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74th Annual Summer Conference, August 4–7, 2005

Handcuffs and Hand Grenades:
The Use of Force Within and Between Nations

The 74th Annual Couchiching Summer Conference focussed on the use of physical force, dissecting its expression in local, national and international spheres. Engaging, timely, and provocative, the 2005 conference speakers debated ways in which force has been used within our own borders, as well as the international role Canada can and should play in the current single superpower reality.

2005 Media Clips

July 24, Feedback on CBC News: Sunday (references to the conference) 
July 30, Orillia Packet & Times, “Abortion doc up for award” 
August 5, Orillia Packet & Times, “Ex-soldier skeptical about funding” 
August 5, The Toronto Star, “Retired Canadian general lashes out at U.N.” 
August 5, Canadian Press Newswire, “Abortion rights activist Morgentaler given award for defending women’s rights”
August 6, Standard-Freeholder (Cornwall), “Morgentaler given award for defending rights”
August 6, The Globe and Mail, “Morgentaler given Couchiching Award” 
August 6, The London Free Press News, “Morgentaler gets another award” 
August 6, Orillia Packet & Times, “No stranger to controversy” 
August 6, Orillia Packet & Times, “Studies had a lasting impact: Victim of back-alley abortion ‘shocked’ young med student” 
August 6, The Barrie Examiner, “Abortion doc takes home award” 
August 6, Calgary Herald, “Morgentaler awarded for women’s rights work” 
August 6, Broadcast News (radio broadcasts across Canada), “Morgentaler Award – Orillia, Ontario: Abortion rights activist Dr. Henry Morgentaler has received the 2005 Couchiching Award for Public Policy Leadership. He received the award yesterday in Orillia, Ontario.”
August 6, The Toronto Star, “Khandahar duty better for soldiers” 
August 6, The Toronto Star, “Panel looks at abuses of power” (pdf) 
August 8, CBC News, “General warns of 20-year mission in Afghanistan” 
August 8, Canadian Press Newswire, “Top Canadian general says Afghan mission could last 20 years”
August 8, Canadian Press Newswire, “Flight delays, growing pains face Canadian troops on changing Afghan mission”
August 8, The Peterborough Examiner, “Mission could last 20 years: General expects Canadian soldiers to be in Afghanistan for two decades”
August 8, Metro News, “Troops’ Afghan mission risky: general” 
August 8, China View, “Canadian general predicts 20-year mission in Afghanistan” 
August 8,, “Flight delays, growing pains face Canadian troops on changing Afghan mission” 
August 8, CBC News, “Flight delays, growing pains face Canadian troops on changing Afghan mission” 
August 8, 580 CFRA News Talk Radio, “Canada Will be in Afghanistan for 20 Years: Soldier” 
August 8, CHAD 800 AM, “Flight delays, growing pains face Canadian troops on changing Afghan mission” 
August 8,, “General: Canada in Afghanistan 20 years” 
August 8, CNEWS, “Canadian troops face growing pains” 
August 8, Yahoo! Canada News, “Flight delays, growing pains face Canadian troops on changing Afghan mission” 
August 8, Presse Canadienne Service Français, “Un général dit que la mission du Canada en Afghanistan pourrait durer 20 ans”
August 9, Sun News, “Canuck troops ready to dig in 
August 9, People’s Daily Online, “Canadian general predicts 20-year mission in Afghanistan” 
August 9,, “Flight delays, growing pains face Canadian troops on changing Afghan mission” 
August 9, The Chronicle Herald, “Minor glitches delay Afghan mission” 
August 9, The Leader-Post (Regina), “Canada may stay for years”
August 9, The Guardian (Charlottetown), “Growing pains for Canadians on new Afghanistan mission”
August 9, The Standard (St. Catharines), “Canada’s Afghan mission may take years”
August 9, Montreal Gazette, “Afghan stay could be a very long one: Senior commander says war-torn country needs years of help to break out of tribalism”
August 9, The Expositor (Brantford), “Runway glitch in Afghanistan slows troops’ return home”
August 9, The North Bay Nugget, “Canadians face delays in Afghanistan mission”
August 11,, “Women in Catholic Countries ‘Oppressed and Denied Fundamental Human Rights’ says Abortionist Morgentaler” 
August 11, The National Post, “Reinventing our military” 
August 14, The Toronto Star, “Helping Afghans build their Islamic republic” 
August 14, The Toronto Star, “What scares us the most” 
August 14, The Toronto Star, “How ‘normal folk’ can kill” 
August 15,, “Award to Leading Abortion Doc ‘Defies the Imagination’ says Canadian Bishops Conference” 
August 16, Catholic World News, “Canadian prelate decries public-service award for abortionist” 
August 17,, “United Nations Right-to-Protect Reforms May Be Held Hostage By Security Council Vetoes” 
August 27, Orillia Packet & Times, Award for Morgentaler wrong: reader 
September 7, Embassy, “Foreign Trade Agreement, an Easy Sell on Bay Street, Undermines Justice in China” 


