These plans were informed by the Spicer Commission (the Citizens' Forum on Canada's Future), the public constitutional conferences, and the Department of Finance's budget conferences, but SCHRD settled on its own ideas and mix.
Rather it came from Andy Scott, a former official and recently elected MP from New Brunswick and member of the SCHRD, who strongly believed in better engaging citizens at the local level on national issues to reduce cynicism about the role of elected representatives.
They had to keep abreast of the activities of SCHRD, individual MPS, and the budget hearings of the standing committee on finance.
Later, it also handled media analysis and monitored progress with SCHRD, the workbook, supplementary papers, the internet, telephone lines, policy seminars and policy colloquia.
For example, staff fielded complaints from groups that had received only a day's notice before SCHRD hearings or had been overlooked.
A second press conference was held a day later by Frances Leblanc, chair of SCHRD, to announce its consultation schedule.
They were also distributed to SCHRD hearings, the MP town halls, and to MPS for distribution to constituents.
The delay in releasing the background papers greatly frustrated SCHRD members, who viewed HRDC as unresponsive.
The SCHRD hearings attracted the most media attention, largely because they were targeted by groups protesting cuts to social programs.
However, the more elaborate plans were jettisoned when it was learned that the discussion paper would be released on 5 October, that SCHRD had to submit its report well before the next federal budget, and that the government wanted SCHRD to maximize the number of groups attending its hearings.
The SCHRD leased a plane to reduce costs and to maximize the time available to members, and used video-conferencing technology to reach smaller, more distant communities.
Centre staff provided media analysis for SCHRD and prepared "forecasts" of concerns of the groups they would meet the next day, sometimes suggesting questions to ask.