July 2016

Conference Flash: For every two people who register for the Summer Conference that you refer, receive 10% off your conference fees – even after you register!

In this Issue:

Couch News

President's Message

2016 Summer Conference


Couch Community News



Alumni/Members in the News

Books of Note

Calling All Readers!

The President's Message
Adam Redish

My Summer Conference packing list:

  1. thinking cap – check
  2. bathing suit – check
  3. open mind for thought-provoking conversations – check
  4. spirit of engagement - check
  5. ready to meet new and thoughtful people – check
  6. looking forward to catching up with old friends – check.


Looks like I am all set to go.

And I am so, so looking forward to this year’s conference. We are on the eve of the sesquitential of our country. And what better way to prepare for that anniversary than engaging in thought-provoking and thoughtful discussion about what it means to be Canadian and where this great project of Canada is headed than to come to this year’s Summer Conference.

As always we have a great array of interesting and challenging speakers.

Okay, I admit it. I think we have an exceptionally interesting and challenging set of speakers and panels; you won’t see a line up like this for another 150 years!

I am particularly excited about the opening session on Friday afternoon – a unique interactive discussion of where the Canada Project is now. In true Couch fashion, we have brought together a mix of renowned thought-leaders –Senator Ratna Omidvar, Andrea Nemtin from the Inspirit Foundation, and Xiaoyi Yan from Citizen and Immigration Canada - along with a group Young Agents of Change from Inspirit and our scholarship recipients to discuss what is happening, now, with belonging and identity in Canada.

Armine and Michael provide full details on the conference below and I am sure you will agree that this truly is a singular and powerful line-up.

I am truly looking forward to Saturday night's entertainment - CIPA-style - with Douglas Gibson, author, storyteller and past Institute director, performing an adapted version of his one-man show, Stories about Storytellers, and Jordon Veira, spoken word performer and inter-disciplinary artist.

I’m all set to go – are you?


The 2016 Summer Conference - The Canada Project: Identity, Citizenship, and Nationhood in a Changing World
August 5th to 7th, 2016
The YMCA Geneva Park Conference Centre, Orillia, Ont.
Summer Conference Co-chairs Armine Yalnizyan and Michael Paramathasan

Join us and imagine the future, together, at Couchiching’s 85th Summer Conference. Get there early on Friday afternoon August 5th, so you can begin at the beginning.

It’s only a few weeks away! Everything seems to be moving so fast, including the approach of an amazing weekend.

This is a conversation not to be missed for anyone grappling with the meaning of Brexit, Black Lives Matter, trade deals, and virtual/digital realities. Each of these hot topics are vivid examples of just how the very notions of citizenship, identity, and nationhood are transforming, and, oh, so quickly.

What will this signify to the meaning of Canada? We are on the brink of celebrating a remarkable, unpredictable 150 years as a nation. Will we even be a nation − at least in the way we now understand nationhood − 50 years from now?

In this, the last pre-conference edition of Couchiching Connects, we are absolutely thrilled to announce more names of people we are certain will spark new thinking – sometimes in eye-brow raising fashion! − about where we’ve been and where we’re headed.

We kick things off Friday afternoon with a discussion about what our evolving approach to refugees, young Muslims, and newcomers portends for the future. We welcome Senator Ratna Omidvar, who helped spearhead Lifeline Syria; Xiaoyi Yan, Director of Research at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship; and Andrea Nemtin and the young Agents of Change from Inspirit Foundation to guide a lakeside discussion about how our sense of belonging to the Canada Project is changing.

Saturday morning promises to be unforgettable, beginning with thoughts from the Minister Responsible for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the Honourable John McCallum, on what it means to be a citizen in the 21st century.

Later on Saturday, the Honourable Michelle Rempel, the Official Opposition’s critic on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, will give her take on what kind of immigration policy the Canada Project will need to succeed in the 21st century.

