Video On Demand
The mission of the CIPA, Canada’s oldest public affairs forum, is to increase the awareness and understanding of domestic and international issues amongst people in Canada, through open and inclusive discussion, without advocacy or partisanship.The opinions expressed at the conference are those of individual speakers and not those of the Institute.
Transcript of the Conference (pdf)
Reading List (pdf)
The 2007 Couchiching conference looks at diversity, social cohesion and citizenship. With our increasingly diverse society, how do we maintain a core set of values and cultural harmony? Is there a mainstream culture? What role do government and business play in drawing on the talents of such a multiplicity of cultures? What does patriotism mean in this new world? Does diversity threaten security? What can we learn from our friends south of the border, or across the Atlantic, in living together in harmony and what can they learn from us?
Couchiching will ask who are we questions about identity, shared values and the meaning of citizenship, and also ask how we manage questions about how we can adapt to (and take advantage of) diversity.
Canada has traditionally seen these two approaches to social cohesion the focus on finding a common identity and the focus on finding how to live together collectively as both valid and not contradictory, but more and more, we hear rhetoric from the United Kingdom and continental Europe that positions the debate solely within a framework of identities and values.
2007 Media Coverage
August 13, Preston Manning honoured, Orillia Packet and Times
August 13, Diversity heading down a rough road, conference told, The Globe and Mail
August 12, Multiculturalism is a success story, so stop whining, Toronto Star
August 11, Trading rights for security can't be done, scholar says, The Globe and Mail
August 11, Thirty-eight years later, I'm back on Lake Couchiching, The National Post
August 9, Couchiching Institute honours Preston Manning with 2007 excellence award, Orillia Packet and Times
August 9, Couchiching Conference tackles social cohesion, Orillia Packet and Times
August 3, Couchiching Conference: Tackling Diversity and Social Cohesion, Canadian Ethnic Media Association
THURSDAY, AUGUST 9
2:00 Youth Forum
Recipients of Couchichings Kurt Swinton, Aczèl and Fresh Minds scholarships convene for issue-specific youth-driven discussion forums. Groups led by speakers JANICE GROSS STEIN, HAROON SIDDIQUI and WILL KYMLICKA offer a novel arena in which to intellectually engage with the conferences core issues and each other.
3:30 Introductory Panel: Uneasy Partners
The conference opens with an exploration of the conflict between equality rights and the implementation of multiculturalism policy in contemporary Canada. Panelists contributed chapters to the newly released Uneasy Partners: Multiculturalism and Rights in Canada, described as a highly personal as well as strongly analytic discussion of multiculturalism in Canada today.
- HAROON SIDDIQUI (bio), Editorial Page Editor Emeritus, Toronto Star
- WILL KYMLICKA (bio), Canada Research Chair in Political Philosophy, Department of Philosophy, Queens University
- JANICE GROSS STEIN (bio), Belzberg Professor of Conflict Management and Director, Munk Centre for International Studies
Moderator: RIMA BERNS-McGOWN, CIPA Program Committee
5:00 Presidents Reception
7:30 Opening Keynote Address: The Challenge of Diversity
Tariq Ramadan has attracted worldwide attention in challenging both the West and Islam, and especially the rapidly growing Muslim community living in the West. His incisive and insightful investigations constitute another fascinating chapter in Islams long history of interpretation and reinterpretation as its own identity adapts to the cultural and historical context of western communities.
He challenges the West to engage with Islam in a way that abandons usually negative stereotypes and generalizations. He believes this engagement can be an immensely positive experience for the West, for he is convinced that strong religious faiths can live peaceably in a genuinely pluralistic West, and that both Islam and democracy will benefit.
Summary of Keynote Address
TARIQ RAMADAN (bio), Senior Research Fellow, St. Antonys College, Oxford
Moderator: HELEN WALSH, President, CIPA
10:00 Evening Reception
FRIDAY, AUGUST 10
9:30 Canada Who Shall We Be?
To talk intelligently about diversity, social cohesion and citizenship in Canada a country whose cultural constitution is changing at a pace that leads the world we need not only to get the facts right, but also to appreciate the profound contribution of Canadian thinkers to the global discussion of these issues. Michael Adams, founder of Environics and best-selling author, and renowned philosopher Will Kymlicka are ideally suited to spark a sound and well-informed conversation about the issues. Veronica Lacey will add her penetrating insight on the matter by discussing recent research on the generation who will be Canada in the next decade or two.
Moderator: GWEN BURROWS, CIPA Board Member
1:00 Unleashing All Our Diversity of Talents
Carrying the very portfolio that defines our conference agenda, representing the most diverse province in Canada, the Honourable Mike Colle addresses the issues of the weekend from the perspective of a government minister.
- JOAN ANDREW (bio),
Deputy Minister, Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration
Moderator: TED WIGDOR, VP, Program
2:00 Discussion Groups
Groups will discuss conference themes including working skills development, the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, the limits of tolerance, diversity in the federal Cabinet and Supreme Court, etc.
7:30 Diversity & Security: Diverse Threats to Security?
From left to right: Chrystia Freeland, Audrey Macklin, Sophie Body-Gendrot and Kate Lines
Public safety and the right to give expression to ones own identity to live in a free society but where protection is at the same time safeguarded is only possible when the right legal and security frameworks are in place. But what is the balance between security and human rights? Audrey Macklin, one of Canadas top legal minds, has a deep knowledge of many areas including security certificates. She will be joined by European and American speakers who present different perspectives and opinions that enrich and complicate the debate.
