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Canadian Club of Kingston

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Updated: 29 May 2023          SPECIAL NOTE: Webmaster's Message - 29 May 2023:

Happy June! I hope that you enjoyed the 11 May luncheon meeting with Guest Speaker Stephen Saideman, Director, Canadian Defence and Security Network!  The next luncheon, to start our 2023-24 Program, will take place Thursday, 14 September at 1:00 PM. As noted below, our next speaker is Merilyn Simonds, with her topic "Astonishing lives of Louise de Kiriline Lawrence”. Doors open at 11:30 AM. Lunch will be served at 12 Noon. Please reserve NO LATER THAN Thursday, 07 September by email: rsvp@canadianclubkingston.org or by telephone: 613-699-3102. For Guests, please provide full name, email address, and telephone number. Luncheon fees are $35 (Members) and $43 (Non-Members), payable by cash or cheque at the door, or by Interac e-Transfer in advance: treasurer.cckingston@gmail.com. Thank you, Bruce Morris, for Gay Keithly, CCK President.

                         Next Speaker:

Merilyn Simonds, Author

Thursday 14 September 2023

Topic: " Astonishing Lives of Louise de Kiriline Lawrence"



NOTE 3: Members, Past Members, and 2022-23 Guests will be notified via email of the details of the planned luncheon meeting for Thursday 14 September 2023 at the Cataraqui Golf and Country Club at 11:30 for 12:00 PM.


Membership Reminder - Former and potential-new members, please consider joining (see Membership Matters) for the 2022-23 Program, now that the details of the policy for the 2022-23 program has been confirmed. 

Membership Fee: $50 for an individual, and $90 for a couple.



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Updated: 29 May 2023


Past Programs Speakers/Topics





Thursday 11 May 2023

Speaker: Stephen Saideman, Director, Canadian Defence and Security Network

Topic: "Canada's Armed Forces in a Time of Crisis"







Stephen Saideman holds the Paterson Chair in International Affairs at Carleton University's Norman Paterson School of International Affairs and is the Director of the Canadian Defence and Security Network. He taught previously at the University of Vermont, Texas Tech University, and at McGill University.  

He has written four books: The Ties That Divide: Ethnic Politics, Foreign Policy and International Conflict; For Kin or Country: Xenophobia, Nationalism and War (with R. William Ayres); NATO in Afghanistan: Fighting Together, Fighting Alone (with David Auerswald); and Adapting in the Dust: Lessons Learned from Canada's War in Afghanistan, as well as articles and chapters on nationalism, ethnic conflict, civil war, alliance dynamics, and civil-military relations. 

Prof. Saideman has received fellowships from the Council on Foreign Relations and the Social Sciences Research Council. He is a co-host of Battle Rhythm, the CDSN's podcast. He has won awards for teaching, for mentoring other faculty, for public engagement, and for his blogging on international studies.  He is currently working on the role of legislatures in civil-military relations. He tweets at @smsaideman.



Thursday 13 April 2023

Speaker: Soren Christianson, Project Manager, Kingston Climate Leadership

Topic: "Kingston Climate Leadership"


NOTE: Soren Christianson, Project Manager, replaced Julie Salter-Keane.

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Julie Salter-Keane pursued post secondary education at Queen's.  After operating her own planning consulting firm for many years, she moved on to  become director of planning and development at the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands. In 2010, she joined the Kingston government as the manager of the Climate Leadership Division. There she works with staff to implement and realize Kingston's vision to demonstrate leadership on climate action. She also represents the city on the Board of Directors for Sustainable Kingston.  

Julie's ability to foster relationships and identify opportunities for collaboration has led to the realization of many community projects, like the recently approved City of Kingston Climate Leadership Plan, the City's Better Homes Kingston program, the Green Standard Community Improvement Plan and more. 

 Julie is a highly motivated individual, passionate about the future of our community. Come and listen to her as she describes the various climate related projects she is helping move forward for the residents of our city. 

Thursday 09 March 2023

Speaker: Paul Van Nest, Kingston Historical Society

Topic: "Yukon Gold Rush"


Paul Van Nest  was raised in Brantford and attended McMaster University. He moved to Kingston in 1965. He first taught physics at RMC and then moved to the technology department of St. Lawrence College, becoming chair of that department, and served as Chair of the Heads of Technology for Ontario's colleges in 1975-76. Beginning in 1978, he created and developed a unique Open Learning Centre,

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 before retiring in 1996.  

Paul is an active Rotary member, serving as president in 1982 - 1983, and then secretary from 1998 - 2003. He also was chair and the lead author of one of Rotary's Centennial Projects: "The Reflections", which appeared weekly in the Whig-Standard and Kingston This Week  in 2021, and was  then published  as a book.

Paul is known as an expert in the history of the American Civil War, having led 62 tours of American Civil War battlefields, and has been to Gettysburg almost 200 times. He is also  a founding member of the Civil War Round Table here in Kingston, begun in 1993. He has served as Membership Chair since 2010 for the Kingston Historical Society.

Paul has written a book about his oldest cousin, a rear gunner in World War II, who perished in that conflict on Paul's fifth birthday. To publish or not to publish? Furthermore, in pursuing genealogical history, he has traced his family's roots to the 1647 arrival of Pieter Van Nest in New Amsterdam (now New York).

Paul manages four web pages, has been active in three local churches, has led ten church fundraising tours, as well as tours for  Road Scholar(formerly Elderhostel). He and his wife Sharon have a family of 4 children and 8 grandchildren. As spring looms, Paul can't wait to get on the golf course. But first he'll entertain and educate us about The Yukon Gold Rush! 

Thursday 09 February 2023

Speaker: John Palmer, Conductor -  Orchestra Kingston, BrassWerks, occasional conductor of the Greater Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra

Topic: "Conducting and Musical Score"

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John is the conductor of Orchestra Kingston, BrassWerks, occasional conductor of the Greater Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra and played bass trombone in the Kingston Symphony. He teaches theory/harmony at his home in Kingston, Ontario.

He is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre which publishes his compositions. He has been commissioned to compose for strings and has worked with young musicians to compose for Band. His arrangements and compositions for brass instruments are published by Solid Brass Music Inc., and flute choir works by Alry/United Music and Media Publishers.

John's original compositions and arrangements have won various awards and have been performed by large and small ensembles across North America. Many of his orchestral works were composed specifically for "Community Orchestras" and premiered by Orchestra Kingston.

Since retiring from teaching music in Secondary School, Queen's and St. Lawrence College, John has been spending most of his time composing, arranging, adjudicating and conducting. His talk and visual presentation will focus on performing organizations of which he has been a part, brass instruments and their differences and similarities, composing techniques and examples, and basic conducting techniques. Afterwards he will be happy to take questions about his techniques and approaches, as well as conducting small or large ensembles. Come and enjoy a lively talk about John's lifetime of musical experience! 

Thursday 12 January 2023

Speaker: Ted Barris, CM, Author, Broadcaster, Journalist

Topic: "Battle of the Atlantic: Gauntlet to Victory (about the longest continuous battle of the Second World War and Canadians' role defending the convoys and defeating the U-boats on the North Atlantic)"


Ted Barris is a Canadian award-winning journalist, author and broadcaster whose writing has regularly appeared in the national pres,, as well as in many magazines as diverse as Air Force, esprit de corps and Zoomer. He has also worked as host/contributor for many CBC Radio network programs, PBS in the U.S. and on TV Ontario. After 18 years teaching, he recently retired  as a full-time professor of journalism at Toronto's Centennial College.         

 Professor Barris is the author of 19 bestselling , non-fiction books, including "Breaking the Veterans' Silence: Untold Stories from the Great War to Afghanistan". He gave an outstanding talk to our Club previously on this subject.  He has written several other books about Canada on subjects as varied as hockey, rodeo and music. 

                                                  Barris has received wide recognition for his work, awards including the Minister of Veterans' Affairs  commendation, Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee Medal and the 2014 Libris Non-Fiction Book of the year Award. 

 In his talk, Barris will focus on the 20th century's greatest war, and the one field of battle that held the to victory or defeat. key.

However,  this battlefield was not on land - but on  the North Atlantic. The Battle of the Atlantic, lasting 2,074 days and nights, proved the turning point of the Second World War. 

He traces the progress of Canada's wartime Navy as it grew from 13 warships and 3,500 sailors to  a formidable 400 fighting ships and over 100.000 men and women in uniform, the 4th largest navy in the world at that time.  Barris calls this historic naval battle, "the gauntlet to victory".  Attend the luncheon to see why.


Ted Barris is an award-winning journalist, author, and broadcaster. His writing has regularly appeared in the national press, as well as magazines as diverse as Air Force, esprit de corps and Zoomer. He has also worked as host/contributor for most CBC Radio network programs, PBS in the U.S. and on TV Ontario. And after 18 years teaching, he recently retired as a full-time professor of journalism at Toronto's Centennial College.

 Barris is the author of 19 bestselling, non-fiction books, including a series on wartime Canada: Juno: Canadians at D-Day, June 6, 1944Days of Victory: Canadians Remember 1939-1945 Behind the Glory: Canada's Role in the Allied Air WarDeadlock in Korea: Canadians at War, 1950-1953Victory at Vimy: Canada Comes of Age, April 9-12, 1917; Breaking the Silence: Veterans' Untold Stories from the Great War to Afghanistan.

 His writing has also been published in such anthologies as The Canadian Encyclopedia; Total Hockey: The Official NHL Encyclopedia; A History of Maple Leaf Gardens; and a volume of learned papers presented to the Canada-Korea Conference at the U of T.

 Barris's remaining books are: Rodeo Cowboys; Spirit of the West; Positive Power (Story of the Edmonton Oilers); Playing Overtime (A Celebration of Oldtimers' Hockey); Carved in Granite (125 Years of Granite Club History); Making Music (Profiles from a Century of Canadian Music) co-authored with his father Alex Barris; and Fire Canoe, a Mark Twain-like retelling of Canada's 19th century steamboat history.

 In 2011, he was one of 19 civilians presented with the Minister of Veteran's Affairs Commendation. The citation reads: "Ted Barris has made such exemplary contributions, benefiting veterans and making manifest the principle that Canada's obligation to all who have served in the cause of Peace and Freedom, must not be forgotten."

In 2012, the Air Force Association of Canada selected Ted Barris to receive Queen Elizabeth IIs Diamond Jubilee Medal, recognizing "outstanding Canadians ... who continue to build this caring society and country through their service and achievements."

His 17th book, The Great Escape: A Canadian Story, won the 2014 Libris Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award (shared with astronaut Chris Hadfield).

In 2018, HarperCollins has published Barris' 18th book - Dam Busters: Canadian Airmen and the Secret Raid against Nazi Germany - about the famous 1943 attack on the Ruhr River dams that powered Nazi Germany's industrial war production. The RCAF Association awarded Ted Barris and Dam Busters its 2018 NORAD Trophy for "unequalled contribution to the preservation of Air Force values, traditions, history and heritage."

Rush to Danger: Medics in the Line of Fire, also published by HarperCollins, is Ted's 19th non-fiction book. It was long-listed for the 2020 Charles Taylor Prize for Non-Fiction in Canada.

In 2022, HarperCollins publishes Ted's 20th non-fiction book, his largest work to date, on the longest battle of WWII, the Battle of the Atlantic: Gauntlet to Victory (in Sept. 2022).


Thursday 08 December 2022

Speaker: Antje McKeeny, Kingston Chief of Police

Topic: "Contemporary Policing"

Antje McNeely joined the Kingston Police in April 1985.  As a constable, sergeant (1992), staff sergeant (2001), and inspector (2007), she fulfilled assignments in the Uniformed Patrol, Special Services, Criminal Investigations, and Professional Standards units and headed the Patrol and Executive Services divisions.  In July 2011, she was appointed as Deputy Chief, and assumed operational oversight for the Kingston Police

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Antje graduated from Queen's, receiving  a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in 1983. She also graduated from the University of Toronto Rotman School of Management Executive Program in 2007.  Back at Queen's she then completed a Professional Master of Public Administration in Policy Studies program in 2013. In 2015 she was a Visiting Fellow for the Australian Institute of Police Management, after which she completed the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police Executive Global Studies Program on the Impacts of Globalization on Canadian Policing in 2016.  

In recognition of her volunteer work, Antje received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, and has also been awarded the Police Exemplary Service Medal and first bar.  In 2015 she was appointed as a Member of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces for her achievements and contributions to the establishment of community partnerships in support of local law enforcement.  She has served as Vice Chair of the John Howard Society (Kingston) Board of Directors since 2006, was appointed as the 2020 United Way KFL&A Campaign Chair and in 2020/21 was President of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police.

Antje was sworn in as Kingston's 17th Chief of Police on November 30, 2018.  She and her husband, Michael, have two daughters, Erin and Anne. The Canadian Club  welcomes her to our December meeting and we invite you to join us to hear her perspectives  on "Contemporary Policing".


From: https://www.thewhig.com/news/local-news/kingston-police-chief-to-retire-december-2023

Kingston Police chief to retire in December 2023

Author of the article:

Steph Crosier

Nov 17, 2022  

Kingston Police Chief Antje McNeely has announced that she will be retiring at the end of December 2023 after more than 38 years as an officer.

"It has been an honour to work with each and every member of our service, and I'm incredibly proud of the work that we do each and every day, 365 days a year, in keeping our community safe," McNeely told the Kingston Police Services Board Thursday afternoon.

McNeely, the first female Kingston Police chief, thanked the board, past and present, the Kingston Police Association, and the community for their support during her time as chief. She has served as chief since 2018 and as deputy chief for seven years before that.

McNeely said that throughout her time, she worked to promote equity, diversity and inclusion as well as wellness within the organization. Her goal was to emphasize a holistic approach to community safety and well-being.

"We cannot do it alone, and it requires police working together with our community and partners to understand and address the root causes of societal issues," McNeely told the board.

Board chair Jarrod Stearns thanked McNeely, telling her that the board was appreciative of all her 38 years of service as a police officer.

"The board wishes Chief McNeely all the very best with future endeavours," Stearns said. "I thank you for your service."

When McNeely started with the Kingston Police in 1985, she was one of four women on the force. She joined the force after completing a bachelor of science degree at Queen"s University. She served in multiple units over the years, and when she was named chief in 2018, she'd said her time as a detective in the sexual assault unit was a highlight in her career.

Newly re-elected Mayor Bryan Paterson, who served on the police board for several years and who will be returning to it after being sworn in on Wednesday, said the announcement came as a surprise and that McNeely is leaving an "incredibly legacy."

"I think she's done an incredible job reaching out to marginalized communities, helping to build trust and respect for police. She's the most community-minded police chief that I've ever worked with," Paterson said. "She's led through some really challenging times."

Paterson said those times included the COVID-19 pandemic and defund the police movements.

"There's some real headwinds that she's had to deal with, and I think she's led with grace, with strength, and she's been an absolute pleasure to work with," Paterson said." It certainly will be a big loss, and I think that she set a really high bar for her successor."

"I have great respect for her, and certainly want to thank her, and wish her all the best in her retirement."


Thursday 10 November 2022

Speaker: Honorable Hugh Segal,

Topic: "Facing the Unsettled World"

Hugh Segal is a Canadian political strategist, author, commentator, academic, and former senator.  From 1999 until 2014 he was a faculty member at Queen's University's School of Policy Studies.  In 2003 Hugh Segal was made a Member of the Order of Canada.

He was appointed to the Canadian Senate in 2005, serving until he resigned in 2014, to become master and later principal of Massey College in Toronto, retiring from there in 2019.

As a youth, Mr. Segal was politically inspired by a visit from Prime Minister John Diefenbaker to his school in Montreal. He later graduated from the University of Ottawa and, while still in university, was an aide to federal Progressive Conservative Leader Robert Stanfield in the 1970s. As a member of the Big Blue Machine, Mr. Segal was a senior aide to Ontario  Premier Bill Davis in the 1970s and 1980s, and was named Deputy Minister at age 29. From 1992 to 1993, he was Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.

He has also written two books, " Two Freedoms: Canada's Global Future" (2016), and "Bootstraps Need Boots: One Tory's Lonely Fight to End Poverty in Canada" (2019).  Hugh holds honorary doctorate degrees from the Royal Military College of Canada, University of Ottawa and Queen's University.  He  and his family live in Kingston, Ontario

Hugh Segal espouses a moderate brand of conservatism that stresses the common good and promotes social harmony between classes. As an author, strategist, columnist, educator and senator, he has devoted his energy and wit to furthering the common good for more than 30 years. In the process, he has provided insightful advice and informed commentary on public affairs, immeasurably enhancing the quality of Canada's policy debates and defining excellence in public service.

A copy of Hugh Segal's presentation is provided below:




Canadian Club of Kingston

November 10,2022

Hon Hugh Segal, OC, OOnt, CD


Centre for International and Defence Policy

Queen's University


My gratitude for the invitation to speak here today is balanced by the need to deal frankly and directly with some of the harsh truths that will affect our futures as residents of this community, this province, country and the free world.  Of course, I also could not say no to Ron Paquin, a former officer in the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve, an organization I had the privilege of knowing as an Honorary Naval Captain for fifteen years. Generally speaking, requests from former Naval officers are rarely set aside.


Tomorrow is Remembrance Day, when we all pause to remember those who made the supreme sacrifice for the freedoms, democracy and civility we too often take for granted in our day-to-day lives. Reflecting on the circumstance of our present veterans is also important. That is why projects like the "Homes for Heroes"  project here in Kingston,where a built high quality small support village gives homless veterans a future off the streets is so important.


For most people, most of the time, geopolitical developments far away from our home are not that important.


Another skirmish or war in the Middle East, more strife between different groups in Sri Lanka, violence or unrest in Venezuela – they all make the news but generally don’t make much of a difference in our lives.