No one will leave the room without having their views challenged; no one will leave Couchiching without have their minds expanded.

It’s fast forward and fascinating all weekend in this marketplace of ideas our speakers and your conversations will create.

If you’ve already registered for the Summer Conference, you’re in for a bigger treat than you might have bargained for. If you haven’t registered yet – what are you waiting for?

See you at the Lake! #CanadaProject

Check our website for updates on the Summer Conference.

Recommended Reading

The Politics of Exit: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-commentary/the-politics-of-exit-contradict-our-unprecedented-connection/article30685153/

“Canada is hailed for its tolerance but is it ready to confront its racism? “https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/12/canada-black-lives-matter-indigenous-people-muslims?

Click here to read about speakers Nahlah Ayed, Shaheen Azmi, Desmond Cole, Chief Isadore Day, Fay Faraday, Joseph Heath, Deanna Jamieson, Ingrid Mattson, Keith Neumann, John W. McArthur, Hon. John McCallum, Andrea Nemtin, Senator Ratna Omidvar, Eric Reguly, Hon. Michelle Rempel, Doug Saunders, Simon Tremblay Pepin, and Xiaoyi Yan.

Follow Joseph on his group blog: induecourse.ca

Follow Nahlah on Twitter: Nahlah Ayed (@NahlahAyed) | Twitter

Follow Desmond on Twitter: Desmond Cole (@DesmondCole) | Twitter

Follow Isadore on Twitter: Isadore Day (@ChiefDay) | Twitter

Follow Ingrid on Twitter: Ingrid Mattson (@IngridMattson) | Twitter

Follow Minister McCallum on Twitter: John McCallum (@HonJohnMcCallum) | Twitter

Follow Andrea on Twitter: Andrea Nemtin (@anemtin) | Twitter

Follow Eric on Twitter: Eric Reguly (@ereguly) | Twitter

Follow Michelle on Twitter: Michelle Rempel, MP (@MichelleRempel) | Twitter

Follow Doug on Twitter: Doug Saunders (@DougSaunders) | Twitter

Read about the Program: http://www.couchichinginstitute.ca/conference/2016-conference-program

2016 Summer Conference Reading List

See link for our suggested reading list related to this year’s topic courtesy of Manticore Books.



Couchiching Community News



Congratulations to board member Tshweu Moleme and his wife Sarah on the arrival of their second son, Thuto (which means enlightment), on May 13th.



The Globe and Mail, July 18th: Bessma Momani wrote:” Turkey’s failed coup d’etat will be a night few Turks will forget and will be noted as the first in Turkey’s tumultuous modern history of coups that actually failed. She is the senior fellow at the Centre of International Governance and Innovation and a professor at the University of Waterloo’s Balsillie School of International Affairs. Bessma was a speaker at the 2012 Conference, “The Arab Spring: Implications and Opportunities For Canada”.

Read more

The Globe and Mail, July 15th: Tom Flanagan wrote: “The Federal Court of Appeal recently overturned the federal government’s approval of the Northern Gateway pipeline because of insufficient consultation with First Nations. This decision dramatizes the dilemma of Canada’s oil and gas industry.” He is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Calgary and was a speaker at the 2010 Summer Conference, “Watershed Moment or Wasted Opportunity”.

Read more

The Globe and Mail, July 5th: Vass Bednar was the co-author, with Melissa Pogue, of an op-ed entitled “We live at home, but millennials aren’t living the life of Tony”. Vass is a member of the board and Chair, Public Policy Award and Gala Committees. Both are millennials who work at the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.

Read more

The Globe and Mail, June 30th: Armine Yalnizyan wrote: “Britain’s largely unexpected decision to leave the European Union has unleashed political and economic mayhem that will change the world. Whether those changes flow with the current of history, or against it, remains to be seen.” She is senior economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, vice-president of the Canadian Association for Business Economics, and co-chair of the 2016 Summer Conference. Armine was a speaker at the 2015 Summer Conference, “Are We Failing Our Future? Time for a New Deal Between Generations”.

