Couchiching Connects: March 2016
In this Issue:
Couch Community News
News Flash! Time is Running Out! Get Your Gala Tickets Now!
Breaking News: Gala Table Host Ratna Omidvar named to the Senate.
The President's Message
Less than two weeks to go.
The Annual Couchiching Gala and Public Policy Award ceremony is coming up on April 11th! The evening is a highlight of the Couch calendar. As Gala and Policy Award Chair Vasiliki Bednar describes below, we have a great night in store – dynamic table hosts, engaging conversation, the remarkable Anne Golden to receive the Public Policy Award. It will truly be a night to remember. (Vass tells me only a few tickets are left so I recommend you act fast – very fast!
I look forward to seeing there!
And while the Gala is in sight, we haven’t forgotten about the Summer Conference. As co-chairs Armine Yalnizyan and Michael Paramathasan write, the 2016 event is shaping up to be to truly remarkable: insightful speakers, challenging and engaging panels, and a few entertaining surprises. As everyone who has been to a Summer Conference can you tell you, it is an event like no other!
The Couchiching Gala 2016: The Institute’s Signature Toronto Event
Couchiching Award for Public Policy Leadership
April 11th, Great Hall, Hart House, University of Toronto
Chair, Public Policy Award and Gala Committees, Vasiliki (Vass) Bednar
Join us on April 11th for the 2016 Gala recognizing the achievements of public policy leader Dr. Anne Golden! A strong and long-term advocate for social policy issues with significant and important contributions to policy making and policy thinking in this country, Dr. Golden is being recognized for her recent work on transit policy and for her substantial contributions to political and governance policy issues. The theme of her remarks at the Gala will be “Cities at a Tipping Point.”
Ensuring an evening of stimulating conversation and celebration, our table hosts are exceptional and include journalist and activist Desmond Cole; Editor-in-Chief of the Walrus, Jon Kay; artist and cartoonist Teva Harrison; economist and public policy influencer Jack Mintz; the Globe and Mail’s Denise Balkissoon; President of Environics’ Michael Adams; Enid Slack from the Munk School of Global Affairs; founding Executive Director of the Global Diversity Exchange Ratna Omidvar; economist and CBC commentator Armine Yalnizyan; and writer, reporter, and photographer Karen K. Ho.
As always, your attendance at the Gala helps drive Canada toward better public policy. You are also helping the Institute to reach out to the next generation of public policy leaders. How? Funds raised go to
- providing scholarships for young professionals, students, and NGO workers to attend the Summer Conference.
- keeping our expenditures low so we can continue to present a variety of voices at our events.
- offering a “young professionals rate” for our Gala.
Can’t attend or want to do more? Why not donate a dinner? You can purchase extra tickets using the normal registration form for a special price of $200. These tickets go to promising young public policy leaders who cannot afford to attend the Gala.
Click here for details on Gala Table Hosts: Michael Adams; Denise Balkissoon; Desmond Cole; Teva Golden; Karen K. Ho; Jonathan Kay; Dr. Jack M. Mintz; Ratna Omidvar*; Dr. Enid Slack; and Armine Yalnizyan.
Note: For Ottawa-area Couchers, table Host Desmond Cole will be a featured speaker at the 2016 Progress Summit in Ottawa, March 31st – April 2nd.
Note: Ratna Omidvar was a speaker at the 2007 Summer Conference “The Stranger Next Door: Making Diversity Work”.
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
This year's discussions by the lake will get you thinking about what it means to be Canadian in entirely new ways, as Canada prepares to embark on its next 150 years.
We are proud to announce three more incredible speakers who will challenge and provoke our thinking on August 5th to 7th, and for months to come.
Nahlah Ayed is a foreign correspondent for CBC TV's The National, based in London. She is a veteran of foreign reportage, covering major world events from the refugee crisis unfolding across Europe, the dying days of Iran under international sanctions, the attacks in Paris, to the conflict in Ukraine. She also spent nearly a decade in the Middle East, filing extensively for CBC television, radio, and online on numerous conflicts, everyday life, and later, the Arab uprisings. Nahlah’s work has been recognized repeatedly, through several awards, countless nominations, and an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Manitoba for distinguished achievement. A former parliamentary reporter for The Canadian Press, Nahlah is a graduate of Carleton University's Master of Journalism program. She also holds a master's degree in interdisciplinary studies and a B.Sc. in genetics from the University of Manitoba. Born and raised in Winnipeg, she is the author of a book about refugeehood entitled A Thousand Farewells: A Reporter's Journey from Refugee Camp to the Arab Spring.
