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Diversity on the menu in Canada

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Participants analyze Canada’s diversity University of Quebec (Montreal). They met in a historic former church that has been incorporated into the university.

Academics, public servants and members of civil society from across Canada gathered in Montreal on March 14, 2008, to explore the impact of ethnic diversity on the canadian federal system of governance.

By international standards, Canada has achieved a certain stability and has managed to peacefully respond to national, multicultural and regional challenges. However, several enduring issues remain, such as the limited recognition of Quebec as a nation within Canada, the marginalization of Aboriginal peoples, and regional economic inequalities.

The highlights of the roundtable discussions were the salience of the Aboriginal question which continues to dominate Canadians politics, and the key role to be played by major Canadian cities in managing diversity. Participants were also unanimous in their view that relations with Aboriginal peoples remain the darkest stain on Canada’s historical record of accommodation of diversity.

Alain-G Gagnon, Canada Research Chair in Quebec and Canadian Studies and professor political science UQAM and Richard Simeon, professor political science and law University of Toronto and William Lyon Mackenzie King Professor of CanadianStudies, Harvard University, coordinated the event.

Participants included:  George Anderson, President, Forum of Federations; Victor Armony, Professor, Department of Sociology, UQAM; James Bickerton, Professor, Department of Political Science, St. Francis Xavier University; Alain-G Gagnon, Professor, Canada Research Chair in Quebec and Canadian Studies, UQAM; Kristin Good, Professor, Department of Political Science, Dalhousie University; Josh Hjartarson, Senior Intergovernmental Affairs Specialist, Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs, Government of Ontario; Howard Duncan, Executive Head, Metropolis Project; Grant Holly, Ph.D. candidate, Université de Montréal; Junichiro Koji, Ph D. candidate, Political Science University of Ottawa; Kiera Ladner, Professor, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Politics and Governance, University of Manitoba; Martin Papillon, Professor, School of Political Studies, University of Ottawa; Philip Resnick, Professor, Department of Political Science, University of British Columbia; Leslie Seidle, Senior Research Associate, Institute for Research on Public Policy; Naseema Siddiqui, President, Circle of Canadians and Chair of the Ontario Coalition of Mental Health Professionals; Richard Simeon, Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto, William Lyon Mackenzie King Professor of CanadianStudies, Harvard University; Luc Turgeon, Ph D. candidate, Political Science, University of Toronto.