Big Thinking

Upcoming Big Thinking lectures

Is incremental equality for First Nations Children compatible with reconciliation?

Cindy Blackstock
Executive Director, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada and Director, Equity and Diversity, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Date: Tuesday, September 27, 2016 (7:30 am - 8:45 am)
Location: Parliamentary Restaurant, Centre Block
Cost: $25 (credit card only), includes a hot breakfast. Free for parliamentarians and the media

A Canadian Human Rights Tribunal landmark ruling released on January 26, 2016 found that the Canadian government is racially discriminating against 163,000 First Nations children and their families by providing flawed and inequitable child welfare services and failing to ensure equitable access to government services. When governments know better they should do better for kids, and this talk will discuss the history of the Canadian Government’s relationship with First Nations children and highlight the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling in the context of this value. What are the implications of this case, and how can we engage in meaningful reconciliation?

Cindy Blackstock is a member of the Gitksan First Nation who has 25 years of social work experience in child protection and indigenous children’s rights. An author of over 50 publications, she is also the Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, Professor at McGill University and the Director of Equity and Diversity for the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. Her promotion of culturally based and evidence informed solutions has been recognized by the Nobel Women’s Initiative, the Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, Frontline Defenders and many others.

 


The 2016 US Election: How did it come to this, and where is it going?

Richard Johnston 
Canada Research Chair in Public Opinion, Elections, and Representation at the University of British Columbia

Date: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 (7:30 am - 8:45 am)
Location: Parliamentary Restaurant, Centre Block
Cost: $25 (credit card only), includes a hot breakfast. Free for parliamentarians and the media

The battle for the Republican nomination defied prediction and challenged much of what we thought we knew about parties in the United States. Many believed that Donald Trump was a creature of the media, doomed to obscurity once they lost interest. Instead, he activated potential Republican constituencies that had long been dormant. Something of the same happened on the Democratic side with the race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Is 2016 an historical accident, leaving no permanent impact, or has the electoral landscape been fundamentally transformed? What impact will this have on Canada?

Richard Johnston is Canada Research Chair in Public Opinion, Elections, and Representation at the University of British Columbia. He studies parties and elections in Canada and the US and is a pioneer in survey research. He is the co-author of, among other books, The 2000 Presidential Election and the Foundations of Party Politics and of The End of Southern Exceptionalism: Class, Race, and Partisan Change in the Postwar South.

Registration coming soon

 

 


Big Thinking on the road

Digital literacy in Canada

Catherine Middleton
Professor, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University, and Canada Research Chair in Commnication Technologies in the Information Society

Date: Saturday, November 19, 2016
Location: Four Points by Sheraton Kingston, 285 King Street East, Kingston,ON

This lecture will take place at the Royal Society of Canada's Annual General Meeting

Registration coming soon


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2015-2016 Season

Canada's origin story
Kathleen Mahoney, Professor of Law, University of Calgary
May 10, 2016 

Since Confederation in 1867, Canada has identified and conducted itself as a country of two founding nations, the British and the French, while subordinating the status of Indigenous peoples. A new project is seeking to alter that narrative through official recognition, on the 150th anniversary of the 1867 confederation, of the foundational contributions of Indigenous peoples to the formation of Canada, in addition to the British and the French. By resetting Canada's origin story, future generations will better understand the true nature of the country's origins, and we will improve the context for discussion and action on commitments already made to reconciliation, building nation-to-nation relationships and rights to self-determination. This event is organized in partnership with the Royal Society of Canada

The evolving Middle East: Implications for Canadian strategy
Janice Stein, Professor, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto
April 19, 2016 

The Middle East is experiencing the systematic collapse of a political order put in place one hundred years ago. This breakdown is creating ripples far beyond the region, pushing refugees up against an increasingly tightly wound Europe and exporting ideologies and ideologues that promote violence around the world. The breakdown of order can be remarkably quick, but the construction of a new order is painfully slow. How then should Canada deal with a part of the world that is likely to remain turbulent and violent for the foreseeable future yet is important to the world and to Canadians? 

Reforming Canada’s voting system: What would proportional representation change?
André Blais, Professor of Political Science, Université de Montréal
March 22, 2016

The 2015 federal election campaign brought new urgency to a fundamental issue in Canadian democracy: Should we change our voting system? Discussion has focused on the merits of a “proportional” versus a “majoritarian” system. Three questions are key: Does proportional representation foster a higher participation rate? Are voters’ preferences better represented in a proportional system? And are citizens more satisfied under a proportional system?

Thinking out loud: Talking liberal arts with Joseph Boyden
Josephy Boyden, novelist and short story writer
Big Thinking on the road at Concordia University
March 7, 2016

What does a liberal arts education mean and why is it important? Join novelist and short story writer Joseph Boyden and Concordia's Rebecca Duclos (Dean, Faculty of Fine Arts) and Jill Didur (Associate Professor, Department of English) in conversation on the future and challenges to the liberal arts. This event was made possible through a collaboration with Concordia University's Thinking Out Loud initiative.

  • Big Thinking video (coming soon)

The future of assisted death in Canada
Jocelyn Downie, Trudeau Fellow, Professor in the Faculties of Law and Medicine, Dalhousie University
February 23, 2016

Canada is rapidly moving into a new reality for end-of-life care. From an all-out ban, Canada is on course to adopt some of the most progressive assisted death legislation in the world. In the last year, Quebec has implemented permissive assisted death legislation and the Supreme Court of Canada has struck down the Criminal Code prohibitions on assisted death. Canadian legislators are under pressure to resolve a host of thorny issues by June 2016. Who qualifies for assisted death? How are interests of patients and health care providers reconciled? What oversight system is appropriate? This event was sponsored by the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation

Canada's origin story
Kathleen Mahoney, FRSC, Professor of Law at the University of Calgary and Legal Advisor at the Assembly of First Nations
November 27, 2015

This Big Thinking lecture was held at the Annual General Meeting of the Royal Society of Canada, and sponsored by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences and the University of Calgary. 

Reconciliation and the Academy
Wab Kinew, Associate Vice-President, Indigenous Affairs, University of Winnipeg
November 17, 2015


See past Big Thinking lectures