Subsidiarity In Action

“It is clearly laid down that the paramount task assigned to government officials is that of recognizing, respecting, reconciling, protecting and promoting the rights and duties of citizens.” —Pope Saint John XXIII, Pacem in Terris

Subsidiarity is among the most misunderstood and under-appreciated principles of Catholic social teaching. What does it mean that “all societies of a superior order must adopt attitudes of help—there of support, promotion, development—with respect to lower order societies,” in the words of the Compendium? How can this principle come to life in the ways government makes decisions for the common good, and why does the citizen-participation it enables matter?

As Ontario’s Advocate for Community Opportunities, Jamil Jivani plays a unique role, acting as an interlocutor connecting the needs of local, disadvantaged communities through the vast bureaucratic apparatus and to the decision-making power of the provincial government. His work focuses on those traditionally underserved by government and lacking in gainful economic opportunities. In a sense, his work is one way subsidiarity is brought to life.

Together with Jamil, we’ll explore how his life experiences brought him to this role, including growing up in an immigrant community that struggled; the nature of his work as Advocate and the changes he has been able to champion; and why it matters that the communities he serves have a stronger voice in shaping government decision-making.

Jamil’s work:

Jamil’s substack address:

The Canada Strong & Free Network:

Jamil’s twitter handle: @jamiljivani

Premier’s Council on Equality of Opportunity:

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