Chief Isadore Day was elected Ontario Regional Chief in June 2015, and is a member of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Executive and the Chair of the Political Confederacy for the Chiefs of Ontario. Born in Elliot Lake and raised in the North, Isadore worked in construction, commercial fishing, and social services before being elected Chief of Serpent River First Nation in 2005, where he has worked to make change for Anishnabek and First Nations at the regional and national levels. He has held positions on a number of boards and committees, including as Lake Huron Regional Chief, and with the Union of Ontario Indians, the Chiefs of Ontario, and the North Shore Tribal Council. As Ontario Regional Chief, Isadore’s primary role is to actively advocate for the protection of Indigenous Nations’ inherent and treaty rights. His post-secondary education focused on Social Work, Business, and First Nation Public Administration and Governance. This combination helped prepare him for the multi-jurisdictional dynamics of First Nation governance. Isadore’s contemporary mainstream ideals and traditional insights offers inspiration and energy for all who seek to learn and grow to become better people and better leaders.
John W. McArthur is a senior fellow in the Global Economy and Development program at the Brookings Institution and with the UN Foundation. He was deputy director of the United Nations Millennium Project, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s independent advisory body mandated to recommend an action plan for achieving the MDGs. As a research fellow at the Center for International Development at Harvard University, he supported the World Health Organization’s Commission on Macroeconomics and Health and co-authored the Global Competitiveness Report. In 2006, John proposed a graduate degree to provide rigorous cross-disciplinary training for the next generation of sustainable development practitioners. In 2007 and 2008, he co-chaired the International Commission on Education for Sustainable Development Practice. He co-founded the global network of Masters in Development Practice programs that has been launched across five continents. In 2013-14, he chaired the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council (GAC) on Poverty and Sustainable Development and in 2011-12 chaired the GAC on Benchmarking Progress. He is a member of the Forum’s Advisory Board on Sustainability and Competitiveness and has been recognized as a Young Global Leader. He completed a DPhil (PhD) and MPhil in economics at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar; a Masters in Public Policy at Harvard University's John F Kennedy School of Government; and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) at the University of British Columbia.
Click here to read about speakers Keith Neumann, Desmond Cole, and Doug Saunders, profiled in the February 2016 issue of Couchiching Connects.
Read more about the Program.
2016 Summer Conference Reading List
Chair Karen Hamilton
“The countdown to the Summer Conference has begun! In terms of the uniqueness of the Institute and its broad and deep addition to Canadian democracy, the count up is what we are counting on! Tickets to the Gala to be purchased and registrations for the Summer Conference to be made. The time is now, the need is clear, the civil place to disagree is essential to who we are as Canadians.
As we watch and listen to the news from other countries around the world, it is clear what a precious and unique gift the Institute is for Canada. Do not take it for granted. It needs your support!”
Couchiching Community News
Stephen Clarkson died on February 28th. Gloria Galloway wrote: “Prof. Clarkson was many things: An extraordinary political researcher, a prolific and multiple-award-winning author of books about trade and politics, a young radical, a fervent nationalist, a former Toronto mayoral candidate, a devoted father, and, over the course of his lifetime, the husband of three intensely bright and accomplished women.” He was a speaker at the 2003 Summer Conference, Continentalism: What’s in it for us?
Jonathan Craft and Zoiey Cobb (who met at Couchiching) are ecstatic to announce the arrival of Béatrice Joan Craft. Punctual like her Dad, Béatrice was born on her due date at 4:22 am on March 11th, 2016, a healthy seven pounds ten ounces with a full head of hair like her Mom.
Members on the Move
Drew Fagan, a member of the Institute’s board of directors, is Senior Fellow at C.D. Howe Institute, Munk School of Global Affairs (UofT), Brookfield Institute (Ryerson U.)
Abdi Hersi is Co Op Policy Advisor at Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure.
The Ottawa Citizen, March 15th: Aaron Paquette wrote: “A social media firestorm is sweeping across the newsfeeds of Harry Potter fans and Indigenous people in North America. It stems from J.K. Rowling’s online fiction series History of Magic in North America, a recent expansion beyond the ubiquitous Harry Potter universe.” He is a First Nations Metis artist and author of the award-winning young adult novel, Lightfinder, published by Kegedonce Press. He was a speaker at the 2013 Summer Conference, “Coming Together as One: Navigating the Relationship Between Indigenous Peoples and Canada”.