Sadly, that comfortable disconnect between our lives and strife and violence elsewhere is no longer dependable because of two factors: Mr. Putin's illegal and violent military invasion of a peaceful and democratic neighbour, Ukraine; and the People's Republic of China's embrace of a much more aggressive tone in its global relations. These do have explicit impacts, not only on our day-to-day lives and prospects as Canadians, but also on the future we share with free peoples everywhere.

Evidence objectively noted of Russian interference in democratic elections in Europe and North America is compelling and undeniable. As is the relentless interference of the Beijing government  in our internal affairs.

This is no time for naive complacency.


Combine those serious threats with the fluidity and apparent dominance of the extremes in the politics of our southern neighbour and we Canadians have more legitimate concerns than usual relative to our own prospects in the larger world.


Worrying about those impacts is not enough.


Doing something meaningful to strengthen Canada's capacity to defend itself and our people against those threats while also supporting our allies in that effort is what matters.


Our first step in "doing something" is looking beyond our lesser internal disputes and small political controversies in Canada and focusing on the larger challenges of this unsettled world, while ensuring and demanding that our national Government of whatever party spares no effort or expense to strengthen Canada's capacity to defend itself against the Russian threat on our Arctic frontier, and work hand in hand with our NATO allies to contain Russian aggression in Europe. We need also to  seriously increase enforcement, intelligence and lawful security measures here at home, consistent with our values of rule of law, democracy, human rights and national sovereignty.  Under the new National Security law passed by our present government our security agencies are lawfully permitted to deploy counter measures against those countries seeking to harm our cyber or democratic infrastructure. Timidity in the face of foreign subversion is no  virtue in these challenging times.


The ongoing statutory inquiry into the use by the federal government of the Emergency Measures Act to address the many excesses of the freedom Convoy earlier this year in Ottawa and elsewhere, an inquiry mandated by the Act itself, is highly informative for us all.

Clearly, there were sinister far right forces at work and the initial police capacity to absorb and act with dispatch on valuable and lawful apprehensive  intelligence gathered was way below standard. And without the proclamation of the Act, Ottawa might well still be creatively occupied by horn blowing and diesel fume spewing large trucks no doubt with some support from some elected politicians.

It is a good thing the Emergency Act was put to use by the present government and parliament of Canada.


We must also be frank about what the agents of People's Republic of China are up to in Canada.


Evidence of activities of the People's Republic of China’s "United Front" network right here in Canada, intimidating Canadians of Chinese origin, spreading disinformation through Beijing-friendly media, operating illegal PRC police enforcement units to  impose  Chinese law on Canadian soil,deploying agents and money illegally to sway outcomes for or against  their targetted  or preferred candidates in elections is broadly and credibly available. And it is all profoundly illegal. We should all welcome Prime Minister Trudeau's public naming and shaming of the  Xi government's illegal and hostile activities in our country however long in coming. I hope the Chinese  ambassador in Ottawa is called in for a formal rebuke. Clearly the People's Republic of China sees Canada as easy to penetrate and intimidate. We must prove them wrong.


While Canada was one of the first western democracies to recognize Communist China and assist in China's entry into the World Trade Organization decades ago under Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, it is clear that the new Xi dynasty in Beijing cares little about past diplomatic measures of civility and friendship on Canada's part.


And ominously, for China's population, President-for-life Xi has begun a massive retreat to classic Marxist Leninist  doctrinal rigidity which has already begun to weaken China's economic performance in clear and measurable ways which will only hurt the economic prospects and quality of life of average Chinese citizens.


 Ideology narrowly conceived and rigidly pursued at home or abroad is the common enemy here. As was the utterly unreasonable "Zero Covid" policy imposed by the Xi regime on the people and economy of China.


China's Belt and Road international investment and loan scheme has run into trouble in South America, Asia,  the Caribbean and Africa as local populations have begun to resist what they see as foreign domination with Chinese characteristics.


Sadly, when authoritarian powers run into difficulty, their leaders' instinct as kleptocratic dictators is to strike out at dissidents at home and competitive democracies nearby.


Note how the response of Russian and Iranian security and police forces to public demonstrations against their government policies is the same. Russian and Iranian police use live ammunition to control the unarmed protesters of their own population, arresting thousands as quickly as they can. These kinds of regimes like Iran are incapable of showing any remorse for events like the death at their religious police hands of an innocent young woman because of an alleged headwear modesty breech. Sadly humanity and decency is not in their play book.

It is what authoritarians and kleptocracies do and who they are. It is what the Xi regime did in some ways to the freedom-aspiring residents of Hong Kong with its oppressive national security law.


So, as citizens or residents of a democratic middle power, with a very courageous and well-trained but way too small armed forces, how should we engage with and protect ourselves from the global forces now in play that threaten freedom and the wellbeing of democracies worldwide?


First, we must urge our federal government to seriously increase our national investment in defence and yes raising taxes to do so should be in our next federal budget.


Spending less than two percent of our gross domestic product on defence, a  two percent level of spending Canada agreed to with other NATO members years ago at a NATO Summit  in Wales, is a simple dereliction of Canada's duty to the freedom of the western world and our own national defence. Assuming our big American brother will always spend its blood and treasure to protect us is, when we look at this week's US mid-term election results as they continue to roll out,may well  be a touch optimistic.


While some on the far left may disagree, there is a broad consensus that we need a larger and better equipped Canadian Armed Forces and a procurement process that efficiently provides modern and capable platforms – land, sea and air for our Armed Forces to deploy.


Having an approved compliment of only sixty seven thousand for  our combined Forces, now diminished by a deficit of ten thousand either through departures or recruiting challenges, is simply unacceptable. Aspiring to anything less than a one hundred thousand person Canadian Armed Forces, plus a fifty thousand person Reserve Force is simply inadequate with the second largest land mass in the world and when counting all three oceans – the longest coastline of any country on the planet.


If the UK's two most recently commissioned aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales could have had their hulls constructed in South Korea, more efficiently than they could have happened in the UK, we too, need to determine how best to provide new platforms for our Armed Forces in the most efficient way possible. Generating regional jobs is important but it is more important to get our Armed Forces the  modern ships and drones and defensive and offensive missiles it needs on a timely and efficient basis.


The old Churchillian "action this day" instruction is what needs to be put in place..


The difference between authoritarian powers and democracies is that authoritarian countries whose regimes worry neither about public opinion or the law, are focused only on their own kleptocratic continuation of power. 


Whether it is the ayatollahs in Iran, President Xi in China, President Putin in Russia or Kim Jong Un in North Korea,  or the war criminal  led goverment of Syria- their attitudes toward the public interest and the tiniest bit of freedom for their people is precisely the same. And while NATO countries ship armaments to Ukraine to help Ukrainian Forces defend their country against Russian aggression, it is now clear that North Korea and Iran are shipping weapons and drones and thousands of artillery shells to the Russians to use in killing innocent Ukrainian civilians.


Underestimating the immoral cruelty of the new Authoritarian Axis powers would be a mistake with profound consequences for us all.

We can not assume at this late date in Putin's career that sanity and balance have anywhere to  prevail.


That we have not dispatched the Russian ambassador from Ottawa and brought our own Ambassador in Moscow home makes little sense. Putin is counting on our civility and decency as weaknesses allowing him to plunder and ravage as he sees fit.


The hard truth is that Ukrainian Defence forces are the only line of opposition to an imperialist Russian aggression that will spread to other eastern democracies on Russia's borders. The notion that Poland or the Czech Republic or Estonia or Latvia or Lithuania would be left alone by Russia after they defeated and subjugated Ukraine is pure fiction. The notion that our own Arctic would be safe from Russian penetration especially when minerals and valuable resources are at stake is naive. All the Russians understand is power and force. A weak or dissolute defence is simply an invitation.


And, while Putin's nuclear threat has limited the full breadth of what the West's response has been to date, it is high time that we see through his intimidation and prepare for a full engagement that takes the defensive battle to non-civilian strategic military installations on Russian soil, just as the Russians have taken their imperialist pretensions to Ukraine, killing men, women and children in the civilian population without any remorse.


The thing about a kleptocracy is that their only option is violence against democratic neighbours like Ukraine who were beginning to do better economically as a democracy, and the brutal suppression of dissidents among their own citizens who do not approve of their government's criminal aggression or domestic corruption. This is the same in Iran and North Korea as it is in the People's Republic of China.


In our foreign and defence policy we must be clear-eyed, pragmatic and resolute in broadening our support for Ukraine.

At home we must be equally clear eyed about threats to the rule of law-a principle essential to the health of our democracy.

At home we must see  the ideological extremes of the far right  for what they are – simplistic formulae disconnected from reality and potentially a challenge to the balance and moderation so central to Canadian Society.


There is a constructive and rational way ahead for Canada and Canadians in these uncertain times.


If we think of the high moments of our post war history, Louis St. Laurent and the coming together of NATO, Lester Pearson and the creation of the United Nations Emergency peacekeeping force at Suez,  John Diefen baker and the first Canadian Bill of Rights,or Brian Mulroney and the dismantling of apartheid and the negotiation of Free Trade, the formula for Canadian success is always the same. Setting aside the extremes, we reach out with solid and humane policy, ignoring the siren call of narrow ideology and embracing the pragmatic decency of the Canadian way.


Candor and strategic engagement abroad,stronger armed forces and security capacity at home,continued insistence on rule of law,presumption of innocence, and moderation at home are the best and most likely paths to addressing and managing the global uncertainties we face.


Thank you .


Now more than ever, we must invest smartly to get the job done.



Most regrettably, the luncheon meeting below had to be cancelled, due to a COVID-19 issue with the speaker!

Thursday 20 October 2022

Speaker: Marilyn Simonds, Author

Topic: "Louise de Kiriline Lawrence: The Making of a Canadian Naturalist and Nature Writer"

In 1935, Louise de Kiriline Lawrence, born into Swedish aristocracy and survivor of the Russian Civil War, escaped the hustle of Quintmania after a year as nurse-in-charge of the world-famous Dionne babies and retreated to her wilderness cabin on the Mattawa River. There, she discovered birds, the life history of many of them a mystery at the time. Training herself in the art of observation and ornithology, she published ground-breaking studies and wrote six books and almost a hundred scientific and popular articles, her "loghouse nest" in the boreal forest becoming a mecca for international bird scientists and avian aficionados alike.


Merilyn Simonds is the award-winning author of 20 books, including the novel The Holding, a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice, and the Canadian classic nonfiction novel, The Convict Lover, a finalist for the Governor General's Award and inspiration for the Judith Thompson play Hot House. With her husband, Wayne Grady, she wrote the travel memoir Breakfast at the Exit Café, and for nine years, a books column for the Kingston Whig Standard. Her most recent nonfiction is Gutenberg's Fingerprint (2017), a meditation on reading, writing, and the future of the printed book. Merilyn divides her time between Kingston and Mexico, the setting for her most recent novel Refuge, a story of sanctuary. 

Woman, Watching: Louise de Kiriline Lawrence and the Songbirds of Pimisi Bay, a hybrid memoir/biography of a reclusive Canadian amateur ornithologist, was published in May, 2022 to great acclaim. Margaret Atwood called it a "lyrical, passionate, and deeply researched portrait." Helen Humphreys wrote, "This is no ordinary biography. Beautiful and powerful." And Kyo Maclear, author of Birds, Art, Life, exclaimed, "Woman, Watching is unlike anything I've ever read. It's radical, it's ravishing."  

NOTE 1: A copy of Merilyn Simonds' book was to have been available for purchase at the luncheon.  

The session was to have been held via a Luncheon at the Cataraqui Golf and Country Club.


Thursday 13 April 2022

Speaker: Elaine Dewar, Author, Investigative Journalist

Topic: "The Origin of the Deadliest Pandemic in 100 Years: An Investigation"

Elaine Dewar is the author of seven non-fiction books, numerous magazine articles, and scripts for television. She has been honoured by nine Canadian national magazine awards, including the prestigious President's Medal, the US based White Award for investigative journalism, awards from the Canadian Archeological Association and The Canadian Nurses' Association, and the Hilary Weston Prize for narrative non-fiction. Most recently she was a finalist for the Governor General's non-fiction award.

She describes her new book as the most difficult she's ever written. Locked down in Toronto by the very pandemic whose cause she was investigating, she was forced to resort to I.F. Stone's methods, combing through published sources instead of the kind of face-to-face  interviews that usually lead to good stories. She ploughed through mounds of newspapers, government reports, peer-reviewed science journals, preprints, and the blacked-out responses to access-to-information requests to answer a very basic question:  Had SARS-CoV-2 come from nature i.e. an infected animal in a wet market in Wuhan, China, OR had it come from a lab in the same city? Early on, a second question arose: Was there a connection between the origin of the pandemic and the mysterious and still unexplained firings of two scientists from the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg?

From the beginning she questioned "official responses", and, to put it mildly, met roadblocks through her entire investigation. We heard , on April 14  Ms. Dewar's conclusions.


Thursday 10 March 2022

Speaker: John Smol,

Topic: "Climate Change: Longer Summers! (But why is our lake turning green?)"


John Smol is a Distinguished University Professor in the Biology

Department, Queen's University. He is a Member of the Order of

Canada, Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change and the

President of the Academy of Science, Royal Society of Canada. He holds

adjunct appointments in Canada, the U.S. and China.

He received his B.Sc in Marine Biology from McGill, an MSc in

Immunology from Brock University and his Ph. D. from Queen's.

John founded the Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Laboratory (PEARL) at

Queen's, a group of about 40 researchers studying long-term changes in aquatic ecosystems using lake

and river sediments. John and his team "read" an area's history by studying sediment drill cores from its

lakes and rivers. Recent projects include studying the long-term effects of lake eutrophication ,

acidification, contaminant transport, calcium decline, fisheries management and a large body of work on

climate change with a special focus on the Arctic.

John is a prolific writer (edited/authored 21 books; 620 journals and book chapters to his credit), he has

lectured on all seven continents, and is a frequent commentator on environmental issues for radio, TV

and the print media. This will be John's third talk to the Canadian Club of Kingston.


Thursday 10 February 2022

Speaker: Steven Heighton, Author, poet, musician, book reviewer, editor, translator, teacher, mentor

Topic: "Reaching Mithymna: Among the Volunteers and Refugees on Lesvos"

Description: https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/jHHseETnPlZjWvYZU_WxARpdaIrU_gUKw_x5penna13n2DqXUcUZ3kqmVbRKE-NyhOu1igBfi3i6mp4uQI_lZxUXHiWj1fDY_b56xv3pNnFcsnFP3l76nqG-hASsyP46sZ7mr2MK


Steven Heighton was born in Toronto and spent his youth there and in northern Ontario. Following some travel and work experience in western Canada and Australia, he earned a BA and MA from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. After graduation, he travelled and worked for two years in Asia before settling back in Kingston and starting to write, at first part-time and eventually full-time.


He is the author of The Waking Comes Late, receiving the 2016 Governor General's Award for Poetry. His novel Afterlands, was a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice, and a "best of year" selection in ten publications in Canada, the USA, and the UK. The novel is in pre-production for film. He has also published The Shadow Boxer - a Canadian bestseller and a Publishers' Weekly Book of the Year for 2002.. Other fiction books include The Nightingale Won't Let You Sleep and The Dead Are More Visible, while his poetry collections include The Ecstasy of Skeptics and The Address Book.

Steven's most recent of 19 books are Reaching Mithymna: Among the Volunteers & Refugees on Lesvos (a Writers' Trust Hilary Weston Prize finalist) and Selected Poems 1983-2020.  A widely-acclaimed debut album of original songs, The Devil's Share, was released this year by Wolfe Island records/CRS Europe. He also translates poetry and writes reviews for the New York Times.


As you can see from this profile, Steven is a very talented wordsmith, who has won and  been nominated for numerous literary awards.  His fiction and poetry has been translated into ten languages. As well as writing numerous novels, poetry collections and various short story works, he has also taught and mentored writers at various institutes of learning world wide. We are privileged to have him speak to the Canadian Club of Kingston. 


Thursday 13 January 2022

Speaker: Krishna Burra, Director of Administration, Limestone Board of Education

Topic: "Kingston Secondary School and The Effects of the Pandemic on Education"

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Born and raised in Kingston, Ontario, Krishna Burra was a Queen’s Concurrent Education graduate in the mid-1990s with teachables in History and Mathematics. Upon graduation, he was hired by the Frontenac County Board of Education, a precursor board for the Limestone District School Board. In ten years of teaching he taught students from Grades 7-12. For several years, Krishna served as a department head of “Global Studies.” He is a previous Queen’s Associate Teacher of the Year and Queen’s Baillie Award winner for excellence in secondary teaching.

Krishna went into school administration in 2005. Since July 2010, he has been a member of the Senior Staff of the Limestone District School Board serving as the Assistant to the Director of Education, and Supervisor of Safe and Caring Schools from 2010-2014. From fall of 2014 to summer of 2020 he served as Superintendent of Schools, Program, and Information Technology Services. His portfolio included a wide range of initiatives focused on secondary curriculum and professional learning, outdoor education, Indigenous education, international education, ITS, and supervision of the KCVI/KSS Family of schools. 

At the provincial level, Krishna served on the Board of Directors for the Ontario Public

Supervisory Officers Association (OPSOA) from 2017-2020. During the summer of 2020, he was appointed as Director of Education for the Limestone District School Board.

 Krishna lives in Kingston with his wife, who is a secondary teacher with Limestone, and their three children, ages 9, 12, and 15. His hobbies include running, coaching basketball, and following current events.

 Given the ongoing effects of the pandemic on so many aspects of our lives, including the lives of our children and grandchildren, Krishna’s topic is timely and was very interesting for us all. 


Wednesday 15 December 2021

Speaker: Christian Leuprecht, Professor, Royal Military College of Canada

Topic: "Intelligence As Democratic Statecraft" 

Christian Leuprecht (Ph.D, Queen's) is Class of 1965 Professor in Leadership in the department of Political Science and Economics at RMC. At Queen's University he is Director of the Institute of Intergovernmental Relations at the School of Policy Studies. He is a Munk Senior Fellow in Security and Defence at the Macdonald Laurier Institute and Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Military Journal and Canadian Defence Academy Press.  Christian is a former Fulbright Research Chair in Canada-US Relations at the School for Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC (2020) and a former Eisenhower Fellow at the NATO Defence College in Rome (2019). He is also an elected member of the College of New Scholars of the Royal Society of Canada and a recipient of RMC's Cowan Prize for Excellence in Research. 

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 He is an expert in security and defence, political demography, and comparative federalism and multilevel governance. He has held visiting positions in North America, Europe, and Australia. He regularly teaches senior staff officer courses at allied military academies and as part of NATO's Defence Education Enhancement Program (DEEP).  He is regularly called as an expert witness to testify before committees of Parliament and commissions of inquiry.  He holds appointments to the Ontario Research Fund Advisory Board, the board of the German Institute for Defence and Strategic Studies, the Police Services Board of the City of Kingston, the Centre sur la gouvernance sécuritaire et de crise (CRITIC), the Polar Research & Policy Initiative in the UK as well as the scientific advisory committee of the One Society Network.

He has published 16 books, including his most recent,  Intelligence as Democratic Statecraft (Oxford University Press 2021). His editorials appear regularly across Canada's national newspapers and he is a frequent commentator in domestic and international media. To top all that off, as a professor who is a long-time proponent of experiential learning, Professor Leuprecht has received recognition for his teaching excellence at both RMC and Queen's. 

Friday 12 November 2021

Speaker: Kathy Brock, "Professor, School of Policy Studies, Queen's University"

Topic: "COVID-19, Government Performance and the 2021 Election"


 hoto of Kathy Brock

Kathy L. Brock is a Professor at Queen's University in the School of Policy Studies. She also has a cross-appointment to the Department of Political Studies. She is Chair of the National Accreditation Board for Programs in Public Administration and former President of the Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration, as well as  former National Research Chair for the Institute of Programs in Public Administration. 

She has published books, academic articles and reports on the non-profit sector, Canadian and comparative politics and government, federalism and constitutional matters, Aboriginal governance and issues and the judiciary and the executive. She has been active in public affairs as a nonpartisan advisor to federal, provincial and territorial governments, political parties, an Aboriginal organization and leaders, and non-profit organizations.

A dedicated professor, she received the 2008 Pierre De Celles IPAC Award for Teaching Excellence in Public Administration (national award) and the 2009 Frank Knox Award (Queen's University) for Teaching Excellence and was a finalist for the 2020 Queen's Alumni Award for Teaching Excellence.Recently Professor Brock has pursued an active research program and public engagement relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on governance in Canada.

Recently Professor Brock has pursued an active research program and public engagement relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on governance in Canada.  View the publication list here.


  • public policy and the voluntary sector
  • Canadian government and politics
  • the constitution and the judiciary
  • federalism
  • aboriginal self-government
  • public law
  • women and politics
  • governing institutions


Thursday 14 October 2021

Speaker: Amaranth Amarasingam, Assistant Professor, School of Religion, Queen’s University

Topic: "Extremism and Technology" (via Zoom Webinar session)

The speaker for our Webinar on Thursday Oct 14 was Dr. Amarnath Amarasingam, Assistant Professor in the School of Religion. He is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, and an Associate Fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization. His research interests are in radicalization, terrorism, diaspora politics, post-war reconstruction, and the sociology of religion. 

Dr. Amarasingam is an experienced field researcher, having conducted hundreds of interviews for his PhD dissertation on social movement activism. He has conducted numerous social media and in-person interviews with current and former foreign fighters in countries throughout the world, including Sri Lanka, Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Israel/Palestine. He has been interviewed on CNN, PBS Newshour, CBC, BBC, and a variety of other media outlets. 

Professor Amarasingam's research focus is terrorism and political violence; social movements; religion and politics in the Middle East; diaspora politics and activism; hate movements and the far-right.  He is considered a "go-to" source of expertise in the area of extremist ideological beliefs.

This will be an excellent opportunity to get a look at extremist movements on both far-right and far-left sides of the spectrum.




Thursday 13 May 2021

Speaker: Gar Pardy, Distinguished Canadian Diplomat (Retired)

Topic: "The Global Ascendancy of China" (via Zoom Webinar session)

Gar Pardy, a distinguished Canadian diplomat, now retired, joined the Canadian Foreign Service in 1967.

     He served in India, Kenya, the United States and Central America where he was Ambassador to Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.  In the late 1980s he was Director of the Asia Pacific Division in Foreign Affairs, and he retired as director general of the consular affairs bureau in 2003. However,  he has maintained a strong presence in the department.

Since his retirement in 2003, he has been a commentator and writer on issues of Canadian foreign and public policy.  He appears regularly in the Ottawa Citizen and Embassy newspapers and on CBC, CTV and Global television. He has spoken out on numerous issues related to the consular support or lack thereof for Canadian citizens abroad. He has in various ways advocated for Omar Khadr, and was instrumental in getting consular support for Maher Arar. He has spoken out about the ongoing imprisonment in China of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. In March, 2016, the Rideau Institute published a report Pardy wrote, on the erosion in Canada's provision of consular services to its citizens living in foreign countries. 

     He hails from Newfoundland and his early education was in Norris Arm and Gander.  He first worked for the Meteorological Service of Canada - in Gander, Goose Bay and Frobisher Bay.  He has an honours degree from Acadia University and a Master's from McMaster.  He and his wife Laurel live in Ottawa.

Thursday 08 April 2021

Speaker: Mike Hill, Past President, Preserve Our Wrecks, Kingston

Topic: "The Marine Wrecks Capital of the World" (via Zoom Webinar session)

Kingston's waterfront bears little evidence of the city's role as a centre for maritime trade and ship-building in earlier centuries. One enduring lagacy is the number of shipwrecks that lie off her shores.

Mike began diving in the early 1970s, but an injury on active duty prevented him from certifying at that time. It wasn't intil about twenty years ago that he managed to return to the sport. Scuba diving quickly became a principal source of recreation and he gained skills and experience rapidly to become an instructor by 2003. After retiring from a full career in the British Army, in 2006 he moved to Kingston, where he knew diving opportunities to be rich and varied in Lake Ontario and the adjacent St. Lawrence River.

He has long been associated with the first wreck preservation group to form in Ontario, in 1981, "Preserve Our wrecks, Kingston". He led the organization for eight years, handing over the reins last year to a younger person, but remaining actively involved. He has nearly 2,500 dives under his belt, most of them in the cold waters of Lake Ontario. Other diving destinations include Cyprus, several Caribbean Islands, the Florida Keys, Hawaii, Fiji and Truk Lagoon in the Pacific Far East. Other interests include flying as a private pilot, photography and five grasndchildren.

Thursday 11 March 2021

Speaker: Dr. Paul Robinson, Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences, Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa Topic: "The World in Moscow's Eyes: How do Russians See the World and the West" (via Zoom Webinar session)

Dr. Robinson is currently a full professor at Ottawa University, at the faculty of Social Sciences, working in the fields of Public and International Affairs. He teaches courses in both official languages, on a variety of topics covering Military history, Russian international relations, and various aspects of Canadian and International security.

Dr. Robinson also  hosts a website called  Irrussianality, which contains highly current and informative blogs on Russia and its relationships with the West and the World. . It can be accessed at https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/author/paulfrobinson/  .

Paul Robinson holds an MA in Russian and Eastern European Studies from the University of Toronto and a D. Phil. in Modern History from the University of Oxford. Prior to his graduate studies, he served as a regular officer in the British Army Intelligence Corps from 1989 to 1994, and as a reserve officer in the Canadian Forces from 1994 to 1996. He also worked as a media research executive in Moscow in 1995. Having published six books, he has also written widely for the international press on political issues. His research focuses generally on military affairs. In recent years, he has worked on Russian history, military history, defence policy, and military ethics.


Thursday 11 February 2021

Speaker: Dr. Erika Behresch, Associate Professor of English, Associate Dean (Programme), Social Sciences and Humanities, Royal Military College of Canada

Topic: "Lady Franklin of Russell Square - Lost Franklin Expedition" (via Zoom Webinar session)

Erika Behrisch grew up in Fairbanks, Alaska and spent her adolescent years and early adulthood in British Columbia, before moving to Kingston.

She is professor of English, Culture and Communication at the Royal Military College of Canada. Her research is nineteenth-century naval exploration narratives, especially the parts of the story that get left out of the big history books. Her current project is on Royal Naval surgeons, and it includes an academic project and a novel.

She has recently written a book about the lost Franklin Expedition, titled, "Lady Franklin of Russell Square", describing Lady Franklin's chronicled reports of the doomed Arctic odyssey of her husband, Sir John Franklin. The book was shortlisted for the Book Publishers' Association of Alberta's Fiction of the Year prize in 2019 and named one of Canadian Geographic's favourite books of 2018.

Erika lives in Kingston, Ontario.

Thursday 14 January 2021

Speaker: John Gerrettsen, Retired Federal / Ontario Provincial Legislator

Topic: "Personal Experiences with COVID-19" (via Zoom Webinar session)

In March, 2020, John and his wife, Assunta had just boarded the Sun Princess in California for a cruise featuring lots of relaxation, and even more Bridge. Almost immediately plans began to change as the COVID-19 pandemic reared its ugly head in North America. One of the activities that was impacted very quickly was cruising, and horror stories developed quickly.

John will speak on their experience with COVID, their departure from California, the stopover at Trenton Air Base, and finally their arrival back in Kingston. A memorable holiday, to be sure.

John received his BA and LLB from Queen's University. After briefly working as a solicitor in industry in Toronto he moved back to Kingston and began his career in politics. He initially served as an Alderman on Kingston City Council from 1972 to 1980, when he was elected Mayor. He was re-elected twice, stepping down in 1988.

 John then served as Chair of the Ontario Housing Corporation, and was a Deputy Judge in Ontario's Small Claims Court. At the same time, he began a distinguished career in federal and provincial politics, and was elected to the Ontario Legislature in 1995. John held several Cabinet posts, including Attorney-General, as well as Minister of Consumer Services, Municipal Affairs and Housing, and Environment.

He retired in 2014, and continues to live in Kingston.


Thursday 12 November 2020

Speaker: Professor Catherine Conaghan, Professor Emerita, Political Studies, Queen's University

Topic: "Review of the American Election of 03 November 2020"


After earning her PhD from Yale University, Catherine was a faculty member at Simmons College and the Ohio State Universitybefore joining Queen's in 1988. She has been a visiting scholar at Princeton University, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Miami, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC, and the American University. She held the Sir Edward Peacock chair in political studies from 2013 to 2018. In addition to her research on Latin American politics throughout her career at Queen's, Professor Conaghan taught courses in American politics throughout her career at Queen's. She is a dual US-Canadian citizen wotes in her home state of Pennsylvania.




Thursday 12 March 2020

Speaker: Heather Roberts, Director, Solid Waste Services, Kingston Area Recycling Centre  

Topic: "City of Kingston Solid Waste Services - Challenges & Opportunities in a Global Waste Industry "

Heather Roberts is the Director of the Solid Waste Services Department with the City of Kingston, since 2014, with 10 years' experience in the municipal solid waste industry.  Heather is a graduate from Sir Sandford Fleming College with a Diploma in Environmental Studies, and also has a Certified Engineering Technologist (C.E.T.) designation from the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT) in 2008. 

She started her career in 2005 in the environmental engineering consulting industry but pursued her passion to be a part of municipal government in 2008, accepting an Environmental Technologist position with the Town of Arnprior.  In 2010, to advance her career, she joined the City of Kingston in 2010 as the

Gaining successes and leading the department in the right direction, including achieving 60% waste diversion in 2015, three years earlier than the goal set by City Council; Heather was appointed to the Director of Solid Waste Services in early 2018. She is responsible for the overall management of the City's Integrated Waste Management System, including the delivery of Kingston's beloved blue/grey box recycling and green bin organic programs; program planning, promotion & education; and the design, construction, operation and maintenance of waste management facilities. In alignment with Council's Strategic Priorities (2019-2022) to demonstrate leadership on Climate Action, the Solid Waste Services Department priorities include expanding the recycling cart and green bin programs at multi-residential buildings and consulting with the community on the implementation of new waste strategies to achieve Council's goal of 65% waste diversion by 2025.

Thursday 13 February 2020

Speaker: Dr. Jennifer Spence, Waterloo University

Topic: "Into the Vortex - Arctic Governance in Times of Uncertainty and Change"

After a BA (Hon.) in political science from the University of British Columbia, and then an MA in conflict management and analysis from Royal Roads University, Jennifer Spence earned a Ph.D. in public policy from Carleton University in 2017. Previously she held a number of senior positions with a variety of Government of Canada Departments, as well as being a Fellow with the Centre for International Governance Innovation.

She is currently an  Adjunct Research Professor with the Northern Studies Program at Carleton.  She is also the Executive Secretary of the Arctic Council's Sustainable Development Working Group.

Jennifer's research interests are the relationship between policy decision-making and formal and informal governance structures - with a particular focus on environmental governance in the circumpolar region, and the role of the Arctic Council in circumpolar policy and decision-making. She is an expert in international governance and public policy, and she has a special interest in the opportunities and challenges facing the Arctic region.

Thursday 12 December 2019

Speaker: Bruce Campbell, Research Fellow, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Topic: "Lac-Mégantic - Lessons Learned (Or Not)"

Bruce Campbell is the former Executive Director (1994-2015) of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), one of Canada’s leading policy research institutes. Bruce has authored or edited five books and numerous reports on public policy issues.  His commentaries have appeared in major newspapers and online news sites across Canada.  He has appeared before parliamentary committees, and interviewed on radio and TV in Canada and abroad.   

He authored three major reports on the Lac-Mégantic oil train disaster. For this work he was awarded the 2015 Law Foundation of Ontario, Community Leadership in Justice Fellowship. Hence he spent 2016 at the University of Ottawa Law Faculty, hosted by the Common Law & Droits sections of the Faculty of Law, as well as its Human Rights to Research and Education Centre. 

 Bruce is currently Adjunct Professor at York University, Faculty of Environmental Studies and Senior Fellow, Ryerson University Centre for Free Expression. Bruce has written a book, “The Lac Mégantic  Rail Disaster: Public Betrayal, Justice Denied” (James Lorimer, 2018. There is a French edition as well.  As a Research Fellow, he continues his contributions to the work of the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives.  


Thursday 14 November 2019

Speaker: Professor Jonathan Rose,Queen's University

Topic: "Lessons from the Canadian Federal Election - What Just Happened?"



Thursday 10 October 2019

Speaker: Dr. Heather Stuart, Queen's University

Topic: "Overcoming the Stigma of Mental Illness"


Dr. Heather Stuart is a Professor working at the Departments of Public Health Sciences, Psychiatry and the School of Rehabilitation Therapy at Queen’s University. She is also the Bell Canada Chair in Mental Health and Anti-stigma Research, the first ever in Canada.

She is also a Senior Consultant to the Mental Health Commission Canada's Opening Minds, Anti-stigma initiative and the Chair of the World Psychiatric Association's Stigma and Mental Health Scientific Section. She has worked in both hospital and community based mental health treatment systems, as well as with the World Health Organization, the Pan American Health Organization, and the World Psychiatric Association. She is Co-founder and Co-chair of the Scientific Section on Stigma and Mental Disorders for the World Psychiatric Association and Founding Editor of the International Federation of Psychiatric Epidemiology Bulletin.

Dr. Stuart's main research interests are in the areas of psychiatric epidemiology and community mental health research, with special focus on mental health services research with respect to the stigmatization of mental illnesses. She contributes to peer reviewed scientific literature in the areas of mental health needs assessments; suicide and suicide prevention; stigma and stigma reduction; and workplace mental health. She is co-author of several books. Her most recent books deal with anti-stigma programming and human rights legislation.  In 2018, Dr. Stuart was named to the Order of Canada, and inducted as a Fellow in the Royal Society of Canada.


Thursday 12 September 2019

Speaker: LGen (Retired) The Honourable Roméo Dallaire, Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative

Topic: "What about our Walking Wounded"


General Roméo Dallaire is founder of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, a global partnership with the mission to end the recruitment and use of child soldiers.  A celebrated advocate for human rights, General Dallaire is also a respected author, government and UN advisor, and former Canadian Senator.

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Throughout his distinguished military career, General Dallaire served most notably as Force Commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda prior to and during the 1994 genocide.  General Dallaire provided the United Nations with information about the planned massacre, which ultimately took more than 800,000 lives in less than 100 days; yet, permission to intervene was denied and the UN withdrew its peacekeeping forces. General Dallaire, along with a small contingent of Ghanaian and Tunisian soldiers and military observers, disobeyed the command to withdraw and remained in Rwanda to fulfill their ethical obligation to protect those who sought refuge with the UN forces. 

Whether as military commander, humanitarian, senator or author, Roméo Dallaire has penetrated

our national consciousness, often in supremely uncomfortable ways. He continues to work tirelessly

to bring national and international attention to situations too-often ignored, whether the atrocities of

the Rwandan genocide, the struggle that he and many other military veterans face with post-

traumatic stress disorder, or the recruitment and use of child soldiers. 




Thursday 09 May 2019

Speaker: A. Britton Smith MC, QC, LLD.

Topic: "2nd Canadian Division attack on Verrières Ridge, July 1944, World War II and,

 Some Thoughts on Kingston's Housing Shortage"

Arthur Britton Smith was born in Kingston and grew up on Stuart Street near Queen's university.  He attended Victoria School and KCVI.  At age 15 he enlisted in the Canadian Field Artillery (militia), leading him to RMC (College Number 2652).  Graduating in 1940, he was commissioned a lieutenant and proceeded to the UK.  In 1942, he was promoted to captain in the Second Division Artillery.  Wounded in Normandy, he returned to Canada in November 1944.  Back in Kingston he married Sally Carruthers.