- AUDREY MACKLIN (bio), Faculty of Law, University of Toronto
- SOPHIE BODY-GENDROT (bio), Professor, Université Sorbonne (Presentation)
- CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT KATE LINES (bio), Ontario Provincial Police
Moderator: CHRYSTIA FREELAND (bio), Managing Editor, Financial Times
10:00 Evening Reception
SATURDAY, AUGUST 11
8:00 Breakfast & Annual General Meeting
9:30 Are Canadian Institutions Adapting to Diversity?
If Friday morning looked at who we are, this session looks at how we might manage it all to the benefit of each of us as citizens in a country some may no longer recognize. How are our institutions adapting? Do they help or hinder? Ratna Omidvar of The Maytree Foundation, Marie McAndrew of the University of Montreal and Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond of British Columbias government will look at the challenges in and pragmatic solutions to immigration settlement, reasonable accommodation, intercultural education and legal institutions, government and education in a culturally diverse society. Where does one start to sort out the issues? These three can help us find an answer or at least ask better questions.
- RATNA OMIDVAR (bio), Executive Director, The Maytree Foundation (Presentation)
- MARIE McANDREW (bio), Faculty of Education, University of Montreal (Presentation PDF)
- BOB WATTS (bio), Interim Executive Director for the Truth and
Moderator: CETA RAMKALAWANSINGH, CIPA Program Committee
2:00 Putting Diverse Talents to Work
Milton Wong (left) and Alden Habacon
Does diversity deter or encourage us to meet the economic challenges of a country where the cultural make-up of the workforce is destined to change dramatically over the next few decades? Milton Wong, with his vast experience in business, the volunteer sector and the university, has rich insight into how Canada can create the conditions to thrive.
- MILTON WONG, OBC (bio), Chancellor Emeritus, Simon Fraser University, and Chair, HSBC Asset Management Canada
- ALDEN HABACON (bio), Manager of Diversity Initiatives, English Television Network, CBC
Moderator: DON McCUTCHAN, VP, Program
3:00 Discussion Groups
Discussion groups will explore conference themes including the economics of immigration, diversity and the media, diversity in the educational system, etc.
7:30 Is There a Mainstream Canadian Culture?
From the left: Nora Young, George Jonas, Marie Clements, Lawrence Hill and Zarqa Nawaz
When we speak about Canadian content in the arts, we assume there is a mainstream culture that defines us. Is this really true? Can all the different reflections of our diverse country constitute a single Canadian culture? CBC Radios Nora Young will moderate a rich discussion with award-winning playwright Marie Clements and Roch Carrier, author, cultural icon and former head of the National Library of Canada a repository of Canadian culture if there ever was one!
- MARIE CLEMENTS (bio), Artistic Director/Producer, urban ink productions and playwright in residence, National Arts Centre
- GEORGE JONAS, Writer and Journalist
- ZARQA NAWAZ (bio), Fundamentalist Films and creator of Little Mosque
on the Prairie
- LAWRENCE HILL (bio)
Moderator: NORA YOUNG, Broadcaster/Producer, CBC (bio)
10:00 Evening Reception
SUNDAY, AUGUST 12
9:30 Presentation of the Annual Couchiching Award for Excellence in Public Policy Leadership
PRESTON MANNING served as a member of the Canadian Parliament from 1993 to 2001. He founded two new political parties the Reform Party of Canada and the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance both of which became the official Opposition, radically changing the face of Canadian politics and policy. Mr. Manning served as Leader of the Opposition from 1997 to 2000. In Think Big, he describes his use of the tools and institutions of democracy to change Canadas national agenda. Mr. Manning continues to write, speak and teach on a variety of subjects.
Introductory remarks by David McGown
10:00 What Does Citizenship Mean in a World Without Borders?
Left to right: Pierre Pettigrew, Drew Fagan, Farouk Jiwa, Irvin Studin
The world beyond our borders is already present in our daily lives. The presence will only increase. Borders are fluid, international networks are multiplying, dual citizenship is common what rights and whose responsibilities do we bear, and to which country? In a world that has left behind the tidy era (or not so tidy) of nation-states and citizens of relatively fixed geographic and cultural identities, is anything constant any more? Pierre Pettigrew, a former minister of Foreign Affairs, as comfortable in Canada as he is in Europe or Latin America, and two young Canadians, Farouk Jiwa and Irvin Studin, whose own identities and take on the question of citizenship in a global community are as post-national and cosmopolitan as they come, add their insights.
- FAROUK SHAMAS JIWA (bio), Global Youth Fellow 2006, Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation (Speaker’s notes PDF)
- PIERRE PETTIGREW (bio), Executive Advisor, International, Deloitte & Touche, LLP
- IRVIN STUDIN (bio), author, What Is a Canadian? (Presentation)
Moderator: DREW FAGAN (bio), Assistant Deputy Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada
1:00 Closing Keynote: Where Do We Go From Here?
James Bartleman and Joan Jenkinson
THE HONOURABLE JAMES BARTLEMAN (bio)
27th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
For the past four days, weve heard all sorts of ideas and opinions about living in a culturally diverse world. But what is the way forward? How do we develop respect for diversity in the world? And what can Canada do? The closing keynote will send us back to the city with a whole new perspective.
Moderator: JOAN JENKINSON, CIPA
Base Consulting and Management Inc.
Henry of Pelham
Probyn & Company
RBC Holdings Ltd.
TD Canada Trust
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Citizenship and Immigration Ontario
Human Resources Development Canada
The Burton Charitable Foundation
The Maytree Foundation
Catherine Aczèl Boivie and Janos Aczèl
Dorothy and Roel Buck
Jane Brenneman Gibson
Lisa De Wilde
Marilyn Ann Girvan
Nand Kishor Gusain
Michael and Douglas & Associates
Michael & Jane Millgate
Hon. Donald Oliver
Lloyd and Pat Posno
Irving and Dorothy Soichet
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