Photo  Photo
Click photo for full-size version.

Lyrics of the song performed Saturday, August 6 


Session summaries and speaker presentations are posted as they become available.



President’s Reception


Opening Keynote Address
Session Summary 
MAJOR GENERAL (ret’d) LEWIS MACKENZIE, OStJ, OOnt, MSC, CD, and President, General MacKenzie Enterprises Inc.
, former commander of the United Nation’s Observer mission in Central America and subsequently assigned to the UN’s Protection Force in Yugoslavia where he created and assumed command of Sector Sarajevo, and author of Peacekeeper: The Road to Sarajevo (bio)
Moderator: DAVID McGOWN, President, CIPA

Evening Reception



Left to right: Gwen Burrows, Richard Tremblay, Debra Pepler and Mulugeta Abai

Socialization and Force from the Kitchen to the Screen
Session Summary 
This panel will lay the groundwork of the conference, by looking at force in the local and cultural contexts. It is often said that our culture promotes and glorifies the use of force, particularly its most violent expressions, through families, the media, and the state. But perhaps it is human nature to resort to physical force in many situations. Is violence is the only response when non-violent use of force fails? What is the impact of extreme uses of force, such as torture, on individuals and societies?
    The panel will consider whether we have been socialized to accept force as a legitimate way of resolving disputes in our every day lives within families, workplaces, communities, nationally and internationally.
DR. RICHARD TREMBLAY (bio), Professor of Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Psychology at the University of Montréal, and Director of the Research Unit on Children’s Psycho-Social Maladjustment (speaker notes)
MULUGETA ABAI (bio), Executive Director, Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture
DR. DEBRA PEPLER (bio), Professor of Psychology, York University, and Psychologist, Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto
Moderator: GWEN BURROWS, Vice-President, Program, CIPA


Presentation: Annual Couchiching Award for Excellence in Public Policy Leadership to Dr. Henry Morgentaler (bio)
acceptance remarks)

Discussion Groups and Film Screening
Discussion groups will include explorations of the use of force in varied contexts.
Screening: the National Film Board’s Origins of Human Agression: The Other Story, a documentary examining the complex factors that affect the socialization of aggressive behaviour among humans. This film has generated interest from both broadcasters and the institutional market and the NFB has just sold it to CBC’s Nature of Things. (pdf)



Photo  Photo  Photo
Force and the State
Session Summary 
States are authorized to use force in some situations to protect their citizens, and as citizens most of us are willing to accept a reduction in civil liberties and freedom in exchange for this protection. This panel will include a discussion of when a state can/should use physical force with its citizens, with particular attention paid to the power of police, the state’s responses to violent protest, and civil disobedience. Questions considered will include whose interests are served by forcing this compliance -- the general public, law enforcement authorities, politicians? How have ideas changed about what is acceptable force? And who or what has been the catalyst for those changes?
CHRISTINE SILVERBERG (bio), Former Police Chief of Calgary
ALAN BOROVOY (bio), General Counsel of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association
IRUS BRAVERMAN (bio), S.J.D. (Doctorate) in Law, University of Toronto (first year), 2004–05, and Visiting Fellow, Human Rights Program, Harvard University, Fall 2005
Moderator: CETA RAMKHALAWANSINGH, CIPA Program Committee