After the war, he graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School and practised law until 1998, when he was awarded an honorary life membership in the Law Society of Upper Canada. He and Sally have three children, two of whom are Queen's grads.  He had seven brothers-in-law who also graduated from Queen's, as did two sisters and several grandchildren.

Mr. Smith served three terms on City Council, commanded a company in the Princess of Wales Own Regiment, was warden of St. John's Anglican Church, chaired the United Way campaign, the Frontenac Law Society and RKY boys' camp committee. He was active in the Legion's Branch 560, National President of the RMC Club of Canada, Master of the Frontenac Hunt and chaired several philanthropic fund raisings.  In 1990 he was named the Kingston Chamber of Commerce's Business Person of the Year and in 2006 was inducted into the Kingston Business Hall of Fame

As a hobby, he started building apartment houses while still a law student.  Now this sideline is his full time occupation. His company, Homestead Land Holdings, has grown to over 26,000 suites in 16 cities and he is still the executive chairman. Hobbies other than real estate developing have included boating, raising Aberdeen Angus cattle, breeding Arabian horses, hunting, fishing, tennis and collecting old books.  

Mr. Smith's honours include the Military Cross (1944), the Canadian Forces Decoration, the Canada 125 medal, Queen's Counsel (1959), honorary Doctorates from RMC and Queen's and a row of military campaign medals. He is compiler of "Kingston! Oh Kingston!" and author of "Legend of the Lake", reflecting his interest in local history.  He lives on the riverfront a few miles east of Kingston.

Copy of presentation:

"BATTLE AT TROTEVAL FARM                                 July 1944               


            In the 1944 invasion of Normandy I was commander of “C” Troop, 14th Battery, 4th Field Reg’t RCA, a unit of the Second Canadian Division.


On the morning of July 20th LCol Bud Drury, CO of the Regiment, ordered me to proceed immediately to an “O” Group at the Mayor’s office in FAUBOURG DE VAUCELLES (east of CAEN) and to act as his representative and FOO with the Fusiliers de Mont Royal in a brigade attack.  This I did with some puzzlement as I normally worked with 4th Brigade battalions and had trained with them for several years in England.  I did not know anyone in the FMR, but assumed my selection was because I had some slight battle experience with the RHLI and the RR of C, whereas 6 Brigade and it’s FOO’s were still unblooded; also two of my OP crew were bilingual.


            I remember eating apples picked off the mayor’s tree in the yard of the “maiorie” while the senior officers tried to hammer out some difficulties, which I believe involved adding the Essex Scottish of 4 Brigade to 6 Brigade.  This was a surprise, as we had never trained with a four-battalion formation, and it did not fit our usual tactical patterns.  [Each brigade in 2nd Div was composed of 3 battalions.]  The Bde “I” officer told us that British “Recce” units reported seeing no enemy between IFS and VERRIERES, the proposed route of the 6 Bde assault.  The camouflaged Germans had held their fire, it turned out.


            I proceeded to the start line, just south of the village of IFS, and joined up with Captain Fernand Mousseau of “C” Company, the FMR.  He and his men had been marching since dawn, with no breakfast and no lunch, and they had been awakened very early in the morning; hardly good preparation for their first battle!  Nonetheless they were cheerful and spirited.


            I explained to him the nature of our barrage and the importance of staying behind the start line and not getting too close to the falling shells as we advanced.  He and his men were eager to go, although very hungry, and at 14:45 the barrage, fired by many artillery regiments, opened.  [There had just been time to lay on a creeping barrage.  As well, the depth of the assault required many lifts and therefore a great quantity of ammunition.] The infantry followed the bursting shells at a respectful distance after two men were wounded.


 I was with one of the lead platoons and had two signallers on foot accompanying me.  My carrier followed behind the infantry company.  One signaller carried a short-range radio set (No.38?) to communicate with my carrier and the other a No.18 set on the FMR net (both back-packs).  We all toted rifles to look as much like infanteers as possible, and I had my camouflage scarf wound over my epaulettes to hide my captain’s pips.  My binoculars (oversize 12 power) were tucked inside my battledress blouse and my folded map was in the large thigh pocket of my trousers.


            We started taking prisoners almost immediately and also came under fire from snipers and MG 42’s hiding in stooks of cut grain, which dotted some of the fields.  The FMR 2 inch mortar men dropped a few phosphorous bombs on the stooks, setting them on fire and this pretty soon cut down on the sniping.  The enemy infantry were, I think, from the 272nd Division (mostly non-Germans) and formed a screen in front of the 12th SS Panzer, an elite, tough crew of Nazi Party members.  They had dug slit trenches under the grain stooks, which protected them from our barrage to some extent.  Also the German armour and S/P anti-tank guns were sited in pits gouged out by a bulldozer, so that only their weapons were at all visible.  This meant that our tanks behind us had great difficulty spotting targets and suffered severe casualties.  My bren gun carrier was not fired upon, although several nearby T-16 carriers which were towing 17 pounder and 6 pounder anti-tank guns were knocked out early on.


            It was a hot July day with little wind, so the smell of burning rubber and paint from the tanks and carriers on fire, the smoke from blazing wheat sheaves and the smell of burning flesh was a dramatic accompaniment to the continuous crash of the 25 pound shells bursting steadily in front of us; also there was much screaming.  Very shortly we had quite a large number of prisoners; I counted a batch of 45 at one time.  We used them to carry wounded of both sides to the rear on gates.  Eight prisoners as porters and two wounded to a gate.


            We followed the prescribed drill of jamming the bayonet of a wounded man’s rifle upright in the ground, so that his location was marked.  The rifle of course stood up above the grain in the uncut fields.  [Our toad-stabber bayonets were best used to puncture tins of milk for tea and not good for this.  We missed our original issue of WWI type sword-bayonets.]


            Each officer carried two syrettes of morphine and these were eventually used up on badly wounded.  The kit included an indelible purple pencil, which we licked and used to make a big “M” on the man’s forehead, to avoid accidental overdose.


            And so we fought our way forward about 2 kms to TROTEVAL FARM while at the same time B Company on our right was advancing on BEAUVOIR FARM.  Maj. Gauthier, commanded “B” Coy and Captain Gordon Hunter from my regiment was the FOO with him.  Gordon was badly wounded later that day and Captain Reg Parker, another of our 4th Fd FOO’s, was killed that afternoon near IFS with the Essex Scottish.  When we reached the farms we encountered troops of the 12th SS Division and there was some fierce fighting until they withdrew.  A couple of Mark IV German tanks were knocked out by our armour in support close to VERRIERES village, which was only a few hundred yards from TROTEVAL FARM.  However, the tiger tanks and infantry appeared to have pulled back to their reserve position under cover of the smoke which obscured the view of our own tanks.  This was standard German tactics.  The artillery fire plan ended at the farms, I believe, and “D” Coy FMR then passed between us and “B” Coy to attack VERRIERES.  The 12TH SS hit them very hard, and forced them to withdraw with no ground gained and many casualties.


            Major Mousseau and I started to consolidate around TROTEVAL FARM, all of us digging slit trenches well away from the farm buildings to avoid being obvious targets.  He and I were talking beside a stone wall when some one threw an egg grenade over and it burst between us.  The skin of these bombs is very thin metal, and so we suffered only minor cuts.  Happily it was not a stick grenade!  I asked the captain in one of the tanks who had by then come up, if he could knock a hole in the wall.  This he did quite easily and I quickly jumped through after the tank, looking for the perpetrator of the grenade attack.  Suddenly the Sherbrooke officer ducked down yelling a warning and slammed his turret lid.  I turned around to face a German NCO with a Schmeisser aimed at me!  He gave me one burst, turned and fled into some nearby berry bushes as the tank turret was swinging down toward him with its co-ax machine gun firing.  I felt like I had been kicked in the gut, but there was no blood, for a very good reason.  I had been cursing the body armour which assault infantry and OP crews wore, but now I fervently gave thanks that I had it on.  There were two, one inch deep, pits pushed into the chest plate!  The battery quartermaster some days later replaced it, but it then became a regimental curio for a while.  The 9mm ammunition used by the Germans was shorter, lighter and had less punch than our own, although it would fit in our 9mm pistols and stens.


While we were digging in, a heavy burst of rain struck us, soaking everyone to the skin and filling our slit trenches with mud.  However under cover of the rain, the company sergeant-major of the FMR reached our position in a jeep carrying two dixies of stew and coffee (or tea? – I forget) kept warm in hay boxes.  He also brought cases of .303 ammunition, 2 inch mortar bombs and “36” grenades, but no PIAT ammo.  The FMR grabbed first for the ammunition boxes, ripping them open and stuffing the loose rounds into their bren magazines, most of which were empty.  The riflemen took the cloth bandoliers, each of which contained several five-round clips, and after filling their pouches slung the remaining khaki bandoliers around their necks.  Then they went at the food, having had nothing for 24 hours!  Good discipline!


The arrival of the ammo was well timed, as the first of many counterattacks developed shortly after, coming from the village of VERRIERS a few hundred yards ahead of us.  Major Mousseau asked for artillery fire and I brought the battery down on a defensive task out in front of our position, which I had already registered.  Suddenly there was a snicking sound above us and twigs and leaves showered down from the tall Lombardy poplars which lined the lane where we stood.  I realized that my guns were firing charge 3, or a very flat trajectory at that range, and that we were in considerable danger.  I quickly switched to charge 2 which lowered the muzzle velocity and raised the guns.  After that the shells came in at a safe height.  Thank God none hit a solid branch and ‘air burst’ overhead.


The two surviving tanks were ordered back to “Laager” for the night.  We protested loudly but their commanders said they had to replenish fuel and ammunition.  They swung their guns around over their sterns and draped a huge yellow cloth triangle over each turret to identify them as friendly.  (Smaller yellow cloth triangles were carried by all of us, with a loop around our neck and smaller loops on the other two corners for our thumbs.  To identify us when we came under friendly fire (usually from our aircraft), we stuck our thumbs into the two loops and snapped the triangle out of our breast pocket as identification.)  When the tanks were just clear of our position, a dug-in German S/P gun very close on our left fired with a horrendous crash and a round screeched over our heads striking the upper part of one tank’s turret with an enormous shower of sparks.  The turret rocked up and crashed over the side, although the tank continued on.  The driver must have been shielded from the metal flying around above and behind him.  Our eardrums were punched in and the grain around us was knocked down flat by the blast of the high velocity shot.  I tried to call a Typhoon in, to hit the gun, but the rain and low clouds had stopped all aircraft flying.  The last plane we had seen was a German fighter which strafed us shortly after we crossed the start line.


The classic counterattack was beaten back with heavy fire from the FMR and a great number of artillery shells from the 4th Field Regiment.  On our left a quarter of a mile away at HUBERT FOLIE the SDG Highlanders were dug in, but we had no liaison with them, unfortunately.  We could have used some mutual support but we did not know their radio frequencies and evidently they did not know ours, they being 3rd Div and we 2nd Div.


That night it rained off and on but despite that, several times German patrols approached the farm in fairly large numbers.  The FMR lost a few men as prisoners.  I had registered an SOS task across the front of the company position, which we fired effectively several times for a few minutes.  The SOS signal for that day was red, red, green but I discovered that my Verey pistol ammunition was too swollen after being soaked for several hours in my wet pockets; – it simply wouldn’t fit into the chamber.


Our Verey flares came as a brass-based cardboard cartridge like a big shotgun shell, whereas the Germans used an all-metal case.  Luckily we had captured a German FOO and I had taken his flare pistol with its ammo.  Their red flares could be distinguished by a band of milling, and the green flares by a half band.  White was plain.  I kept my red flares in my left pocket (port side!) and green in my right (starboard!) otherwise I could not tell ours apart in the darkness.  The Germans were ‘way ahead of us on this one.  (For some reason red and green were the two favoured flare colours in both armies).   Most distress signals to the guns consisted of 3 “shots”.


I had told my signal sergeant to forget about attempting to bring a field telephone line up to the position as the heavy shell-fire and tank traffic would make it impossible to maintain.  This left us entirely dependant on radio and batteries were a problem.  Our chore-horse battery charger was much too noisy to run so close to the enemy, but somehow during the night Sgt Tom O’Rourke made it up to the OP on his motorcycle with some fully charged batteries strapped on behind him.  [He was later wounded and returned to Canada with me on the hospital ship ABBA].


Very early the next morning another German attack came in, but without tank support.  We repulsed it with relative ease, although they brought down a heavy preparatory concentration of artillery and mortar fire upon us.  This cost us several more casualties.  Meanwhile another early attack on BEAUVOIR FARM to our right, had been successful and the Germans took quite a few prisoners of B Coy FMR.  We watched them being marched off to VERRIERES.  Captain Gord Hunter, my fellow FOO had been wounded, as I said, and his replacement had not yet come up from the gun position.  This was undoubtedly a factor in the FMR losing BEAUVOIR.  Naturally we felt very exposed after this German success.  I was pre-occupied at TROTEVAL and could do nothing to help B Coy.


During one of the brief lulls in activity a deserter who claimed to be a Polish conscript, approached the OP with his hands in the air; one of them waving a rag.  He had a pillowcase knotted to his waist-belt, which looked slightly suspicious.  We were thinking of grenades, so made him dump the contents, which turned out to be about 20 small cans of bully beef!  These were the “iron rations” carried by German soldiers and, obviously, he had been collecting them from his dead comrades.  He said he had been hiding out “waiting for the Tommys”.


In the late afternoon still another German attack came in, the fifth, I think.  This time supported by several tiger tanks and some determined panzer grenadiers who persevered through our defensive fire.  C Coy were down to seventeen, all ranks, twelve of whom were wounded.  Most ammunition was gone, including all the PIAT anti-tank ammo, so Major Mousseau, himself wounded, had no choice but to surrender.  Shortly before this, when the Germans overran the position, we agreed that as a last resort we would bring down artillery fire right on ourselves, as our people were in slit trenches and the attackers were exposed [a calculated but not uncommon risk].  This we did for several minutes, using up a lot of ammunition, but inflicting many casualties on the infantry attackers.  We had no anti-tank guns nor any of our own tanks to support us, so nothing could be done against the German tigers.  I decided to make a run for it in the carrier, but after all the pouring rain it refused to start.  We had to unload a wounded FMR officer from the rear compartment to get at the engine and meanwhile considered crawling away through the grain to avoid capture.  In preparation, I rolled my 12 X binoculars in my Burberry raincoat and pushed it down in the mud of my slit trench, expecting that I could recover both when we retook the position.


 Most of the time we were communicating with FMR battalion headquarters on our 18 set.  The “C” Coy sets had been knocked out.  We were quite forceful in our requests for reinforcements, but nothing appeared.  I was also sending “sit-reps” through 4th Field R/T channels on my No.19 set, begging for an additional company of infantry or even better, the reserve battalion.  I believe that because this was the first action for 6th Brigade and its battalion commanders no one at HQ appreciated the importance of reinforcing “C” Coy’s success.  At that time the company at TROTEVAL FARM was the only sub-unit of 2nd Div still holding it’s objective.  All others had been driven back by counterattacks.  We held on at TROTEVAL FARM largely because of terrific artillery fire, which amounted to over 600 rounds per gun for 4th Field, during the battle, mostly fired on ‘Mike’ targets (24 guns).  Back-breaking work in the rain and almost non-stop for the gunners.  Needless to say, I and my OP crew had been fighting all along as infantry, using our rifles to good effect although our Bren gun had jammed early on (full of mud!) and we never had time to clean it.


My driver, Bombardier Chris May, finally got the engine started and under cover of our exploding shells we made a run for it, coming under heavy fire from the co-ax machine guns of the German tanks.  (They would not waste the main armament on a tiny Bren carrier.)  We could see white powder flying around us, which we feared might be phosphorous.  This later turned out to be powdered hardtack of which we had lashed a large tin on top of the carrier.  This was riddled with bullet holes.  The same was true of a large PIAT box welded across the front, which had contained a few cans of bully beef and stew, now splattered gruesomely over everything, as well; but the carrier armour withstood the fire although the paint was badly chipped.


            I reported to LCol Gauvreau at the FMR battalion headquarters and told him that C Company had surrendered.  He reassigned me to Maj. White of A Company, the reserve company. Our task was to recapture BEAUVOIR FARM.  We crawled through the grain and along some ditches getting quite close to BEAUVOIR where we saw two tigers systematically swiveling on the FMR slit trenches to fill them in.  It was obvious that we could not attack German armour with only infantry, so I cancelled my quick fire plan and left BEAUVOIR for the future.  We succeeded three days later.


            The Germans established a fairly strong defensive position around TROTEVAL FARM including a minefield.  They also strengthened VERRIERS VILLAGE right behind it, which gave us a much harder time a few days later (the 25th) when the RHLI attacked successfully and I was wounded.  My friend Captain Jack Thompson, the other 14th Battery FOO, also with “The Rileys”, was killed.


            After the war my brother-in-law, Warren Hurst, visited TROTEVAL FARM, and saw that the hole in the wall had been rebuilt.  The French farm family had survived the entire battle, hiding in the cellar.  They lost one member killed, unfortunately.


            I never went back.  I wrote a citation for the DSO for Maj Fernand Mousseau at the request of LCol Gavreau.  He did not get it, being a POW, although he had escaped from a German hospital dressed as a nurse, and re-joined the FMR in the fall.  I had lunch with him a few years ago in Ottawa.


            My driver Bdr May and signaller John Clark were both recommended for the Military Medal.  Both got an m.i.d. (Mentioned-in-Despatches) and both were later killed; Many on the 25th when our carrier hit a Tellermine while attacking with the RHLI.


In this first combat experience for 6 Bde since DIEPPE there were several lessons to be learned:

1)                  There was no liaison between the FMR of 2nd Div and the neighbouring SDG of 3rd Div. on our left;

2)                  Artillery FOOs should work with the infantry whom they normally support and know;

3)                  A tactical formation should not be varied on the eve of battle, after years of training (4 battalions instead of 3);

4)                  LOB personnel should be sent up to replace assault casualties at the same time as replacement ammo;

5)                  A reserve company should not be left uncommitted while the two forward companies are fighting for their lives;

6)                  The successful battalion (FMR) should be strengthened or replaced with the brigade reserve when it is obviously in deep trouble;

7)                  Anti-tank guns should be deployed in the consolidation stage.  If the anti-tank are wiped out, then the supporting armour should be left overnight in close support and not withdrawn to Laager;

8)                  Attacking troops should be well rested and well fed in preparation;

9)                  Inexperienced commanders should not be combined with inexperienced troops.



Brit Smith"


Thursday 11 April 2019

Speaker: Janice Mady, Director, and Rick Boswell, Assistant Director, Innovation Park

Topic: "Innovation Park, and the Queen's University Office of Partnership and Innovation"


As leaders at the Queen's University Innovation Park, Janice Mady and Rick Boswell are instrumental in supporting an environment where start up clients can thrive and grow their businesses.


Janice's 35 year career has taken her from years in industry to subsequent work in the area of climate change with the BIOCAP Canada Foundation, and then to the university sector at Queen's. As Director of Research and Innovation Partnerships at Queen's she sets strategic direction for and leads the Research Partnerships, Research Contracts, and Regional Innovation Units. Her work helps advance collaboration between the different sectors, and creates opportunities for Queen's students, faculty, and organizations in our community.


Rick has been working in the research and innovation sector for over 30 years, all at Queen's. He began in the Department of Chemistry, overseeing the largest growth in its history. In 2008 he moved to Innovation Park at Queen's as its first team member. As Assistant Director he helps set up collaborative environments for start up clients so they can become a part of the regional innovation ecosystem.

The audience learned how Janice and Rick and the Innovation Park team have helped to establish a vibrant innovation culture and community, to the benefit of Kingston and its residents.


Thursday 14 March 2019

Speaker: Matthew Fisher, Resident Visiting Scholar in Defence and Security at the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History at Massey College and Fellow, Canadian Global Affairs International

Topic: "Stories from the Last Foreign Correspondent"


Matthew Fisher is Resident Visiting Scholar in defence and security at the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History at Massey College, a fellow of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, and Canada's most experienced and well-traveled foreign correspondent.

He grew up in a remote town in northwestern Ontario and in Ottawa. He studied Fine Arts (film major) at York University, and then was a full time journalist for 45 years, working overseas for 34 years. He was the international affairs columnist for the National Post and Postmedia for 17 years, after working for Sun Media and the Toronto Globe and Mail.

Fisher has been to 172 countries, living in Belgium, Germany, Russia, Hong Kong, Britain, Iraq, Jerusalem and Afghanistan. He observed 19 wars and conflicts from Central America and Rwanda to Chechnya, Nagorno-Karabakh, the Balkans, the Middle East, Timor, Afghanistan and Abu Sayyaf's Islamic war in Mindanao. Last fall he met with Canadian NATO pilots flying Air Policing missions out of Romania.

Fisher received the Ross Munro Award in 2007 for an extraordinary contribution to increasing the understanding of Canadians of defence and security issues. He was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for making a significant contribution to Canadian public life. He is writing a book about his life abroad and Canada’s place in the world, with an emphasis on the High Arctic and on Russia and China.


Thursday 14 February 2019

Speaker: Helen Humphreys, Kingston Author

Topic: "How a Novel is Written - A Craft Talk"


Helen Humphreys is the award-winning author of numerous works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, including the novel Coventry, a Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year, and the memoir Nocturne, nominated for the Trillium Book Award . Her novel The Evening Chorus was nominated for the Governor General’s Award in 2015.    

 Humphrey’s latest book, The Ghost Orchard, explores the history of the apple in North America.  Inspired by the discovery of a rare and delicious apple in an abandoned orchard near her home, the author delved into the history of the fruit.  An engaging storyteller, Humphreys brings to light diverse aspects of the apple’s history, from how the fruit first came across the Atlantic Ocean to the cataloguing of over 17,000 varieties by the U.S. Department of Pomology, to little-known stories of poets, artists, and thinkers who were inspired by this humble fruit.

The Ghost Orchard, however, is more than a history, as Humphreys writes about undertaking the research while one of her closest friends was suffering from a terminal illness.  With her signature lyrical prose, Humphreys weaves insights about illness and friendship into this fascinating history, resulting in a book both personal and universal.


Thursday 10 January 2019

Speaker: Colonel Kirk Barringer, Base Commander, CFB Kingston

Topic: "Strong, Secure, Engaged - Canadian Forces Base Kingston"


Kirk Gallinger joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1989, was commissioned in 1993, and commenced Regimental Duty with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (1 PPCLI) in Calgary. As a junior officer, he served various commands, staff and instructor appointments in 1 PPCLI, the 2e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment and the Infantry School. His operational experience includes deployments to Croatia and Bosnia, as well as in 2006 commanding A Company, 1 PPCLI Battle Group, in Afghanistan.

Col. Gallinger’s key staff appointments include the Army G3 Branch as a desk officer for the Afghanistan mission, J5 in the 1st Canadian Division HQ, and Chief of Staff of 3rd Canadian Division / Joint Task Force West in Edmonton, Alberta. In 2011, Colonel Gallinger was appointed Commandant of the Infantry School, after which he joined the Combat Training Centre Headquarters as its Deputy Commander. In June 2018, he was appointed Commander, Canadian Forces Base Kingston.

Col. Gallinger holds a Baccalaureate in Honours History, a Master of Arts in War Studies, a Master of Arts in Public Administration and a Master of Strategic Studies. He is a graduate of the Army Transition Command and Staff Course, the Combined Arms Team Commanders Course and the Canadian Armed Forces Joint Command and Staff Programme. He is a Distinguished Graduate of the United States Army War College, Class of 2018. A proud husband and father, in his spare time he enjoys reading and cycling.


Thursday 13 December 2018

Speaker: Dr. Kayll Lake, Professor, Astronomy, Astrophysics and Relativity, Queen's University

Topic: "The Life of a Star"


Dr Kayll Lake received his PhD from the University of Toronto in the area of General Relativity (Einstein's theory of gravity). After a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Alberta, he joined the Queen's Department of Physics and held an NSERC University Research Fellowship from 1980-1990. He has been Full Professor at Queen's since 1987 and an Affiliate Member at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics since 2011. He became President of QUFA in 2017.

His current academic interests include general relativity, computer algebra and its applications, as well as relative astrophysics. Research he has conducted recently in his field includes studies of the propagation of discontinuities in solutions of Einstein's equations, which help solve the riddle of the formation of the universe. He has also done research on the formation of naked singularities in gravitational collapse, which contributes to a refinement of our notion of cosmic censorship.

In our communication with him concerning his topic, "The Life of a Star," he wrote "All major aspects of the life cycle of a star are known. The most important feature of a star is its mass. This determines its lifetime and end state. These end states include some of the most bizarre objects known to exist in the Universe and include white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes." His talk promises to be a very interesting one, giving us a glimpse into the far reaches of the universe which ultimately is our home.


Thursday 08 November 2018

Speaker: John Foster, International Oil Economist

Topic: "Canada, Oil and World Politics"


John Foster, an energy economist with more than 40 years of experience in policy and economic issues relating to infrastructure and energy, has held positions with the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, Petro-Canada and BP Group.  He has witnessed first-hand the impact of petroleum geopolitics in more than 30 countries around the world.

In the past decade, John has given talks on petroleum rivalries and conflicts – at universities, foreign affairs groups, trade unions and associations across Canada. His research on Afghanistan and pipeline politics, A Pipeline Through a Troubled Land, was published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (over 200,000 downloads), and became banner headlines in the Globe and Mail (19 June 2008). He has authored articles in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Hill Times, and Journal of Energy Security (Washington, DC). He has been interviewed on radio and TV, most recent on CBC’s Power and Politics. He has a new book, Oil and World Politics (Lorimer, Sep 2018). Club member Millie Morton is his close collaborator and wife.

John has a BA and MA in economics and law, Cambridge University. Born in London, England, he became a Canadian citizen in 1982. Before coming to Canada, he served in the Royal Navy, including the 1956 Suez landings (Lieutenant RNR). His interests include the Canadian Club of Kingston, Kingston Choral Society, cryptic crosswords, and walking at Lemoine Point.

A copy of John's presentation will be posted here.


Thursday 11 October 2018

Speaker: Alex Neve, Secretary General, Amnesty International Canada

Topic: "Standing up for Human Rights in a Turbulent and Polarized World"


Alex Neve is a lawyer, with an LLB from Dalhousie University and a Master's Degree in International Human Rights Law from the University of Essex.  He has served as a member of the Immigration and Refugee Board, taught at Osgoode Hall Law School and the University of Ottawa, been affiliated with York University's Centre for Refugee Studies, and worked as a refugee lawyer in private practice and in a community legal aid clinic. 

 Alex believes in a world in which the human rights of all people are protected.   He has been a member of Amnesty International since 1985 and has served as Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada's English Branch since 2000.  In that role he has carried out numerous human rights research missions throughout Africa and Latin America, and closer to home to such locations as Grassy Narrows First Nation in NW Ontario and to Guantanamo Bay. 


Alex speaks to audiences across the country about human rights issues, appears regularly before parliamentary committees and UN bodies, and is a frequent commentator in the media.  He is on the Board of Directors of Partnership Africa Canada, the Canadian Centre for International Justice and the Centre for Law and Democracy. 


Alex has been named an Officer of the Order of Canada and a Trudeau Foundation Mentor. He is a recipient of a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. He has received honorary Doctorate of Laws degrees from St. Thomas University, the University of Waterloo and the University of New Brunswick. 


Alex has consented to reproducing his presentation. The contents are displayed below: 

Let me begin with my own heartfelt and respectful acknowledgement that we gather today in traditional Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee territory. I am grateful indeed to be here, particularly at a time of continuing challenge and obvious openings for advancing stronger protection of the rights of Indigenous peoples across Canada.  It is a true honour to be in this territory – and a strong reminder about some crucial fundamentals. How essential it is to deepen our commitment to rights.  How essential that we deepen our commitment to our shared nationwide responsibility to truly understand and move forward in a relationship of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in this country.


And if ever there was a time to draw strength and determination from those values of rights and reconciliation – this is that time.  For we come together in a time of very real human rights challenges; a time of roiling and blood-soaked turmoil and conflict; a time of hateful and demonizing division and bigotry.  The precious human rights promises enshrined at the UN almost 7 decades ago, when world leaders adopted and committed to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and launched the era of international human rights protection, are insidiously undermined and blatantly and even contemptuously disregarded.


But we do gather also a time also of action, resistance, solidarity and courage.  The global human rights movement is stronger than ever and does not relent, even in the face of unprecedented repression in almost every corner of the world.  People will not and do not stay silent when rights are on the line; and they have flooded into streets, parks, squares and the digital world to claim their rights and defend, passionately, the rights of others.


Yet. The Rohingya Crisis in Myanmar. South Sudan. Yemen. Libya. Northern Iraq. Afghanistan. The Central African Republic.  The wrenching human rights and humanitarian catastrophe that never ends in Syria.


Yet. The world looks away.  The world shrugs its shoulders.  The world tires. The world says it cares but then gets tied up in knots of inaction.  Perhaps the most disgraceful failure of our global community over these past seventy years has been the inability and unwillingness to end mass atrocities, to prevent another Holocaust. Very sadly, that global human rights commitment of ‘never again’ has instead, over the decades, very clearly been ‘again and again’.


Meanwhile, at a time when we need greater compassion, concern and principled leadership from governments, around the world – from the United States to Hungary, to the Philippines and far too many other countries – toxic bigotry and the politics of fear, suspicion and hate wins elections by unabashedly vilifying and targeting marginalized communities.  The Wall, The Razor Wire Fence, The MuslimBan, The War on Drugs.  All pretend to deliver safety, but through cruelty and violence that only breeds deeper insecurity and painful injustice.

And in Canada?


In many respects we offer hope.  Our government has taken strong stands at home and abroad for women’s human rights and gender equality, has become known for welcoming refugees and has made numerous grand gestures recognizing the urgency of advancing reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.


But, not always consistently; not always with follow through action to back up stirring words; and far too often with evidently wobbly conviction when powerful economic interests are at stake.  I’ll come back to some of those areas of disappointment.


These are tough times for human rights. Certainly not what we aspired to as the Universal Declaration readies to turn 70, in December.  With a platinum anniversary, a bleak global context and a worldwide chorus demanding change, there is no better time for a renewed global human rights push. 


There are many key imperatives to that push.  Let me share seven.


First, justice.


For decades one of the most notable shortcomings in international human rights protection was the glaring absurdity that the world’s worst criminals were the ones most likely to escape justice and accountability for their misdeeds.  The masterminds of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.


All of that was supposed to change with the historic breakthrough of agreeing the Rome Statute in 1998, which subsequently led to the establishment of the International Criminal Court.  Twenty years later, 123 countries – close to 2/3 of the world’s states – are now parties to the Rome Statute.   Notably, 3 of the permanent members who wield such power within the United Nations Security Council – China, Russia and the United States – have made it clear they have no intention to join.  And in more recent years there has been growing push back from African governments who allege that the Court has disproportionately targeted them in the first round of charges and trials.


We have, however had 2 recent indications, from 2 opposite directions, that the ICC matters and needs greater, more forceful support from countries such as Canada.


In the face of an agonizing number of dead-ends in the effort to ensure justice and accountability for the military leaders and others in Myanmar who are responsible for the mass atrocities experienced by the Rohingya, the ICC suddenly offers a promising way ahead.


While Myanmar has not accepted the Court, neighbouring Bangladesh has.  And ICC judges have ruled that it would be possible to take up cases which have a cross border dimension – began with violence and persecution in Myanmar, leading to refugees fleeing to Bangladesh, the impact and effect of which continues after crossing the border.  At the same time a comprehensive new UN report, endorsed unanimously by the Canadian Parliament last month, now talks of the Rohingya Crisis as genocide.   All of this opens up remarkable possible avenues of justice for a community which has always been denied same.


At the same time, also last month, we had a broadside against the ICC from the Trump government, in the sputtering, flaming rhetoric of his national security advisor, the notorious John Bolton. 

Incensed that the court is investigating Israeli human rights violations because the Palestinian Authority has recognized the court, and is also potentially investigating American forces in Afghanistan, because the Afghan government has recognized the court – Bolton announced that the US stands ready to ban ICC judges and prosecutors from entering the US, freeze any personal funds they may have in the US, and even threatened to lay charges (of what he was not clear) against ICC prosecutors.


All of this – determined efforts by prosecutors, strong UN reports, and yes, also the push-back and criticism – are strong signs that this matters.  That it was never going to be smooth and easy, but international justice matters, so very much. Universalizing that dream, that imperative of international justice, must continue to be at the heart of our agenda.


Second, a word about global arms control.


One of the most obvious obstacles to preventing mass atrocities is the world’s unbridled arms trade.  That is why it matters so much that the UN adopted an Arms Trade Treaty in April 2013, bringing human rights rules to this deadly global commerce.  Just over five years later, a respectable but not overwhelming 97 countries are on board. When Brazil joined, last month, number 97, we reached the halfway point. Not bad. Once again, the same three Permanent members of the Security Council – China, Russia and the United States, all major arms dealers – are staying out.  Given that only ten years ago most observers felt that the idea of a global arms trade treaty was an unattainable illusion, we do have some momentum on our side.


Unfortunately Canada is not among those 97 countries already on board.  Not yet, but getting close.  The federal has introduced legislation that would pave the way for us join the ATT.  But Bill C47 is far from perfect.  Most notably, it would exempt from scrutiny any arms sales from Canada to the United States, which accounts for over half of the Canadian arms trade; trade to a nation that itself has no intention to join the treaty and a nation with a long and notorious record of transferring arms to countries with abysmal human rights records.


C-47 is not yet law.  While it has passed the House, it still has to be approved by the Senate.  So that is where our attention turns this fall. We want to ensure that when Canada joins the ATT we can hold our head up high, with pride, and know that we are doing all we can to be part of the solution to a world awash with weapons used to commit terrible human rights violations.

Meanwhile we do continue to have the very inconvenient matter of 742 armoured vehicles that Canada has approved for sale, by London-based General Dynamics, to Saudi Arabia.  Saudi Arabia with its own abysmal human rights record, now made worse by the fact that they have been repeatedly implicated as being responsible for extensive war crimes in neighbouring Yemen, where they lead a coalition that has actively intervened in the fighting.


Signing international treaties is one thing.  Reforming our laws to join those treaties is one thing.  Making principled decisions to say no to arms deals that stand to cause immense suffering and abuse is what really matters in the end.


Three, protecting refugees.


The UNHCR estimates that 65 million people have been forced to flee their homes worldwide, with approximately 22.5 million refugees and 42.5 internally displaced persons. There is therefore much talk of a global refugee crisis. The numbers do certainly give a sense of crisis.  About 1 out of every 112 people in the world is now forcibly displaced from her or his home.

But the crisis is not the refugees.  The crisis is not the numbers.  The crisis, and it is one, lies entirely in the despicable measures being taken by governments in response; with much more focus on restrictions, barriers and punishment than on compassion, safety and protection.


One clear problem is that the global refugee system, intended to be grounded in international cooperation, is at its heart entirely unilateral.  Frontline states that are the ones to receive an influx of refugees are the ones expected to shoulder that responsibility. Bangladesh, here are the refugees from Myanmar that are your responsibility.  Turkey, 3 million Syrian refugees; Uganda, 1 million South Sudanese refugees have arrived.  Yours to bear.


States further afield may write the occasional cheque to help you out.  And they will certainly expend massive sums on keeping refugees away from their own frontiers, through border control, ocean patrols and other measures.