Read more

The Globe and Mail, June 23rd: In an op-ed entitled “Five pressing priorities for the Three Amigos in Ottawa”, John Manley, Doug Oberhelman, and Alejandro Ramirez Magana urged the leaders of Canada, the United States, and Mexico to “seek progress in five specific areas. Mr. Manley, the president and CEO of the Business Council of Canada, was event chair of the 2011 and 2013 Couchiching Gala, then known as The Big Picture.

Read more


Our Alumni/Members in the News ...

Power & Influence, July 11, 2016: Michelle Rempel doesn’t care much about labels, but when it comes to wine, the fight is on. The Conservative Member of Parliament for Calgary Nose Hill will be a speaker at the 2016 Summer Conference.

Read more

Roberta L. Jamieson was named an Officer of the Order of Canada, a promotion within the order. She was a speaker at the 2013 Summer Conference, “Coming Together as One: Navigating the Relationship Between Indigenous Peoples and Canada”.

Marie Wilson, a commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, was named a Member of the Order of Canada. She was a speaker at the 2013 Summer Conference, “Coming Together as One: Navigating the Relationship Between Indigenous Peoples and Canada”.

The Globe and Mail, June 27th: Richard Pound was cited in an editorial entitled “Banning Russia just the start, hopefully” was a speaker at the 2014 Summer Conference, “More than a Game: The Politics and Potential of Sport.

Read more

Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, was awarded an honorary degree at the 2016 spring convocation of the University of Alberta. He was the 2013 recipient of the Couchiching Award for Public Policy Leadership.

Read more

The Globe and Mail, June 18th: Citing Richard Pound, Sean Gordon and Alan Maki wrote: “Tempting as it may be to view the Olympic ban slapped on Russia’s track and field federation as a watershed moment in the battle against cheaters, experts warn it’s not providential for anyone – in Canada or elsewhere – to feel too smug about it.” Pound was a speaker at the 2014 Summer Conference, “More than a Game: The Politics and Potential of Sport”.

Read more


Books of Note

A Thousand Farewells: A Reporter’s Journey from Refugee Camp to the Arab Spring by Nahlah Ayed
For a review by Rayyan Al-Shawaf: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/books-and-media/book-reviews/a-thousand-farewells-by-nahlah-ayed/article4265993/

Morality, competition, and the firm: the market failures approach to business ethics by Joseph Heath, 2014, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
For a review by Carson Young: http://ejpe.org/pdf/8-1-br-4.pdf

Enlightment 2.0 by Joseph Heath, 2014, HarperCollins, Toronto, ON.
For a review by Ivor Tossell: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/books-and-media/book-reviews/is-it-time-for-a-renaissance-of-reason/article18232384/

Filthy Lucre: Economics for People Who Hate Capitalism by Joseph Heath, 2009, Harper Collins, Toronto, ON.
For a review by James Buchan: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/books-and-media/filthy-lucre-by-joseph-heath/article4275238/

The Rebel Sell: Why the culture can’t be jammed by Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter, 2004, HarperCollins, Toronto, ON.
For a review: http://bookreviews.bbcf.ca/2012/09/heath-joseph-and-andrew-potter-the-rebel-sell-why-the-culture-cant-be-jammed-2004-harpercollins-toronto-on/

Nation of Rebels by Andrew Potter and Joseph Heath, 2005, HarperBusiness.
Read a review by Tony Hymes: https://tonyhymes.info/tag/nation-of-rebels/


Calling all Readers of Couchiching Connects!

Please send information on Newsmakers, Members on the Move, Alumni in the News, and Opinions: Our Members Write ... to Sheila Robertson, Editor, Couchiching Connects, sheila.robcom@gmail.com

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

Read More


Couchiching Connects
April 2017
View Now

Sign Up for our Newsletter!