COVID-19 Online Speaker Series

COVID-19 has drastically changed our lives. We have to had to adapt to our new realities by social distancing and working from home. While many conferences and talks have been put on hold, The School of Public Administration is proud to launch a bi-weekly online seminar series "COVID 19 - Governing, Managing, and Working Together".

The series can be accessed through BlueJeans and is free of charge. Each session will have different speakers from the School of Public Administration or from the community.

You can find more information on our events page or by contacting Erik Devries at

Next Session: 
Canada Emergency Response Benefit: When Program Design Drives Policy Choice with insights by Silvano Tocchi, Director General, Digital Services, CRA

Presentation synopsis:
The Government of Canada designed, legislated and delivered the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) in a three week period in March/April 2020.  In doing so the GoC prioritized timely implementation above virtually all other considerations.  In turn this meant that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) implemented the benefit atypically: 1) radically simplifying and automating processing; 2) narrowing delivery channels; and 3) shifting timing of integrity measures.  The CRA was able to take these steps, by levering existing capacity; adopting ‘Agile’ development; and adhering to user-centric design principles

When: June 4 2:30-3:10

Can be accessed through:


June 11 Seminar:
In a century of forthcoming crisis, what will be key to reducing risks?
Dr. Astrid Brouselle, Director, School of Public Administration, UVic

Presentation abstract:
COVID-19 is one of the many forthcoming crises of this century. Realistically, the environmental situation is such that one not only has to prepare to live with many natural phenomena such as floods, fires, pest infestations, but also social crises like mass migrations. How we pull together in recovering from the current crisis will be crucial to strengthening our ability to respond to and protect ourselves from future crises. In this presentation, based on a conceptualization of risk as the conjunction if hazards, exposure and vulnerability, we will identify key elements to reduce future rusks related to crisis. We will explore the varied and combined strategies required to reducing risk, in the current state of our world.

When: June 11 2:30 - 3:30 PST

Can be accessed through 


Past Seminars

Seminar One: Emergency Funding, Trust, and Fandom in Canadian Governments

Seminar Two: Justice – the Pandemic Push to Modernize

Seminar Three: Reinventing Public Administration for a Dangerous Century

Seminar Four: COVID-19 and the Cascadia Cross-Border Region: Implications for trade, travel, and collaboration with Dr. Laurie Trautman and Dr. Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly