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Educational Resources

Inquiry Commissioners/Officials

Handout 3.3

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The Canadian government has decided to evaluate one of its initiatives -- promotion of the Canadian identity. It has invited you to conduct hearings with a variety of government corporations and departments to determine what Canada is doing right and to make recommendations for future government direction. You are not necessarily from Canada so know little about the organizations that will be making presentations at the inquiry.

Your group will run the inquiry and then prepare a report on what the organizations you have listened to are doing right and make suggestions for future initiatives. Specific tasks are listed in the chart provided. Use the blank space to check off tasks as they are completed.

Preparation for the Inquiry Tasks
1. Create a schedule for the hearing. Identify the order in which the groups will make their submissions and communicate the order to the various groups.
2. Assign each inquiry official in your group with the task of being the lead commissioner for one or more of the presentation groups. Each commissioner then must do some preliminary research about his or her group(s) and prepare some questions they might want to ask during the inquiry. Research sources should be cited.
3. With approval and assistance from the teacher this group will also plan out and physically set up the classroom for the inquiry. Canvas the groups and arrange for any technology equipment required (e.g. television, computer, projector, etc.).
4. Choose a leader of the commission. This individual will open and close the inquiry with appropriate comments and lead the group from one presentation to the next. Appoint a timer as well.
Inquiry Tasks
1. The lead official makes opening comments outlining the purpose and procedures of the inquiry.
2. After each presentation the official in charge of that group asks questions of the group to clarify points or raise additional ones.
3. Collect the written submissions that contain the key points of each presentation. The lead official declares a recess.
4. Meet to review the written presentations and plan your report. The first part of the report should outline some of the major things that Canada and its organizations are doing well. The second part should make suggestions that Canada could implement in the future. Arrange a time with the teacher to present your report to the class. Your presentation organizer and a sheet citing all research sources should be handed into your teacher after this report.

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