The Summer Conference is the One to Attend! by Martha Hall Findlay

Hello to everyone! 
This summer's Conference (Aug 9-12) is shaping up to be outstanding. Of course, all Couchiching Conferences are terrific, but rarely do we have a Conference where the topic is even more top of mind, more controversial, more interesting than when we chose it in the first place. "The Arab Spring: Implications and Opportunities for Canada" was decided on last summer, in the wake of the uprisings in Tunisia, Yemen, Bahrain, Egypt and Libya, with events just starting to unfold in Syria, all of which gripped the attention of the world with great hope. A year later, dictators have been overthrown. Democratic elections have been held in Tunisia and now Egypt – what extraordinary change! But Yemen’s "elections" were a sham; uprisings in Bahrain continue to be savagely suppressed with aid from Saudi Arabia; and no one is clear as to what comes next in Libya, where Canada was most involved, leading the UN-sanctioned military air attacks which eventually led to the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi. The Libyan National Transitional Council comprises various heavily armed rival factions all fighting for power, amid reports of continuing human rights abuses, fraud and increasing ethnic unrest. And Syria, of course, is now a focus of global attention—events there have taken a disastrous turn, with no end in sight to the carnage. Russia, China and the US are all circling, and everyone is wondering what this will all mean in the shadow of a potentially nuclear-armed Iran. These events are, and continue to be, fascinating, encouraging and disturbing, all at the same time--and will make for an incredible Conference. Come join us for what will be an outstandingly interesting and thought-provoking 3 ½ days.
Martha Hall Findlay, Chair, 2012 Couchiching Conference

About Martha Hall Findlay

Martha Hall Findlay is the Chair of the 2012 Couchiching Summer Conference. She is a former Member of Parliament, and held several senior shadow Cabinet positions, including that of Associate Finance; Transport, Infrastructure and Communities; Public Works and International Trade.  In 2006, Martha was a candidate for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada and her “Big Red Bus” campaign was highly praised for substance and intelligence.  Before politics, she worked extensively as a lawyer, senior executive, and successful entrepreneur both in Canada and internationally. Martha is now an Executive Fellow at the school of public policy at the University of Calgary.

The Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs invites opinions and commentary about public affairs issues by various thought leaders, members, and individuals to be presented on our blog. Opinions expressed on the Couchiching Institute Blog are solely those of the writer and not of the Institute.

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