The Ottawa Citizen, February 29th: Green Party leader Elizabeth May wrote: “So much carbon; so little time. It is true globally and it is true for Canada.” She was the 2006 recipient of the Couchiching Award for Public Policy Leadership.
The Ottawa Citizen, February 29th: In a speech to the annual Manning Centre Conference, Preston Manning, the 2007 recipient of the Couchiching Award for Public Policy Leadership, said: “Let’s ask and answer these questions:
- What are the value-based policies that conservatives have to offer as ALTERNATIVES to those offered by self-styled progressives?
- What are the value-based policies we have to offer – not just on the fiscal front, but in ALL the major areas of public interest and concern, some of which we may have neglected in times past?”
The Globe and Mail, February 27th: Martha Hall Findlay wrote: “Ravenna is about 10 kilometres inland from the southern shore of Georgian Bay, up the side of the Beaver Valley, in the rolling farmland of Southern Ontario. If you blink as you hit the intersection of Grey County Roads 2 and 119, you’ll miss it, because today, Ravenna is barely a sign and the intersection of two rural roads.” She is Executive Fellow at the School of Public Policy, University of Calgary, and a former member of the Institute’s Board of Directors.
The Globe and Mail, February 26th: Preston Manning wrote: “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again, there is nothing new under the sun,” as King Solomon noted 3,000 years ago, and so it is today as we greet the latest “news” from Ottawa.” The founder of the Manning Centre was the 2007 recipient of the Couchiching Award for Public Policy Leadership.
Behind the Numbers, February 17th: Armine Yalnizyan wrote on the blog of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives: “The rapid decline in the value of the Canada dollar relative to the US dollar has been cause for serious concern. If current trends are not reversed, both public policy options and prospects for private sector outcomes will be dramatically reshaped.” She is senior economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and co-chair of the 2016 Summer Conference.
Our Alumni/Members in the News ...
BBC World, March 20th: Hind Kabawat was a panelist on the BBC’s “Global Questions” program discussing Syria’s Refugee Crisis. She is the Director of the Interfaith Peacebuilding at the Centre for World Religions and Diplomacy and was a speaker at the 2012 Summer Conference, “The Arab Spring: Implications and Opportunities For Canada”.
Listen until April 19th.
Maclean’s, March 18th: Economist Mike Moffat wrote: “When the federal budget is released on Tuesday, the two big questions economists and pundits will have are “how big is the deficit?” and “how closely does the budget match the Liberal campaign platform?” While these are important issues, they are plenty of others worth considering. There are eight items in particular I will be looking for in Budget 2016:” He was a speaker at the 2015 Summer Conference: “Are we Failing Our Future: Time for a New Deal between Generations”, and is an Assistant Professor in the Business, Economics and Public Policy (BEPP) group at the Ivey Business School and a Fellow at the Lawrence National Centre for Policy and Management.
Inside the Games, March 10th: Reporter Liam Morgan wrote: “Tennis officials were aware there was a problem with the use of meldonium in the sport before five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova tested positive, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission chair Richard Pound claimed here today.” He was a speaker at the 2014 Summer Conference, “More than a Game: The Politics and Potential of Sport”.
The Guardian, March 9th: Speaking at the Tackling Doping in Sport Conference in London, Dick Pound said: “Russian athletics is not devoting ‘enough energy’ to rid itself of doping and has a ‘steep hill’ to climb if it wants to compete at this year’s Olympics, according to Dick Pound, the investigator whose coruscating investigation into Russian track and field led to it being suspended from international competition.” He was a speaker at the 2014 Summer Conference, “More than a Game: The Politics and Potential of Sport”.
Roberta Jamieson is the recipient of the 2016 President’s Award, presented by YWCA Toronto’s Women of Distinction program. She was a speaker at the 2013 Summer Conference, “Coming Together as One: Navigating the Relationship Between Indigenous Peoples and Canada”. She is President and CEO of Indspire and Executive Producer of the Indspire Awards.
The Guardian, March 9th: Speaking at the Tackling Doping in Sport Conference in London, Dick Pound said: “Russian athletics is not devoting ‘enough energy’ to rid itself of doping and has a ‘steep hill’ to climb if it wants to compete at this year’s Olympics.” He is the investigator whose coruscating investigation into Russian track and field led to it being suspended from international competition.” He was a speaker at the 2014 Summer Conference, “More than a Game: The Politics and Potential of Sport”.
