We provide a range of policy services to support government and civic organizations. From insightful planning exercises to long-form public deliberations, we design participatory processes that bring more people to the table and bridge the distance between citizens and their governments.

Whether it is meeting the demands of an aging society or the imperatives of strengthening transit infrastructure, we are routinely trusted by our clients with high-value, high-stakes policy challenges. To meet these challenges, we specialize in three areas: strategy, public engagement and research and we provide a comprehensive range of services to support each.  Our goal is always to create greater clarity for our clients so they can make decisions that enjoy public confidence and support.  

Download our work history

MASS LBP is a pre-qualified vendor of record with the governments of British Columbia, Ontario and Canada.


Federal & Provincial

  • Atomic Energy Canada Limited
  • BC Ministry of Technology and Citizens Services
  • Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs
  • Government of Prince Edward Island
  • Metrolinx 
  • Ministry of Canadian Heritage
  • National Roundtable on the Environment and Economy
  • Ontario Cabinet Office
  • Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration
  • Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services 
  • Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
  • Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport
  • Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Health

  • Canadian Nurses Association
  • Central LHIN 
  • Centre for Addiction and Mental Health 
  • Champlain LHIN
  • Erie St. Clair LHIN
  • Health Quality Ontario
  • Mental Health Commission of Canada
  • Mississauga Halton LHIN
  • North York East LHIN
  • Northumberland Hills Hospital
  • Ontario Hospital Association
  • Plexxus Shared Services
  • St. Joseph’s Health Centre
  • Scarborough Hospital
  • South East LHIN
  • Toronto Central LHIN
  • The Ottawa Hospital
  • Vancouver Coastal Health
  • Waterloo-Wellington Community Care Access Centre

Non-profits

  • Atkinson Foundation
  • British Council
  • Canadian Urban Transit Association 
  • Calgary Chamber of Commerce
  • Counterpoint
  • Diaspora Dialogues
  • Institute for the Public Administration of Canada
  • ImagiNation 150 Calgary
  • Inspirit Foundation
  • Laidlaw Foundation
  • Metcalf Foundation
  • Ontario Trillium Foundation
  • PEI 2014
  • Quetico Foundation 
  • SIG at MaR 
  • Trans Canada Trail Foundation
  • United Way Toronto
  • West Neighbourhood House
  • YMCA Canada
  • YMCA Toronto

Municipalities

  • City of Burlington
  • City of Calgary
  • City of Hamilton 
  • City of Pickering 
  • City of Toronto 
  • City of Vancouver
  • Prince Edward County
  • Halton Region
  • Town of Whitby
  • Toronto Community Housing Corporation 
  • Waterloo Region District School Board

Arts and Culture

  • ArtSmarts 
  • Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
  • Calgary Arts Development Authority
  • Toronto Arts Council

SPEAK OUR LANGUAGE

Democratic dividend

If poor choices and a feeling our powerlessness contributes to a democratic deficit, we believe good processes can and should pay a democratic dividend. For individuals, this dividend includes a expanded sense of voice, agency and personal efficacy. For societies, it includes greater mutual awareness and cohesion, allowing it to overcome divisions.

Democratic fitness

More than civic literacy, we believe in democratic fitness — the readiness and capacity of all people to play an active and empathic role in the governance and life of their community. We believe good democratic processes are essential to achieving democratic fitness, and that good government should work the maximize the democratic fitness of its citizens.

Devolving out

Governments tend to think that decision-making authority travels on a single axis: up towards a strong central executive or down to lower orders of government like a local council. But governments have an another option: devolving out policy choices in order to solicit direction and advice from residents and stakeholders. 


WHAT WE DO

1. We are reinventing public consultation

MASS is best known for its innovative approach to public engagement and consultation. First, we believe that public consultation is a form of cultural production. Success depends on the design choices our clients make when they create opportunities for members of the public to interact with and advise government.  Since 2007, we have conducted twenty-five major reference panels, citizens’ assemblies and commissions for government, tackling some of the toughest and most divisive issues in public policy today. We also routinely host national, provincial and regional conversations, inviting Canadians to think about their country's future and their priorities for investment and reform.

Creating publics: Introducing the Civic Lottery

Working with Canada Post, MASS mails tens of thousands of Canadian households each year inviting residents to volunteer to serve on one of several reference panels or commission. Civic Lotteries produce random-representative cohorts that contain a wide range of perspectives and can speak for their communities. MASS is a global leader in the use of sortition to engage citizens in democratic processes.

Convening publics: Introducing the Reference Panel

Reference Panels are typically comprised of thirty-six randomly-selected residents who meet over several days to advise government on a specific policy issue. With an explicit mandate, these panels provide a deliberative forum in each to learn about a complex issue from leading experts and with the assistance of trained facilitators, find common ground. MASS has pioneered the design and use of Reference Panels to inform public policy choices in Canada.

2. We develop ambitious strategies that enjoy public support

Strategy isn't only about getting from A to B. Much as we might like to pretend, when it comes to aligning divergent priorities, or getting clear about an organization's core values, there are no straight lines. This is especially true for public sector organizations which work to juggle changing political contexts, fiscal constraints, and the competing interests of stakeholders and communities. We work with our clients develop strategies for organizations that are serious about change.  We approach strategy as a collaborative process that helps to establish priorities and new goals.  We want to help our clients to raise their sights, strengthen their relationships, and reach agreement from first principles. Currently, our Strategy Practice works in two fields: first, to develop multi-year strategic plans and secondly, to develop engagement strategies that assist organizations to better integrate effective engagement techniques within existing governance and communications frameworks.
 

3. We deliver solid research that shapes good choices

MASS provides policy-related research services to clients across many sectors. We routinely conduct wide-ranging environmental scans, prepare case studies and provocation papers, interview experts and stakeholders, commission essays from thoughtleaders and host workshops to review our findings or carry a discussion forward. Whatever the approach, our clients turn to us to provide insight, creativity and breadth, and to provide clear evidence and strong examples they can use to make their case. Using our knowledge of different policy areas and the state-of-play in different jurisdictions we help our clients to map out what's possible.