Thursday, August 9, 2012

7:00 p.m.: Opening Remarks: 2012 Couchiching Conference

Rima Berns-McGown, President, Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs
Chief Sharon Stinson Henry, Chippewas of Rama First Nation

Chief Sharon Stinson Henry

 Chief Sharon Stinson Henry, Chippewas of Rama First Nation







7:30 p.m.:  Opening Keynote AddressIslamism vs. Secularism, The Arab Spring, Phase 2

SpeakerAhmed Benchemsi, Journalist and Stanford Visiting Scholar
Moderator: Rima Berns-McGown, President, Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs

Ahmed Benchemsi

Award winning Moroccan journalist and Stanford visiting scholar Ahmed Benchemsi will open the conference with a timely examination of the forces impacting the democratic spirit which inspired hundreds of thousands across the Arab world to hit the streets in massive protests.
(summary) | (video)



Friday, August 10, 2012

9:00 a.m.: A Special Presentation: Minorities, Majorities and Citizens in Relegitimized Arab States.

SpeakerRami G. Khouri,  Director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut

Rami G. Khouri




(summary) | (video)





9:30 a.m.: The Battle of Ideas: Democracy, Dignity, and Human Rights?

Bessma Momani, Associate Professor at the University of Waterloo and the Balsillie School of International Affairs; Senior Fellow, CIGI2
Nour El Kadri, Professor of e-Business, Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa, and Vice-President, Canadian Arab Federation
Jens Hanssen, Associate Professor, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean History, University of Toronto
Hind Aboud Kabawat, Syrian Attorney and Research Analyst, Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution, George Mason University
Moderator: Candida Paltiel, VP Marketing & Communications, Couchiching Institute

Nour El Kadri

Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Bahrain all have different histories and their uprisings occurred (and are continuing to occur) in different contexts. Were the uprisings a collective call for democratic participation as it is commonly understood in the West, or were they bids for greater human rights and dignity?  Or yet, something else? What does the answer to that question mean for the type of governance that follows?  And what does it mean for Canadian support  – military and otherwise – for the uprisings? (summary) | (video




12:30 p.m.: Lunch SpeakerPresentation of the Couchiching Award for Public Policy Leadership to David A. Dodge

David A. Dodge




(summary) | (video) 






2:30 p.m.: Discussion Groups:: TBA


3:30 p.m.: Screening, We Are Egypt , Director Lillie Paquette

5:00 p.m.: Reception followed by dinner

7:30 p.m.: Tweeting & Covering the Revolution…

Mohammad Al Abdallah, Journalist and Human Rights Activist, Executive Director, Syria Justice & Accountability Center
Ali Abunimah, Palestinian-American author, journalist and Executive Director of the Electronic Intifada
Lillie Paquette , Director, We Are Egypt
Moderator: Salim Rachid, Chair Couchiching Conversations & Roundtables

Lillie Paquette

What role has technology and social media played in inspiring Arabs to take to the streets, and how have these mediums shaped (and challenged, if at all) Canadian perceptions of the Arab Spring in specific, and the region and its people in general? What new voices in the Arab world were empowered? What events, news stories and headlines captured the imagination of Arabs themselves and of observers worldwide?  How do those ways of seeing differ from the ones Canadians are accustomed to hearing? And how much does that matter? (summary) |  (video


Saturday, August 11, 2012

9:00 a.m.: ...And afterwards?

Tyseer Aboulnasr, Egyptian-Canadian Activist & Professor of Engineering and Immediate Past Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science, UBC
Nader Hashemi, Author & Assistant Professor of Middle East and Islamic Politics, University of Denver
Mohammad Fadel, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto
Patrick Martin, The Globe & Mail
Moderator: Adam Redish, Chair Executive Committee, Couchiching Institute

Tyseer Aboulnasr

This panel explores the future. What role will religion and religious parties play going forward? What role will the youthful activists have in keeping the revolutions on track? What role do women play in the post-revolution governments, of whatever type, and in ongoing activism? What are the implications for minorities?  How will power be shared and are the various state militaries ready to have their authority placed under civilian rule? (summary(video)




12:00 p.m.: Lunch

2:00 p.m.: Discussion Groups TBA

4:00 p.m.: And now for something completely different...

Join author, publisher, editor and consummate raconteur Doug Gibson, as he recounts personal stories of the relationships he had with so many of Canada's most fascinating minds and brilliant writers – from Robertson Davies, Alice Munro, Alistair Macleod, and W.O. Mitchell to Peter Gzowski and Stephen Leacock to Pierre Trudeau, Brian Mulroney, and Paul Martin. Come hear firsthand what he has written about in his memoir Stories About Storytellers recently published by ECW Press.

5:00 p.m.: Reception followed by dinner

7:30 p.m.: And there goes the neighbourhood...

Akiva Eldar, Chief Political Columnist and Editorial Writer, Haaretz
Paul Heinbecker, Director of the Laurier Centre for Global Relations & former Canadian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Nimer Sultany, Human Rights Lawyer & Palestinian Academic
H.E. Yaşar Yakiş, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Turkey and Board Member, Institute of Cultural Diplomacy Advisory
Moderator: Andrew Spears, VP Program, Couchiching Institute

Nimer Sultany

Regional dynamics are evolving as a result of the uprisings. What do the uprisings mean beyond the borders of the countries in which they’ve occurred? What will the role of Turkey and Iran be going forward, and how do the uprisings affect the delicate balance of the Israel/Palestine question?  What does all this mean for Canadian foreign policy?  (summary) |  (video)




Sunday, August 12, 2012

9:00 a.m.: Everything is illuminated (and connected)

Lieutenant-General Charles J.J. Bouchard, OC, CMM, MSC, CD, BA (retired). Former Commander of 1 Canadian Air Division/Canadian NORAD Region; the Deputy Commander of North American Aerospace Command (NORAD) and Deputy Commander of Allied Joint Forces Command; and Commander of the NATO military mission in Libya
Ferry de Kerckhove, Fellow, Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute & former Canadian Ambassador to Egypt
Sandra LeBlanc, President, WESTDEV International Inc., Vice Chairman and President of the Canada-Arab Business Council
Marvin Romanow, Calgary Oil Executive, former President and CEO Nexen
Moderator: Martha Hall Findlay, 2012 Conference Chair

Sandra LeBlanc

How should Canada respond to the uprisings and unfolding events? What opportunities are opened to us economically? What should our military or peacekeeping response be?  What will be the impact on our diasporic communities and refugee claimants? (summary) |  (video)






12:00 p.m.: Lunch

1:00 p.m.: Closing Keynote: An Evolving Story

Lyse Doucet



(summary) | (video




SpeakerLyse Doucet, Chief International Correspondent and Senior Presenter for BBC World TV and World Service Radio
Moderator: Amanuel MellesSocial Entrepreneur and former Director of Organizational Capacity Building for United Way Toronto


2016 Summer Conference

The Canada Project

Identity, Citizenship, and Nationhood in a Changing World

August 5-7, 2016
The YMCA Geneva Park Conference Centre, Orillia, ON

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April 2017
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