Meanwhile, Canada rests on the laurels of our remarkable 2016 effort to resettle 45,000 Syrian refugees, but with little follow through.  And as growing numbers of refugees feel fearful that they will not be safe in Donald Trump’s America, they are turning instead to Canada to make their claims for protection. But they face a 14 year old treaty, the STCA, that closes down border posts to refugees seeking to cross from the US to make refugee claims in Canada and are instead forced to cross irregularly into the country in order to make their claims.


That means making often perilous journeys and it means increasingly facing journalists, politicians, and a skeptical public, who refer to them as illegal migrants making illegal border crossings.  Their journeys may be desperate, risky and uncertain. But there is nothing illegal, in Canadian or international law, about crossing a border to make a refugee claim.


That is why Amnesty International has joined with the CCR, the CCC and a courageous woman from El Salvador and her 2 young children in a court challenge to the STCA.  At a time of fear and uncertainty for refugees in the United States, Canada needs to ensure that a commitment to human rights will prevail along the 49th parallel.


Number four, upholding the equality rights of women and girls.


By sheer numbers there is no denying that the deep inequality faced by women and girls is the most severe human rights challenge the world faces; and faces everywhere.  Despite commitments to gender equality and safeguards for upholding women’s human rights being long enshrined in numerous treaties, including one dealing specifically with discrimination against women, violence, inequality and marginalization continue to be the human rights reality for women and girls the world-over.  And while the scale and nature of the abuses differs considerably, there is no denying that this is indeed of concern everywhere, be it the Global North or Global South, within all religious, cultural and political traditions and in countries considered to be wealthy and those facing high levels of extreme poverty.


Global determination to promote gender equality and women’s human rights continues to grow. In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, a significant step within the UN system.  The UN’s important Sustainable Development Goals, or Agenda 2030, adopted in September, 2015 include a specific goal focused on gender equality which many states are prioritizing and mainstreaming in how they implement the SDG’s.  The inspiring effort to promote the right of girls to education championed by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala.


Yousafzai are attracting greater support. And movements are gaining such power, such as the 2017 and 2018 Women’s Marches and the incredible momentum of the #MeToo movement.

Not to forget, our own government is unabashedly feminist and brings that outlook to the world stage, including Canada’s FIAP, and last month, FM Freeland co-hosted the first ever Women Foreign Ministers Summit, bringing together 16 women FM’s from across the world.


Determination may be on the upswing, but there is still very far to go when it comes to changes and action that make a real difference.  Witness the colossal scale of rape in armed conflict, everywhere – Rohingya women, Colombian women, Syrian women, Congolese women.


Witness the agony of the Kavanaugh debate and vote in the United States.  Witness the extent to which we still flounder in the effort to understand, address and end the crisis of violence that Indigenous women and girls have endured for so very long in Canada.  A National Inquiry underway, though facing an uphill battle.  And at the same time, far too little action and change to push forward with the reforms we already know to be so badly needed. The Gladue appeal before the SCC this week is a stark reminder that violence against Indigenous women is still a raw and wrenching reality in Canada.


And of course, witness the perils faced by brave women’s rights activists, such as in Saudi Arabia where a ban on women driving has finally been lifted but the women who led the campaign against that very ban are locked up for their determination.


Hope. Crackdown. Courage. Change. A renewed global human rights agenda must have efforts to protect the rights of women and girls at its very heart.


Fifth, defending the defenders.


In so many ways, the greatest guarantor of human rights protection comes at the frontlines and the grassroots, right within our communities – when our sisters, brothers, neighbours, classmates, friends; when we ourselves mobilize, organize and speak out in defence of human rights.  When everyone, everywhere knows their rights and defends their rights.  But sadly, HRD’s around the world are in peril. The measures vary – legal harassment, public demonization, threats, physical attacks and killings – but the message is the same; standing up for human rights carries a price.


Some face greater risk than others, including those defending the rights of the LGBTI community, upholding the sexual and reproductive health rights of women and girls, and speaking up about human rights in the context of land and environmental struggles.


And it has become deeply personal for us as members and supporters of Amnesty International.  Last year the Turkish government locked up our two main leaders of Amnesty International in Turkey, the director, Idil Eser (who essentially does my job in Turkey) and the chair, Taner Kilic.  Locked up on absurd allegations of supporting terrorism, which are entirely about their human rights work.  Idil was released conditionally after 4 months. Her trial still slowly goes forward.  Taner was only freed, again conditionally on bail, in August, after well over a year behind bars – for believing in human rights.


Amnesty International has been taking on some of the world’s cruelest, brutal and vindictive governments for nearly 6 decades.  Never before have we experienced a direct attack like this.  It is a stark illustration of the increasing dangers of defending human rights.


We must, absolutely must, crack the wretched impunity that continues to shield those who kill, attack and threaten human rights defenders. And we must make it clear that people everywhere are watching and concerned. Attacking human rights defenders is attacking the very essence of what human rights protection is all about. That jeopardizes all of us.


Next, making the business case for human rights.


Human rights advocates are consistently told to wait and be patient when economic interests are on the line.  Doing business should take precedence, we are told, as it will eventually and inevitably lead to greater prosperity, stronger respect for the rule of law, more opportunities for education, training and employment and, therefore, ultimately, human rights will flourish.


But we know that is far too simple.  A country’s economy can expand considerably while human rights violations do not abate and may even worsen.  Consider China and Saudi Arabia as two glaring examples of economic boom and human rights bust.


Despite an explosion in company talk about human rights over the years, far too many businesses shirk their human rights responsibilities, and get away with it.   The growing number of reports and campaigns from Amnesty International and other human rights organizations, highlighting widespread human rights concerns in industry sectors such as gold, copper, palm oil, timber, cobalt, oil and gas, in countries around the world, makes that patently clear.


There is encouraging progress here in Canada. The government is setting up a new independent Ombudsperson to investigate complaints about human rights abuses associated with the overseas operations of Canadian mining, oil, gas and garment companies.


And the government has, for the first time, committed to taking human rights seriously as it negotiates a new free trade agreement, with the  Mercosur trading bloc in South America – having announced that assessments will be conducted looking at the deal’s impact on human rights, gender, Indigenous rights and labour.


That’s abroad.  What about within our own borders?  When economic interests collide with the rights of Indigenous peoples?  Consider BC. When pipelines are at stake?  Or when the massive, misguided, bloated Site C hydroelectric dam – which has been supported by Liberal, Conservative and NDP governments at provincial and federal level  - moves ahead despite adamant objection from the First Nations who will lose the last of their traditional territory.


We have much talk about turning a new page, forging a new relationship – embracing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; embracing the TRC Calls to Action. But when massive projects like Trans Mountain and Site C pay little or no regard for those values and obligations, the beautiful rhetoric is empty.


Finally, a word about the world of hate, polarization and contempt for human rights that I know is increasingly a preoccupation for all of us.  And this is not only about Donald Trump, though it is.   It is also about Duterte in the Philippines, Erdogan in Turkey, Maduro in Venezuela, Orban in Hungary and Putin in Russia.  It is every time a western European country goes to the polls. 

The hallmarks are similar across all of these situations.  An ugly, fear-based form of populism.  Taregting refugees and migrants.  Vilifying LGBTI communities.  Setting back women’s equality. Attacks against human rights activists, institutions and principles.


We must, in response, stand up, speak out, push back – be that in the streets, in the courts, on social media.  Challenge, resist, confront, overturn.


But there is something deeper at play as well, we have to change the channel.  Change the channel on division, on fear, on suspicion, on intolerance, on hate.  Anywhere and everywhere we see it, hear it, witness it.


Which is, in essence, the very heart of our global human rights system.  For at the end of the day, treaties, constitutions, laws, courts and tribunals aside, perhaps the most crucial and challenging imperative that must be addressed in the effort to revitalize human rights protection is the need to build empathy and understanding and foster a culture that celebrates diversity and aspires to tolerance and inclusion.    It is the flipside to these waves of division and hate that have certainly always existed but have become more global and mainstream than ever. 

This need for human rights empathy takes us back to powerful remarks delivered by Eleanor Roosevelt, one of the world’s first truly global human rights advocates, having played a key role in the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the UN in 1948.


So let me end with her words, delivered at the UN six decades ago, in 1958, which still speak so meaningfully to us today:


"Where, after all, do universal rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood she lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm or office where she works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerned citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world."

How true.


The failings of the past seventy years of international human rights protection lie in a yawning gap between stirring promises captured in the UDHR and a legion of legal instruments on the one hand and the cold, hard reality on the other hand of states cavalierly ignoring and blatantly breaching those promises without consequence.  They lie as well in indifference and inaction. I’ve touched on some areas where indifference must give way to action:

-          Shoring up international justice.

-          Reining in the global arms trade.

-          Protecting refugees.

-          Fighting for gender equality.

-          Celebrating the amazing work of front line human rights defenders.

-          Holding business accountable for human rights.

-          And turning the channel on hate and division.


From the small places where we live our lives, to the large places of decision making and power in national capitals, corporate boardrooms and the corridors of the United Nations.

In all of those places, the dream of universal human rights protection can be, must be and, indeed, IS within reach.

Within YOUR reach.   Within OUR reach.


Together, we must and will reach out for that world – with greater determination, confidence and urgency – we will reach out today, this week and we will reach out far beyond.






Wednesday 23 May 2018

Speaker: Charlotte Gray, Author

Topic: "The Past is Present: Building on the Promise of Canada"


Charlotte Gray is one of Canada's best-known writers, and author of ten acclaimed books of literary non-fiction. Born in Sheffield, England, and educated at Oxford University and the London School of Economics, she began her writing career in England as a magazine editor and newspaper columnist. After coming to Canada in 1979, she worked as a political commentator, book reviewer and magazine columnist before she turned to biography and popular history.

Charlotte's most recent book is The Promise of Canada: 150 Years - People and Ideas That Have Shaped Our Country. Many of her previous books have been best sellers and have won single or multiple literary and/or historical awards, and one was adapted and broadcast as a television miniseries in early 2014. In 2008 she published Nellie McClung, a short biography of Canada's leading women's rights activist.

Charlotte has appeared regularly on radio and television as a political and cultural commentator, and has been a panelist on CBC Radio's program, Canada Reads. She has been a judge for several of Canada's most prestigious literary prizes, and was short-listed as "Author of the Year" by the Canadian Booksellers Association in 2014.

Charlotte has been awarded five honorary doctorates and is an Adjunct Research Professor in History at Carleton University. She was the 2003 Recipient of the Pierre Berton Award for distinguished achievement in popularizing Canadian History. Charlotte is a member of the Order of Canada and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Charlotte lives in Ottawa with her husband George Anderson, and has three sons.


Wednesday 09 May 2018

Speaker: Denise Cumming, CEO University Hospitals Kingston Foundation

Topic: "Kingston's Hospitals - Accomplishments and Plans"

Denise Cumming was hired as Director of Joint Advancement by Kingston General Hospital, Hotel Dieu Hospital and Providence Care in November, 2004.  She led the process of establishing the new Kingston Hospitals Joint Advancement Foundation (now University Hospitals Kingston Foundation), which was incorporated in October, 2005 and has been the executive lead there ever since.


A professional fundraiser for more than 30 years, Denise held positions of increasing responsibility with Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation, University Hospital Foundation of London (now London Health Sciences Foundation), the University of Western Ontario and St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation (London) before relocating to Kingston.


Denise has an undergraduate degree in Sociology and Personnel Administration from the University of Waterloo. She has completed extensive training in not-for-profit governance, management and fundraising with various organizations and educational institutions.  She been a Certified Fund Raising Executive since 1997.  In addition to her leadership role with KHSC and the foundation, Denise has served for more than 20 years as a volunteer board member with a number of charitable and not-for-profit organizations.


Wednesday 11 April 2018

Speaker: Susan le Jeune d'Allegeershecque, Britain's High Commissioner to Canada

Topic: "Britain's Place in the World Today"

 Her 30-year diplomatic career has taken her to three continents, and exposed her to issues from the EU, to nuclear non-proliferation, anti-narcotics work and the corporate challenge of the Foreign Service's HR policies. She has lived through a coup in Venezuela, and the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote in her last post as Ambassador to Austria and Permanent Representative to the UN organizations in Vienna.  A career highlight was taking part in the negotiations that led to the JCPOA nuclear deal with Iran.

Susan speaks French, German and Spanish and is married to Stéphane a former journalist and teacher. They have two grown-up sons.  

From: https://www.gov.uk/government/people/susan-le-jeune-dallegeershecque


Mrs Susan le Jeune d'Allegeershecque CMG was appointed British High Commissioner to Canada in August 2017.

Curriculum Vitae

Full name

Susan Jane le Jeune d'Allegeershecque CMG

Married to

Stephane Herve and Marie le Jeune d'Allegeershecque




Paris, Charge d'Affaires

2012 - 2016

Vienna, Her Majesty's Ambassador and UK Permanent Representative to the UN in Vienna

2007 - 2012

FCO, Director, Human Resources

2005 - 2007

Washington, Counsellor (Change Management) and Consul General

2002 - 2005

Bogota, Deputy Head of Mission

1999 - 2002

Caracas, Deputy Head of Mission

1996 - 1999

FCO, Head PMU2, Personnel Directorate

1992 - 1995

Singapore, Second Secretary, Press/Economic

1990 - 1992

FCO, Second Secretary, Soviet Dept (Desk Officer for the Baltic States)

1987 - 1989

UK Rep Brussels, Third, then Second Secretary Chancery (PS/Perm Rep)

1985 - 1987

FCO, Desk officer, Nuclear Energy Department

Follow Susan on Twitter @SusanLeJeuneFCO

Previous roles in government

1.     British Ambassador to France 2016 to 2016

2.     Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Vienna 2012 to 2016

Organizations in Vienna 2012 to 2016


Wednesday 14 March 2018

Speaker: The Honourable Thomas Cromwell, CC, Retired Supreme Court Justice

Topic: "Access to Justice in Canada"


The Honourable Thomas Albert Cromwell, a Kingston native, earned a music degree (1973) and a Law degree (1976) from Queen's, and a graduate law degree from Oxford (1977). From 1979 to 1982 he practised law in Kingston and Toronto, and taught at Queen's Law School. He taught law at Dalhousie University for thirteen years between 1982 and 1997.


After eleven years on the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, he was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada in 2008 and served for eight years until his recent retirement. He has chaired the Chief Justice of Canada's Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters since 2009.


Justice Cromwell was first recipient of the Louis St. Laurent Award from the Canadian Bar Association, and has received four honorary doctorates in law. An award in his name was established by Queen's Law in 2015. In December, 2017, Justice Cromwell was made a Companion of the Order of Canada. He is now Senior Counsel with the law firm Borden Ladner Gervais.


Supreme Court decisions affect Canadians in many ways. Bring yourquestions about them, as Justice Cromwell discusses his time on the Supreme Court and his interest in access to justice as the biggest single problem faced by our legal system today.


Wednesday 14 February 2018

Speaker: Glenn Vollbregt, President and CEO, St. Lawrence College

Topic: "Our Future"

Glenn Vollebregt began his tenure as the President and CEO of St. Lawrence College in 2013 with a strong student focus and commitment to student success, academic excellence and leadership in our communities.  In addition to a broad and diverse range of senior leadership experience in the private sector, municipal government and higher education, Glenn holds a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management from the University of London (UK), a Certified Public Accountant (CPA, CMA) Designation and a Business Diploma from Georgian College.

If you follow Glenn on Twitter you will know he is passionate about the student experience at St. Lawrence College and ensuring success of all of our learners.  He is dedicated to the leadership role the College plays in our community and the importance of our students and graduates to our region.

Glenn believes in health and wellness, is a passionate tennis player, runner and cyclist and practices yoga.  An avid reader, Glenn ensures that he finds quality time to spend with his family, one of his most important priorities.


Wednesday 10 January 2018

Speaker: Ken Arnold, CEO, ESG Solutions

Topic: "ESG - Another of Kingston's Best Kept Secrets"

Ken Arnold is the CEO of ESG Solutions, a Kingston company established in 1993 by a research group from Queen’s University. The company is a leader in its field – micro-seismic monitoring for the oil, gas and mining industries. It enables clients to improve safety and production in a range of activities: mining, fracking (hydraulic fracturing), enhanced oil recovery, wastewater injection, natural gas storage, carbon sequestration, geo-technical applications.

Ken Arnold and his family make their home in Kingston. Prior to his current business career, he studied engineering at Waterloo University, followed by a business degree from York University in 1988. Since 2010 Mr. Arnold has been the President of ESG Solutions.

 In 2014 ESG Solutions was bought for $64 million by Spectris pic, a British consortium. The sale came after five years of rapid growth by ESG Solutions, said Ken Arnold at the time in a Whig interview.   He added said that since its founding the company always wanted to build itself in Kingston, hiring staff from Canada and the United States who were interested in living here, and all the while maintaining a low profile in the community.  ESG employs about 120 people, with 100 of them working at the company's headquarters in Kingston.


Wednesday 13 December 2017

Speaker: Robert Clark, Kingston author, Correctional Services Canada (retired)

Topic: "What is the real purpose of prison?"


Robert Clark, Kingston author and retired prison official, spent thirty years working for Corrections Canada. Starting as a volunteer while doing his M. Ed. at Queen's, he later worked in seven different federal prisons, at every level of security, in every conceivable role. His last position was Deputy Warden at the Kingston Pen. In his career he has worked with some of Canada's most dangerous and notorious prisoners. He retired in 2010 and lives in Kingston.


He spoke about his new book, "Down Inside - Thirty years in Canada's Prison Service." It's a compelling personal memoir and a scathing indictment of agenda-driven government policies. He challenges the "tough-on-crime" approach and argues for humane treatment and rehabilitation.


We are all aware that Kingston has many penal institutions in its environs. As well, there is extensive current interest among Canadians about our country's significant use of solitary confinement in the various penal systems across provincial systems and the federal system. Robert Clark's topic is timely and will provide thought provoking ideas for all attending.