Evening Reception


Breakfast and Annual General Meeting

Left to right: Meg Fox, Ernie Regehr, Peter Bradley, Craig Jenness

When to Use Force and When to Avoid It
Session Summary 
Is pacifism an outdated idea, or does it still have application in the modern world? This panel will look at the case for not using force in the international context, with reference to specific situations which have been resolved using physical force and which have been resolved without using physical force. In cases where force was applied, panelists will discuss whether this provided a long-term solution or not. The panel will also include a discussion on whether there are vested economic interests in resorting to the use of force and what the other options are to the physical use of force, including economic sanctions, and humanitarian interventions.
ERNIE REGEHR (bio), Director of Project Ploughshares at the Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies in Waterloo
DR. PETER BRADLEY (bio), Associate Chair of War Studies at the Royal Military College of Canada, Kingston, Ontario (speaker notes)
CRAIG JENNESS (bio), Former Head of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) Mission to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (Skopje) (2001–03), and currently serving as the Senior Advisor to the Special Representative of the Secretary General, United Nations Mission in Kosovo (speaker notes)
Moderator: MEG FOX, Program Committee, CIPA


Discussion Groups
Discussion groups will include explorations of the use of force in varied contexts.
Photo  Photo  Photo
Click photo for full-size version.



Left to right: John Kirton, Mary Kathryn Barbier, Monika Wohlfeld, Mark Taylor

Force in a Single Superpower World
Session Summary 
This panel will examine when the use of force is acceptable internationally and whether violence should only be used as a last resort. Various concepts have been articulated recently to help determine and/or justify when the use of force is appropriate, including the notion of preemptive strikes and “the responsibility to protect.” In the context of the current single superpower world, the panel will look at who determines when force should be used between nations, and to protect citizens within nations. What is the role of the United Nations and can/should it act as a counter balance to the United States? When, if ever, is it appropriate for states to take coercive action against another state for the purpose of protecting people at risk? Under what conditions are pre-emptive strikes acceptable? Is there such a thing as a just war?
DR. MONIKA WOHLFELD (bio), Deputy Director of the Conflict Prevention Centre of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (speaker notes)
MARK TAYLOR (bio), Managing Director, Fafo Institute for Applied International Studies (Fafo AIS) (speaker notes)
MARY KATHRYN BARBIER (bio), Assistant Professor, Department of History, Mississippi State University (speaker notes)
Moderator: JOHN KIRTON, CIPA Board Member

Evening Reception



Left to right: Alan Pearson, Paul Heinbecker, Nancy Gordon and Andrew Leslie

Canada’s Position on the Use of Force Internationally
Session Summary 
The international use of force has long been a difficult and divisive issue. In the 20th century, both the League of Nations and the United Nations struggled to craft and implement coherent and consistent policies. As we move into the 21st century, “responsibility to protect” and other doctrines require us to also consider whether, when and how to use international force in situations such as intra-nation conflict, ethnic persecution, and apprehended aggression. Canada’s position on the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq highlighted the complexity that such situations present. This panel will explore Canada’s position on the international use of force. What are the criteria (ethical, strategic, political, philosophical) that Canada should apply when deciding when or if it is acceptable to use force internationally? How should those decisions be reached and what conditions must be present before force is an option? Our panelists will present the diplomatic, NGO and milita
PAUL HEINBECKER (bio), Director of the Centre for Global Relations, Governance and Policy at Wilfrid Laurier University and former Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations (speaker notes)
NANCY GORDON (bio), Senior Vice-President of CARE Canada (speaker notes)
MAJOR-GENERAL ANDREW B. LESLIE, OMM, MSM, CD (bio), Director General, Strategic Planning, National Defence and former Deputy Commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul, Afghanistan (speaker notes)
Moderator: ALAN PEARSON, CIPA Board Member


