SFU Public Square 2017 Community Summit asks, Who Needs Canada?

Tue, 31 Jan 2017

Ian Bryce

In the 150 years since Confederation, Canada has become an open-minded and prosperous country, built largely on shared values of multiculturalism, fairness and democracy.

But what happens when Canada’s partners chart a path different than our own? When should Canada stand up for itself and what it stands for? Is Canada even needed?

On Feb. 27, SFU Public Square will address these questions as it launches the 2017 Community Summit aimed at thinking and engaging on Canada’s present and future regarding foreign policy, culture, diplomacy, immigration and trade.

The Summit’s inaugural event Who Needs Canada?: Canada’s Role in the World features prominent foreign policy experts Roland Paris and Sheila Watt-Cloutier. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation correspondent Laura Lynch will moderate the evening.

“This year’s Community Summit asks tough questions about Canada’s role in the world,” says Janet Webber, executive director of SFU Public Square. “With Canada marking the 150thanniversary of Confederation, we want everyone to come think and engage with each other on what the future impact of our country should be on the world stage.”

The Summit will host eight events over 10 days from Feb. 27 to March 8. Highlights include the Metro Vancouver debut of the most famous foreigner in China, Mark Rowswell  “Dashan”, an analysis of the rise of populism in Europe and the United States from pollster Nik Nanos, and an on-the-ground perspective on the Middle East crisis from Robert Fisk, an award-winning correspondent for The Independent newspaper.

The Community Summit aims to convene public dialogue on what Canada’s role should be globally and how best to realize those values.

“Through this forum, we hope to have an important discussion on how current world events are unfolding and how Canada can be a leader,” says Webber. “What are the risks and opportunities that Canada is confronting as we move through this increasingly fragmented time?”

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