Wednesday 08 November 2017

Speaker: Eilleen Olexiuk, Senior Advisor (Retired), Foreign Affairs & International Trade

Topic: "Reflections on Canada's Diplomatic Challenges - Afghanistan in Hindsight"

Ms. Olexiuk was the first Canadian diplomat accredited full time to Afghanistan as Political Counsellor in 2002. When the Canadian Embassy was established in August 2003, she served as Deputy Head of Mission until August 2005. She was responsible for political themes, including good governance, and democracy building, and supporting Afghanistan’s adherence to international human rights norms; security sector reform which included de-militarization, counter-narcotics, and, police and justice reform. Her last assignment in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) was as Senior Policy Advisor to the newly established Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force.

After retirement from the Foreign Service in 2007, Eileen Olexiuk was contracted to provide political and cultural advice to the Commander and the headquarters staff destined for counter-insurgency operations in Kandahar. With the closure of the Kandahar mission, she continued under contract to advise on the political and civilian aspects of exercises and training programs for the Canadian Forces in general until 2013.

Ms. Olexiuk has also been posted to Canadian Embassies in Colombia, as Program Manager for Development Assistance and in Greece as Program Manager for Political Affairs. Other assignments with DFAIT included responsibility for Canadian assistance for Reconstruction in the Former Yugoslavia and for the Economic and Political Transformation of Russia. While with the Canadian International Development Agency in the 1970’s she managed development assistance to Bangladesh and the South East Asia region. Ms. Olexiuk has also worked in Germany and Jamaica.


Wednesday 11 October 2017

Speaker: Mayor Bryan Paterson, Kingston

Topic: "The State of the City"


On October 27, 2014 Bryan was elected as the 9th Mayor of the City of Kingston. He first ran for City Council in 2010 in Trillium District. As a Councillor, he used his economist background to push forward a progressive agenda centred on economic development, quality of life initiatives and the facilitation of more affordable housing in Kingston.

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As Mayor, Bryan has set a vision for Kingston as a smart and liveable 21st century city. The vision aims to harness the incredible assets we have as a community and build a culture of innovation to establish Kingston as a leader among cities. Bryan's work to realize this vision includes championing the airport expansion, advancing the Waterfront Master Plan, fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, launching the Youth Employment Strategy and getting the Third Crossing shovel ready – all while holding the annual tax rate increase to 2.5%.

Bryan moved to Kingston in 2000 to attend Queen's University as a graduate student. After obtaining his Master's and PhD in Economics at Queen's, he joined the economics faculty at Canada's Royal Military College in Kingston, where he has worked as an Assistant Professor since 2006. Bryan lives in the west end of the city with his wife Shyla and their two boys.




Wednesday 10 May 2017

Speaker: Manfred Bienefeld, Professor Emeritus, Policy Studies, Carleton University

Topic: "Making Sense of the Geopolitical Crisis: Will it be resolved peacefully?"

Please Note: A copy (MS Word) of the notes for this presentation are available, on request, from the Webmaster (bmorris93@cogeco.ca)

Dr. Manfred Bienefeld is an economist and Professor Emeritus of Carleton University’s School of Public Administration. He was full professor there from 1986 - 2012. Prior to that he was a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex (UK) from 1972 - 1986.

Dr. Bienefeld is a graduate (Ph, D.) of the London School of Economics. He has worked extensively in the field of international development, most recently focusing on the impacts of globalisation and financial deregulation, on the ability of national societies to make economic, social and political policy choices. He has warned of the dangers inherent in

neoliberalism’s  excessive reliance on market forces.  

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He has lived and worked in Africa, the Pacific region, Southern Europe and in Russia, Vietnam, China and Cuba. He has published books and papers on the challenges of national policy making. He has been a visitor and speaker at universities around the world and worked with governments, trade unions and international organizations.

At Carleton he coordinated the Development Administration program in the School of Public Policy and Administration, and served on the university’s Board of Governors. Now  retired, he is Vice Chair of the Group of 78, an Ottawa based foreign policy pressure group founded over thirty years ago, including some of Canada’s leading civil servants, intellectuals and public figures.


Wednesday 12 April 2017

Speaker: Dr. Chris Simpson, Head of Cardiology, KGH

Topic: "Wonderful Innovations in Cardiac Care"

Dr. Simpson was the Canadian Club of Kingston’s speaker at its luncheon on Wednesday, April 12. Dr. Simpson obtained a B.Sc. from the University of New Brunswick, and then studied at the Medical School at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

He completed internal medicine and cardiology training at Queen’s University in Kingston and a Heart and Stroke Foundation Clinical and Research Fellowship in Cardiac Electrophysiology at the University of Western Ontario. Description: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/OErkUJCVlu7ZVnY279sGkrIUvzSPJmIEJxT4VUbU8IVfwnQj0EZ9FtemfqAr2RYx1t-KOCQEmVLiMuU5nsrHQBu6MXVAbU_wxh8lMCWOYzQuUwjYR_xEJGDWwBXYW-k_Q8a4TjcyN3Q

 Returning to Kingston in 1999, he founded the Heart Rhythm Program at KGH. From 2006-2016 he served as Professor and Head of Cardiology at Queen’s, and Medical Director of the Cardiac Programs at Kingston General Hospital/Hotel Dieu Hospital. Currently he is a Medical Director at the Queen’s School of Medicine.

 Dr. Simpson’s primary non-clinical professional interest is health policy. He served as the 2014-2015 President of the Canadian Medical Association, championing seniors’ care. Dr. Simpson has authored or co-authored over 350 peer reviewed papers and abstracts and has won numerous teaching awards. Dr. Simpson serves on the Board of the Cantabile Choirs of Kingston, and is the proud father of three daughters and a son.


Wednesday 15 March 2017

Speaker: Dr. Sheema Khan - Author; Columnist, Globe and Mail

Topic: "Of Hockey and Hijab: New Reflections on being Female, Canadian, and Muslim"


Sheema Khan was born in Varanasi and moved to Montreal with her parents in 1965.  After undergraduate studies at McGill University, she completed a PhD in Chemical Physics at Harvard and has worked in industry and more recently in the field of Intellectual Property law. She has written about Canada’s innovation strategy for the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business. Since 2002, Sheema was hired by the Globe and Mail to write a monthly column on Islam and Muslims (over 150 and still counting) and provided insight on being a modern and liberal, yet practicing, Muslim, especially in Canada.  A collection of her columns was published in the 2009 book “Of Hockey and Hijab: Reflections of a Canadian Muslim Woman”.  Her aim has been to provide even-handed and forthright commentary, while engaging readers across the country. In 2012, she was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for service to Canada. She is regularly invited to speak on issues pertaining to Islam, Muslims and pluralism, helping to foster bridges of understanding.  Sheema lives in Ottawa, and is married with three children.


Wednesday 08 February 2017

Speaker:  Bill Hutchins - Anchor/Producer, CKWS News at 6

Topic: "Favourite Stories from an Anchorman - and the challenges to survival in the evolving TV News industry"


Bill Hutchins is a veteran News Anchor at CKWS-TV. He has anchored the station’s flagship news program, Newswatch @ 6, since 1997. In addition to his daily anchoring duties, Bill enjoys leaving the desk occasionally to cover stories, especially City Hall issues, while helping with daily story assignments and assisting videographers.

Born in Toronto, Bill attended the Radio and Television Arts program at Ryerson University. He got his first taste of electronic journalism while still a student, as the part-time News Director at the campus radio station in 1983. His professional career started in 1984 as a newscaster and reporter at Toronto radio stations CKEY, CFRB and CKFM and also as a writer for Broadcast News.

In 1990 he moved to Kingston with his family to join CKWS TV as a reporter. Bill has two teenage children and enjoys movies, reading and freelance writing.  


Wednesday 11 January 2017

Speaker: Senator Bob Runciman, former Member of the Ontario Legislature, Leeds Grenville

Topic: "Government is broken. Can it be fixed?"

Senator Bob Runciman began his lifetime of public service in 1972. After eight years on city council in Brockville, he spent 29 years as the Progressive Conservative MPP to Queens Park for the riding of Leeds, serving in six different cabinet posts, and as his party’s House leader. He was appointed to the Senate in 2010, and is currently chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs and a member of the Standing Senate Committee on Transportation and Communications.

 Senator Runciman recently applauded the approval of Plan 2014 by the International Joint Commission, which governs water levels on Lake Ontario and  the St. Lawrence River. This plan is designed to restore more natural variations in water levels, and will be implemented in the coming months. Runciman feels this is a win for the environment, as well as tourism and hydro, without hurting the shipping industry.

 However, the Senator has been critical of the length of time taken to reach this conclusion. And he feels it is symptomatic of a larger problem, ineffective Government. Hence the title of his speech, “Government is broken. Can it be fixed?”, using Plan 2014 as an example.


Wednesday 14 December 2016

Speaker: Her Excellency Sharon Johnston, C.C., Author; Vice-Regal Consort of Canada

Topic: "Her Excellency's role as vice regal spouse and how the important issue of mental health has come to define her time in office"

Sharon Johnston graduated from the University of Toronto in 1966 as a physical and occupational therapist, and subsequently worked in the area of child psychiatry. She also completed her master’s and doctorate degrees in rehabilitation science. Her doctoral thesis resulted in the publication of scientific articles on respiratory mechanics.

While the family lived in Montreal for twenty years, she ensured that her five daughters became fluently bilingual. Mrs.Johnston also volunteered on many boards, as well as at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital. In 1999 Mr.and Mrs. Johnston moved to Waterloo, Ontario. There she began an entirely new life managing for twelve years a hundred acre farm and small horse boarding business. Mrs. Johnston has also written an autobiographical essay, and recently published her first novel Matrons and Madams, based on her grandmother’s experiences in post-Great War Alberta. In June 2016, Mrs. Johnston was appointed Honorary Captain (Navy) for Military Personnel Command of the Canadian Armed Forces for her work in supporting military families and breaking down the stigma surrounding mental illness.


Wednesday 09 November 2016

Speaker: Richard Brisson, Cryptologist (Retired) Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC)

Topic: "The Code-breaking Saga of Enigma in WW 2 - and Canada's Role"


Mr. Brisson graduated from the University of Ottawa with an M Sc.. He also completed the American National Security Agency (NSA) three year Cryptologic Mathematics Program. He worked 31 years at CSEC as a cryptologist, in various fields of Mathematics and Computer Science, as well as management.

Mr. Brisson is a long time collector of vintage cryptologic and clandestine espionage related artifacts. His artifacts focus on espionage used by the Canadian military in WW II as well as equipment used by the major powers in the Cold War. His devices have been displayed in the Diefenbunker, Canada’s  National Museum of Science and Technology, and the National Cryptologic Museum in Fort Meade, Maryland.

They have also been used in various television productions . In late 2001 his artifacts were part of a one hour program called “Secret Secretaries”, featuring women who worked in WW II for Sir William Stephenson at British Security Coordination. They  were used in another feature titled “The  True Intrepid”, shown on Global and the Mystery Channel. Part of his collection was also used in 2006 to form the “Cryptologic Toys” exhibit at Fort Meade, focusing on children’s decoders and secret writings, related to Radio Orphan Annie and Captain Midnight.

His clandestine radios from WW II, notably the B2 radio suitcase, have been portrayed in a production called “The Secret Liberators”, as well as in a French production, “Les espions venus de la mer”, focusing on German spies who landed on the eastern shores of Canada in World War II.


Wednesday 12 October 2016

Speaker: Catherine Conaghan, Professor, Political Studies, Queen's U.

Topic: “American Election Outlook - a last minute review"

Professor Conaghan's research interests are wide, and include elections, policy making, political elites and political corruption. Those interests combined with her background of study at Pittsburgh and post graduate work at Yale help make her eminently qualified to share with us her thoughts on the upcoming American election.  Catherine has written extensively in the area of politics. Her latest book is “Deception in the Public Sphere” (2005).  

Professor Conaghan has been affiliated with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Helen Kellogg Institute of the University of Notre Dame and the North-South Institute of the University of Miami.  She served as visiting Fulbright Scholar in Peru in 1997.  In 2000 she was appointed as the visiting Knapp Chair in Liberal Arts at the University of San Diego.

C:\Users\user\Documents\cc logo 1 for Oct. 12, 2016.jpg

                                                                                     Professor Conaghan  is a long-time member of the

            faculty at Queen’s .  She has taught a variety of                  

            courses in the area of  political studies, including one on 

                                                                                    “Problems  of  American Democracy”  in 2012-2013. 





Wednesday 11 May 2016

Speaker: Merilyn Simonds, Author

Topic: “Inside Kingston Penitentiary with 'The Convict Lover'"


Merilyn Simonds became nationally known with her 1996 book The Convict Lover, a classic in Canadian creative nonfiction. This February, playwright Judith Thompson presented a great stage adaptation at the Isabel Centre in Kingston.

 Merilyn writes both fiction and creative nonfiction. She has published highly successful books, short stories, and essays. She founded Kingston WritersFest, a world-class writers’ festival. She served as Chair of The Writers Union of Canada in 2012-13. She is married to author Wayne Grady, who spoke to the Club in 2014.


Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Speaker: Doug Rigsby, Crown Prosecutor (Retired)

Topic: "Surviving Schizophrenia


  Doug Rigsby, former Crown Prosecutor, was the Canadian Club of Kingston's speaker at its luncheon on Wednesday, April 13. His topic was: “Surviving Schizophrenia.” It’s an inspiring and personal story of overcoming mental illness.

  Doug Rigsby was born in Kingston and raised in Kingston and Pointe-Claire, Quebec. He received his BA and LLB from Queen's University and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1975. He practised law for 14 years including eight as a Crown Prosecutor in Calgary, Alberta.

  In 2001, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto presented him the Courage to Come Back Award, in recognition of his advocacy work in the field of mental health.


Wednesday, 09 March 2016

Speaker: Ted Hsu, MP (Retired) Kingston and the Islands

Topic: “I don’t work for the government! My experience as MP for Kingston and the Islands, and how Parliament and political parties could be improved to better hold the government of the day to account.”


Ted Hsu was a Member of Parliament from 2011 to 2015. He served as the Liberal Party’s spokesperson for Science and Technology, Post-Secondary Education, Federal Economic Development in Ontario, and Natural Resources. He was also chair of the Ontario Liberal caucus. In 2013, parliamentarians from all parties voted him the MP who “Best Represents Constituents.” Ted studied physics at Queen's University, received his PhD at Princeton, and was a research scientist at UBC, CNRS Grenoble, and Chalk River. Moving into finance, he joined Banque Nationale de Paris in Philadelphia and Paris, and Morgan Stanley in Tokyo. Returning to Kingston, he became Executive Director of SWITCH, an association promoting investment in sustainable energy. Ted now advocates for science and innovation in government and society. He is fluent in English, French and Mandarin. He resides in Kingston with his wife and two daughters.

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Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Speaker: Mathew Ingram, Author, Senior Writer, Fortune Magazine; former Communities Editor, Globe and Mail

Topic:  “Big Brother and Little Brother – It's Not Just the Government We Have to Worry About.”


Mathew Ingram explained that Big Brother refers to governments and Little Brother to social platforms such as Facebook, which accumulate data about their users.

Mathew is a senior writer at Fortune.com and covers the intersection of technology and the media, as well as web culture. He was previously a senior writer at the media site Gigaom and covered media evolution as well as social networking leaders such as Twitter and Facebook. He earlier spent 15 years as reporter and columnist at the Globe and Mail. He was its first online columnist, blogger and social-media editor.

Mathew has advised numerous media outlets in Canada and the U.S. on digital and social-media strategy. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Yahoo and Bloomberg.


Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Speaker: Mark Gallerneault, Director of Technology, ALERECO Inc.

Topic: "A little graphene with your aluminum, ma’am? How aluminum research in Kingston has changed.”


Dr. Mark Gallerneault, Director of Technology, ALCERECO Inc., Kingston, was the Canadian Club of Kingston's speaker at its luncheon on Wednesday, January 13. His topic was: “A little graphene with your aluminum, ma’am? How aluminum research in Kingston has changed.”
Mark is a founding partner in a Kingston start-up\ technology company, Alcereco Inc. He is a professional engineer with more than 30 years’
experience in the light metals industry. He has held various senior technical and management positions with Alcan and its spinoff Novelis, including direction of the Kingston R&D Centre. He received his PhD from Queen’s University, where he currently holds an adjunct research position. He is credited with many publications, invention records, and patents. Alcereco is a world-leading development and innovation company, specializing in advanced lightweight materials such as scandium alloys, rare earth oxides, specialty ceramics, and graphene. Its team includes more than 25 scientists and engineers, mostly ex-employees of Alcan and Novelis. It was acquired in 2014 by Grafoid Inc., a private Canadian corporation which invests in graphene applications.

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Wednesday, 09 December 2015

Speaker: Dan McTeague, Senior Petroleum Analyst Tomorrowsgaspricetoday.com; Former MP Pickering Scarborough

Topic: "Fuel Prices - and what you may not know"

In 2007, Mr McTeague founded the website TomorrowsGasPriceToday.com to provide transparency in motor fuel pricing and help Canadian consumers by highlighting price changes a day in advance. He is also a senior analyst with GasBuddy.com, a website which enables the public to report and view fuel prices throughout North America (including Kingston).Dan McTeague served as MP for Pickering - Scarborough East from 1993 to 2011. He passed more private member’s bills than any of his contemporaries. A long-time consumer advocate, he served on numerous Parliamentary Committees. In 1998, he chaired the Liberal Committee on Gasoline Pricing in Canada, which interviewed more than 1,000 people in the gasoline business and reported on how to improve retail competition.In 2014, Dan received the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario’s Community Volunteer Award. He serves on the board of Wounded Warriors Canada.


Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Speaker: James Leech, Chancellor Queen's U.; Former CEO Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan

Topic: "A North Pole Expedition"


James Leech was the speaker for the subject luncheon at Minos Village.