Closing Keynote Address
Session Summary 
(bio), News Correspondent, CBS (speaker notes)
Moderator: CHRISTOPHER WADDELL, Program Chair, CIPA

Thanks to the 2005 Sponsors

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Annex Quest House
Associates in Planning Inc.
Bell Canada Enterprises
Canada Lands Company
Gowling, Lafleur, Henderson LLLP
Henry of Pelham
RCB Holdings Ltd.
Sun Life Assurance Co.
TD Financial Group
U.S. Consulate
Woodrow Wilson International
Center for Scholars
YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka & Geneva Park


Jackman Foundation
Laidlaw Foundation
RBC Foundation


Foreign Affairs Canada / Affaires étrangères Canada
National Defence / Défence nationale


Ruth Abrahamson
Kay & Madeline-Ann Aksich
Sharon Baltman
Catherine Boivie
Dorothy & Roel Buck
Gwenyth Burrows
John & Joyce Frid
Thérèse Gaudry
Nicholas J. Giacobbe
Jane Brenneman Gibson
Douglas Gibson Books Ltd.
Shira Herzog
John Kirton
Eric & Sonia Koch
Eliane Labendz
James Laidlaw
Margaret Lefebvre
Henry Lotin
Wes & Connie MacAleer
Danielle Martin
Don McCutchan
Dorothy McDonald
David and Rima McGown
Elizabeth Mulholland
Allan P. O’dette
Adam K. Ostry
Candida Paltiel
Chaviva Hosek & Alan Pearson
Geoffrey Pearson
Lucy Potts
G.E. Richardson
Gretta Riddell-Dixon
Katherine Smalley
Elisabeth Smith
Barbara Speck
Eileen Swinton
Larry Thacker
Christopher Waddell
Helen Walsh
Michael Wilson

Couchiching Scholarships

    In 2004, the Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs gave more than $5,000 worth of scholarships to young Canadians to attend our summer conference. In 2004, student and youth delegates came from across Canada as well as from India and the United States.

    Expectations of scholarship recipients include active participation in conference sessions and discussions, acting as recorder in at least one plenary session, and ongoing involvement in public affairs activities post-conference.

    The Kurt Swinton Fund provides financial assistance to attend the annual summer conference to Canadian youth delegates up to the age of 25 and enrolled in a recognized educational institution. To be considered, applicants must demonstrate an interest in the particular conference topic or in the realm of public affairs.

    The Aczel Fund provides scholarships for Canadian non-students who have contributed to CIPA through its committees, or who have a special connection to the topic and can contribute to the conference.

    The Fresh Minds Fund provides scholarships to attend the Summer Conference to Canadian community leaders and community artists who have shown outstanding leadership and made significant contributions to their communities. The scholarship is geared to community leaders and artists who do not have the funds to attend the conference but who demonstrate an interest and engagement in public affairs in Canada. It is expected that Fresh Mind Scholars/Fellows will continue to spread knowledge of the Couchiching Institute by reporting back to their communities and continuing their relationship with the institute with follow -up programming. It is expected that Fresh Mind Scholars will come from under-served communities from across Canada and will raise awareness of issues and concerns arising from their experience in these communities.

    If you are interested in attending the Couchiching Conference and are eligible for a scholarship, please forward a covering letter stating your qualifications, reasons for interest and what you believe you could contribute to the conference atmosphere along with a curriculum vitae. Submissions should be emailed to or mailed to our address by June 10. Successful applicants will be notified upon review by the scholarship committee. Please note that there is no application form and all information must be contained in your letter or CV.

    If you have any questions or queries regarding the Couchiching Institute, our youth programs, or our annual conference, please contact us at:

    Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs
    250 Consumers Road, Suite 301
    Willowdale, Ontario, M2J 4V6
    Tel: 416-494-1440
    Fax: 416-495-8723

How to Get to the Conference