University of Lethbridge
Thursday, October 27, 2016
7:30pm – 9:30pm
“Why Multiculturalism Matters”
Multiculturalism can no longer be seen as a feel-good political program to keep minority populations happy. On the contrary, the rights and social attitudes that underpin policies of multiculturalism have become the foundation of peaceful co-existence in ethnically mixed democracies. These policies will need constant reinforcing as twenty-first century wars and climate change continue to create major population displacements, awakening a fear of otherness .
In Europe and elsewhere, we are already seeing the rejection of displaced refugees on grounds of religion or ethnicity. I’ve studied the historical patterns of this phenomenon. I shall be speaking about the process of how this happens, where it has led in the past, and where we may be heading. [more]
Thursday July 7, The Globe and Mail
It may be un-Canadian to boast, but in the wake of Brexit, rising European xenophobia and the bellowing of Donald Trump, Canada looks like an island of stability.
In historical terms, most Canadians are immigrants, meaning that our leaders have had to nation-build with nuance and compromise. Because of jurisdictional quarrels between federal and provincial governments; flare-ups of endemic resentments in Quebec; a culturally disparate population huddled for warmth along the country’s southern border; and a mouse-to-elephant relationship with the most powerful country on earth, steady pragmatism has been the key. We do that well in Canada. [more]
Wednesday, May 25, 2016, The Globe and Mail
If you have read John Hersey’s classic book Hiroshima, you may recall the sights that will confront President Barack Obama on Friday when he enters the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. There he will see a life-sized display of a wounded family staggering toward the Ota River. Their “skin” hangs in shreds, but their faces are intact, to protect the millions of schoolchildren who visit the museum. No melted eyes stream out of empty sockets. [more]
Friday May 6, 2016, The Globe and Mail
The controversial French comedian Dieudonné is booked to perform 10 shows in a small Montreal gallery starting next week – if he’s allowed into the country. Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre has called him persona non grata. Federal Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly has pointed out that discriminatory speech is not tolerated in Canada. [more]