Media Releases

Getting it right from the start - Margaret McCain to speak at Congress 2013


June 1, 2013 - Victoria— The Honourable Margaret Norrie McCain brings her wide-ranging experience as a champion for early childhood development to this Big Thinking lecture. Mrs. McCain focuses on the critical need for investment and cooperation across sectors to deliver quality learning to enhance children’s success in school and in life.

Drawing on the Early Years Study 3: Making Decisions, Taking Action, Mrs. McCain argues  that good education, begun early can improve outcomes for every child. It is fair. It works. It is affordable. But while more Canadian preschoolers are involved in early education than ever before, public policy remains confused. The split between oversight and delivery is stressful for children and parents alike, and negates the wonderful payback that comes from delivering early education in a way that simultaneously supports children’s learning and their parents’ work.  Mrs. McCain argues that preschool education for all 2-5 year olds is within our grasp, particularly if it is built on the asset we already have in public education.

Mrs. McCain’s address will be followed by a panel discussion on public perspectives on early learning, at 3 p.m. in the MacLaurin Building, Room B125. This will be followed by a reception to celebrate the signing of the Accord on Early Learning and Early Childhood Education by the Association of Canadian Deans of Education.

The Honourable Margaret Norrie McCain is currently Chair of the Margaret & Wallace McCain Family Foundation. The mission of this Foundation is to champion effective early childhood programmes across Canada that provide equal opportunities for all children. She serves on the Board of the Canadian Women’s Foundation and the Canadian Institute for Child Study and is also a founding member of the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation in New Brunswick, which is devoted to the elimination of family violence through public education and research.

In addition to participating in numerous early child development policy and programme initiatives in Canada, Mrs. McCain was the first female to hold the position of Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of New Brunswick (1994 to 1997).

What?  Margaret McCain’s -“Big Thinking” lecture
                “Getting it right from the start”

Where?  Phillip T. Young Theatre (B125), MacLaurin Building, University of Victoria

When?  June 2, 2013, 10:00- 11:00 a.m.

The Big Thinking lecture series is presented by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences and the University of Victoria. Supporting sponsors are the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

For more information, please contact:

Laura Markle

Mélanie Béchard


About the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Congress is the largest interdisciplinary conference in Canada. Described as a “conference of conferences,” Congress involves nearly 70 academic associations that represent a rich spectrum of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, including literature, history, theatre, film studies, education, music, sociology, geography, social work and many others.