world. 

Date and time

September 16, 2021
3 p.m. - 4 p.m. ET



Event Type



Registration is closed