Glen Hodgson, Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist at the Conference Board of Canada, delivered a keynote address at the Ottawa Economics Association-Canadian Association of Business Economics Annual Conference on March 10th. He was a speaker at the 2014 Summer Conference, “More than a Game: The Politics and Potential of Sport” and the 2009 Summer Conference, “The Global Politics of Food”.
Le Devoir, February 3rd: Board member Emilie Nicolas was a signatory to an article: “À la suite des commentaires de Louis Morissette sur le blackface et les #Moustiques la semaine dernière, et en ce début du Mois de l’histoire des Noirs, nous unissons nos voix pour : »
The Globe and Mail, February 27th: Parliamentary reporter Steven Chase wrote: “Former Reform Party leader Preston Manning is accusing Justin Trudeau’s government of breeding western Canadian alienation at a time when low-energy prices are wreaking havoc in places such as Alberta, saying the Liberals care more about Montreal-based Bombardier than unemployed oil workers.” The founder of the Manning Centre was the 2007 recipient of the Couchiching Award for Public Policy Leadership.
National Post, February 26th: Trevor Howell Postmedia News wrote: “Calgary police confirmed Thursday they are investigating allegations city employees were harassed, physically assaulted and threatened at recent public meetings on the southwest transitway project. But the citizens’ group accused by Mayor Naheed Nenshi of inciting or being directly involved in those supposed incidents are now demanding a public apology from city hall’s top elected official.” The mayor was the closing speaker at the 2011 Summer Conference, “From the Ground Up: Civic Engagement in our Time”.
The Globe and Mail, February 25th: Tom Flanagan wrote: “In 2011, Calgary council voted 10-3 to discontinue fluoridation of the city’s water, which had begun 20 years earlier pursuant to a referendum. Now the consequences are becoming visible.” He is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Calgary, was chair of the aboriginal futures research program at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, and was a speaker at the 2010 Summer Conference, “Watershed Moment or Wasted Opportunity.
The Globe and Mail, February 24th: Michael Wilson wrote: “We can no longer ignore the alarming evidence: Every day, at least 10 Canadians die by suicide. Do we have the courage to face down stigma and get help into the hands of those who need it?” The former federal cabinet minister is chairman of the Mental Health Commission of Canada and of Barclays Capital Canada Inc. He was the recipient of the inaugural Couchiching Award for Public Policy Leadership.
The Financial Post, February 23rd: Wenran Jiang wrote: “China’s GDP grew by 6.9 per cent last year, its slowest in 25 years. But that must still be the envy of the rest of the world, which did not even do half as well on average.” He is the Director of the Canada-China Energy & Environment Forum, a former special adviser to the Alberta Department of Energy, and a former member of the Institute’s Board of Directors.
The MacKenzie Institute, January 28th: “In January 2011, protests erupted in Egypt and across the Middle East, thousands took to the streets in support of democratic reform, and the world was captivated. What has really changed?” Ferry de Kerckhove, Executive Vice-President of the Conference of Defence Associations Institute, explains the political factors of the Arab Spring — and its future. He was a speaker at the 2012 Summer Conference, “The Arab Spring: Implications and Opportunities For Canada”.
Books of Note
Lightfinder by Aaron Paquette, a YA (young adult) fantasy novel about Aisling, a young Cree woman who sets out into the wilderness with her Kokum (grandmother), Aunty and two young men she barely knows.
For a review see http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19524803-lightfinder
A Thousand Farewells: A Reporter's Journey from Refugee Camp to the Arab Spring by Nahlah Ayed is “the touching and thought-provoking recreation of a Palestinian-Canadian girl’s successful struggle to forge a coherent personal identity out of geographic dislocation and cultural confusion” …
Among the Truthers: A Journey Through America's Growing Conspiracist Underground by Jonathan Kay examines the popularity of conspiracy theories in the United States.
The Volunteer: A Canadian’s Secret Life in the Mossad by Michael Ross with Jonathan Kay tells the riveting story of a Canadian who serves as a senior officer in Israel's legendary Mossad.
Women in Sports Coaching, Institute board member Sheila Robertson, contributing author, published by Routledge, March 2016, https://www.routledge.com/products/9781138837966. “Women in many Westernised countries have better career opportunities than ever before and the percentage of women leaders in nearly every sector is on the rise, but sport coaching remains a domain where gender equity has declined or stalled.”
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, email@example.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