Mr. Jim Leech has had a varied and successful career, culminating in his being the President and CEO of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, one of the largest pension plans in the world. He has also been special advisor to the Ontario Minister of Finance concerning the provincial electricity sector pension sustainability. He chairs the board of the Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation and the MasterCard Foundation. He was a founding director of Right to Play International. He recently co-authored The Third Rail, Confronting our Pension Failures, and was awarded the 2013-2014 National Business Book Award.

 Mr. Leech is the Honorary Colonel of the 32nd Signal Regiment of the Canadian Armed Forces. He was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal in 2012.

In May 2014 he was a member of Canada’s largest expedition to ski to the Magnetic North Pole, in aid of raising awareness and funds for Canadian Military veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

In July of 2014 Mr. Leech was invested as a Member of the Order of Canada, in recognition of his contributions as an innovator in pension management, his writings about retirement funding, and his wide and varied community involvement. Mr. Leech is a graduate of Royal Military College and Queen’s University.

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Thursday, 22 October 2015

Speaker:   Haroon Siddiqui - Columnist (Ret'd) Toronto Star

Topic: "Post-election Canada: Our future at home and abroad"


Haroon Siddiqui was the speaker at the subject luncheon at Minos Village.

Haroon Siddiqui is the Star's editorial page editor emeritus. He retired in April after 37 years, having been a columnist, national editor, news editor and foreign reporter.  Earlier he was at the Brandon Sun, Manitoba for ten years. He has reported from nearly fifty countries, including the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Iran-Iraq War, India’s emergence as a global power, Turkey as a regional power, and the United Arab Emirates and Qatar as soft powers.

Haroon Siddiqui is a member of the Order of Canada, and a recipient of the Order of Ontario for “creating a broader definition of Canadian identity.” He has won numerous journalistic awards and written several books.




Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Speaker:  Andrew Mitrovica, Professor, Journalism , Sheridan College

Topic: "A Reporter’s Case for Real Oversight of Canada’s Spy Services"


 Andrew Mitrovica is a top investigative journalist. His best-selling exposé of Canada's spy service, Covert Entry: Spies, Lies and Crimes inside Canada's Secret Service, published in 2002, won the Arthur Ellis Award for non-fiction. He is an eight-time winner of the Canadian Association of Journalist's Award for Investigative Reporting. He has also won Amnesty International's Award for Human Rights Reporting.

 For much of his career, Andrew was an investigative reporter at news organizations including CBC’s Fifth Estate, CTV’s W5, CTV National News, Walrus magazine, and the Globe and Mail. He currently teaches journalism at Sheridan College, Toronto, where he is also Vice-chair of College Council. He continues to write freelance for a variety of magazines, and his opinion columns appear frequently in the Toronto Star and the Ottawa Citizen.

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Wednesday, 08 April 2015

Speaker:  Peng-Sang Cau, President and CEO, Transformix Engineering Inc.

Topic: "Transformix Engineering - International Success Story (and another of Kingston's best kept secrets)"


Peng-Sang Cau, President and CEO, Transformix Engineering Inc., was the Canadian Club of Kingston's speaker at its luncheon on Wednesday, April 8.

Peng-Sang Cau is an immigrant success story. In 1980, she escaped with her parents from Cambodia to Canada, settling in Regina. She studied marketing and business at Queen’s University. After graduating, she stayed in Kingston and set up a small consulting firm, Transformix Engineering, with three fellow graduates.

 The company has grown dramatically since 1995 into a mid-sized manufacturing company, based in Kingston. It now has annual revenue in the $10-million range, and more than 50 employees. It makes highly automated machinery that allows its customers to assemble plastic parts – ranging from small medical devices to sunscreen pumps – at incredible speed. Most of its customers are outside Canada.


Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Speaker: Terry Fallis, Canadian Writer and  Public Relations Consultant; Winner of Leacock Award

Topic: "A Strange Journey to the Published Land "


Terry Fallis is the author of four national bestsellers. His debut novel, The Best Laid Plans, won the 2008 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. A satire of Canadian politics, it was aired as a CBC mini-series in 2014. His subsequent novels are The High Road, Up and Down, and No Relation. In 2013, he received the Canadian Booksellers Association’s Libris Award for Author of the Year.

Terry is a former Liberal Party strategist and worked on the campaign and legislative staffs of Jean Chrétien, Jean Lapierre, Robert Nixon and Michael Ignatieff. In 1995, he co-founded Thornley Fallis, a public relations and social/digital media agency with offices in Toronto and Ottawa. He earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree from McMaster University.

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Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Speaker: Eric Friesen, Radio Personality, Chair, Kingston WritersFest Board of Directors

Topic: "Radio Days: Adventures on-air, and off!


Eric Friesen, radio personality, was the Canadian Club of Kingston's speaker at its luncheon on Wednesday, February 11.  His topic was: "Radio Days: Adventures on-air, and off!" Eric Friesen is a long-time radio personality. He has hosted many CBC flagship programs, including All in a Day, Radio Noon, The Eric Friesen Show, In Performance, and Studio Sparks.  Since leaving the CBC in 2008, he has been busy serving a wide variety of major cultural organizations in Canada, including the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and The Banff Centre. 

Eric hosts Winnipeg’s splendid Classic 107 radio station (www.classic107.com).  Locally, he hosts classical musicians at the Thousand Islands Playhouse, Gananoque.  He is past Chair of Kingston WritersFest’s Board of Directors.  He and his wife, artist Susan Friesen, live on Amherst Island near Kingston.


Thursday, 22 January 2015

Speaker: Peggy Mason, President, Rideau Institute and Former Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament

Topic: "Countering the Islamic State: Why Canada needs to change course


Peggy Mason is a recognized expert on post-conflict peace-building and the military’s role in supporting the peace process. She was Canada’s Ambassador for Disarmament to the United Nations (1989-1994); a Special Advisor to the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade on small arms and light weapons control (2000-2001); and a Senior Fellow at Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (2002-2012).

She now heads the Rideau Institute, a non-profit independent research and advocacy group in Ottawa that focuses on foreign policy and defence policy issues. She is a graduate and gold medallist of the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Common Law, and was inducted into its Honour Society in 2003.

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Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Speaker: John Smol, Professor, Queen's U. and Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change

Topic: "Lessons from Lake Mud: Determining what is natural and what is not in the Alberta oil sands

Dr. John P. Smol, professor of biology and Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change at Queen's University, was the Canadian Club of Kingston's speaker at its luncheon on Wednesday, December 10.

New research by scientists at Queen's University and Environment Canada shows that fifty years of Athabasca oil sands development have left a legacy of contaminants in lake ecosystems. Dr. Smol will explain the significance of these findings. He previously gave us a fascinating and insightful talk on climate change in the Arctic

Dr. Smol is one of the world's foremost experts on long-term changes to lakes and rivers, and has made profound contributions to identifying environmental change due to human and natural forces. He founded and co-directs the Paleo-ecological Environmental Assessment and Research Laboratory (PEARL) at Queen's University. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and a Distinguished Fellow of the Geological Association of Canada. He has degrees from McGill, Brock and Queen's.

Wednesday 12 November 2014

Speaker: Wayne Grady, Author

Topic: "Emancipation Day

This is the title of his latest book and first novel. He spoke about writing the novel, a surprisingly difficult experience, perhaps because of its very personal nature.

Mr. Grady is an award-winning writer of fiction and nonfiction. His novel Emancipation Day was long-listed for the 2013 Scotiabank Giller Prize and won the 2013 Amazon.ca First Novel Award. His 14 non-fiction books encompass science and natural history, travel and personal essays.

Wayne Grady has translated fourteen works of fiction from the French. With David Suzuki he co-authored the international bestseller Tree: A Life Story. With his wife, novelist Merilyn Simonds, he co-authored Breakfast at the Exit Café: Travels Through America. They live near Kingston.

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Wednesday 08 October 2014

Speaker: Elizabeth Renzetti, Globe and Mail Reporter

Topic: "Don't Order the Casket Yet: What Four Great Writers Can Teach Us About the Survival of Books

Ms. Renzetti is a national columnist with the Globe and Mail. She was earlier its Arts and Books editor, and a correspondent in its London and Los Angeles bureaus. She appears frequently on radio and television to discuss current events. A journalist for almost 25 years, she was the Rogers Distinguished Visiting Professor at Ryerson University in Toronto in 2014.

Her work has appeared in many publications, including Maclean's, Report on Business Magazine, Chatelaine, and Elle Canada. Her essays have appeared in several anthologies, most recently "Between Interruptions: Thirty Women Tell the Truth About Motherhood." Her first novel, "Based on a True Story," was published in June 2014. She lives in Toronto with her husband, two children and a cat named Perdu, who keeps getting lost.



Tuesday 20 May 2014

Speaker: Kevin Page, Former Parliamentary Budget Officer

Topic: "Public Finance and Democracy


Kevin Page was the guest speaker addressing the topic above.  He provided a combined perspective based on his immediate past role as the Parliamentary Budget Officer and his current role as a distinguished academic researcher.

Kevin Page holds the Jean-Luc Pepin Research Chair at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ottawa. He was Canada's first Parliamentary Budget Officer from 2008 to 2013. Previously, he was Assistant Secretary to Cabinet for Macroeconomic Policy.

Most of his 27 years in the federal public service were in three central agencies responsible for budgeting, namely Finance Department, Treasury Board, and Privy Council Office. He has a Master's degree in Economics from Queen's University. He is married and father of three children.

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Wednesday 09 April 2014

Speaker: Chris Boyce, Executive Director of Radio and Audio, CBC English Services

Topic: "The Future of Radio and the CBC's Connexions to Canadians

Chris Boyce provided an interesting, information-packed presentation on the CBC Radio's current situation in respect of its future and its inter-relationships with the Canadian public.

As Executive Director, Chris Boyce is responsible for programming and day-to-day operations of CBC Radio and for carrying out its strategic plan. He oversees programming and schedules for two national over-the-air networks, one digital music service, and 35 local stations across Canada.

Mr Boyce has developed numerous CBC programs including Q, Wiretap, Age of Persuasion, White Coat Black Art, Spark, and Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap. Under his direction, CBC Radio has achieved some of its strongest audiences in recent years. He lives in Toronto and is a graduate of the Radio & Television Arts program at Ryerson University.

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Wednesday 12 March 2014

Speaker: Doug Saunders, Columnist, Globe and Mail

Topic: "The World’s Worst Neighbourhoods -- Hope for the Future."


Doug Saunders, international affairs columnist for the Globe and Mail, was the Canadian Club of Kingston's speaker at its luncheon on Wednesday, March 12. His topic was: "The World's Worst Neighbourhoods - Hope for the Future."

He promised a fascinating tour of the slums, shantytowns and poor-immigrant districts of four continents. They can be the birthplace of a new middle class and a source of prosperity or a source of violent conflict.

Doug Saunders writes a weekly column devoted to the larger themes behind international news. He won the National Newspaper Award (Canada's Pulitzer Prize) five times.

For more than a decade, he served as the Globe's European bureau chief. Previously he ran the paper's Los Angeles bureau. He has written extensively from East Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, the Middle East and North Africa. He is the author of: Arrival City: The Final Migration and Our Next World (2011); and The Myth of the Muslim Tide (2012).

Wednesday 12 February 2014

Speaker: Patrick Toomey, Captain (Retired) Canadian Coast Guard

Topic: "Arctic Shipping Routes: Actual and Potential Routes Resulting from Climate Change"


Captain Toomey is renowned for his expertise in ice navigation. He has completed 14 transits of the Northwest Passage, six voyages to the North Pole, one transit of the Siberian Northern Sea Route, and 33 voyages to Antarctica.

He is now a specialist consultant in training ice navigators and in regulations concerning ice navigation. He contributes frequent articles for newspapers, magazines and academic journals. He co-authored the Ice Navigation Manual.

Captain Toomey began his seagoing career with the British Merchant Navy in the 1950s. Emigrating to Canada in 1964, he joined the Canadian Coast Guard at Dartmouth N.S. He attained his first command in 1970 and commanded nine different icebreakers in 21 years, retiring in 1991. He is bilingual in English and French. He resides in Kingston, Ontario.



Members of the Canadian Club of Kingston deeply regret the recent death of our good friend, H17417 Col The Hon John R. Matheson, KStJ, CD (1913-2013) on 27 December 2013.

John was a great Canadian.

He was a veteran who was wounded in the second world war. He was a member of parliament for Leeds County, and was appointed a member of the cabinet.  After serving in government, John was appointed  as a  judge on the Ontario Court of Justice.

John was a graduate of Queen's University, and a Member of the Order of Canada. 

Of course, John is best remembered for his role as a co-designer of our Maple Leaf National flag. It is likely that this was the achievement of which he was most proud in terms of his public life.

With these credentials, it should not be surprising that John was a very staunch supporter of Canadian Clubs in general and specifically our Club here in Kingston. John was an Honorary Patron of the Club, a faithful member and advisor. 

He will be greatly missed, and long remembered.  May he rest in peace.


From: http://everitas.rmcclub.ca (Issue 5)

Leaders and Aspiring Leaders Pay Heed

Posted by rmcclub on February 2nd, 2014 (Issue 5)

H17417 Col The Hon J.R. Matheson KStJ, CD delivered the Royal Military College of Canada convocation address in May 1993.

Many of the people who were in attendance considered it one of the most memorable and inspiring speeches that they had ever heard; spoken by a man supported by not one but two canes.

With the recent passing of John Matheson we feel it is fitting to reprint his entire 1993 speech. A WARNING: Those reading the article may not be able to do so with dry eyes.

Please see the contents of the hotlink [http://everitas.rmcclub.ca (at bottom of webpage, click "previous entries" until Issue 5, 02 February 2014 is selected)] for details.


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Tuesday 14 January 2014

Speaker: Jamie Swift, Author - "Warrior Nation", Journalist, and Activist

Topic: "Rebranding Canada in an Age of Anxiety"


Jamie Swift, Kingston author, journalist and activist, was the Canadian Club of Kingston's speaker at its luncheon on Tuesday, Jan 14. His topic was: "Rebranding Canada in an Age of Anxiety."

 He is the author of a dozen books. His latest, co-authored with Ian McKay, is Warrior Nation: Rebranding Canada in an Age of Anxiety. This is a revealing inquiry into Canadian history. Are we a peace-keeping nation? A warrior nation? How we define ourselves matters.

He teaches at the Queen's School of Business. He was awarded the Michener Fellowship for Public Service Journalism at Queen's. A lifelong political activist, he works on social justice issues for the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul.

Jamie Swift contributes regularly to the Ideas program on CBC Radio. He has talked about Warrior Nation on The Agenda with Steve Paiken. His articles appear in numerous Canadian publications.


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Speaker: Michael Allen, General Manager, MetalCraft Marine

Topic: "MetalCraft - an International Success Story"

MetalCraft Marine is an aluminum boat manufacturer located in Kingston. It has a US subsidiary in Cape Vincent, NY, that supplies boats for the burgeoning US market.

Founded in 1987, the company has expanded continually and carved a strong niche in the North American commercial boat industry. It builds fireboats, work boats, patrol boats, search & rescue boats, barges and research vessels.

Michael Allen provided a comprehensive presentation on the history, current situation, and future plans for the remarkable success story of this fast growing local firm.


Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Speaker: Bruce Campbell, Executive Director, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)

Topic: "Managing Canada's Oil Wealth"

The rapid expansion in Alberta's bitumen oil production has given rise to a raft of issues affecting Canadians. Bruce Campbell is the author of two recent reports: "The Petro-Path Not Taken: Comparing Norway with Canada and Alberta's management of petroleum wealth;" and "The Lac-Mégantic disaster: where does the buck stop?"

He is a frequent media commentator, and author of five books and numerous articles on national and international public policy issues. He has appeared as a witness before Commons and Senate committees and before the US Congress.

Before coming to the CCPA in 1994, Bruce was a senior economist with the Canadian Labour Congress; and a researcher with the North South Institute. He holds an MA from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University.

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Wednesday, 09 October 2013

Speaker: Doug McLellan, CEO, McLellan Group Publishing Strategic Communications

Topic: A New Approach to Sustainable Tourism" Future of electronic publishing, highlighting work of Ian Coristine


Doug McLellan, CEO, McLellan Group Publishing, was the Canadian Club of Kingston's speaker at its luncheon on Wednesday, Oct 9. His topic was: "Storytelling and Sustainable Tourism: a New Approach."

The McLellan Group is a 26 year-old integrated communications and marketing firm specializing in telling business stories. It uses the web, video, print and social media to create awareness, engage audiences and build business. It is based in Toronto's Historic Distillery District and works with companies around the globe.

Doug has been very involved in tourism in Eastern Ontario. In his speech, he will introduce us to the new world of Interactive E-books, focussing on the work of Ian Coristine. Ian is well known in the 1,000 Islands area, and his most recent book "One in a Thousand" was published in this new format.

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Wednesday, 08 May 2013

Speaker: Jan Wong, Journalist and Author

Topic: Out of the Blue - A Memoir of Workplace Depression, Recovery, Redemption and, Yes, Happiness

Jan Wong, journalist and author, was the Canadian Club of Kingston's speaker at its luncheon on Wednesday, May 8. Her topic was: "Out of the Blue," the title of her latest book.

Jan Wong has written six books. Her latest, Out of the Blue: a Memoir of Workplace Depression, Recovery, Redemption and, Yes, Happiness, was published in 2012 and recounts her struggle with depression. She spoke to the Club in 2007 about her previous book, Beijing Confidential.

Ms. Wong began her journalism career at the New York Times bureau in Beijing. She has worked for the Montreal Gazette, Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, and Globe and Mail. She is currently an assistant professor at St. Thomas University in Fredericton NB, and writes columns for Toronto Life and the Halifax Chronicle Herald. She has received numerous awards.

Born and raised in Montreal, Jan Wong is a third-generation Canadian and lives with her family in Toronto. She is a graduate of McGill University, Beijing University, and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She was one of only two Westerners at Beijing University during the Cultural Revolution. Returning to China in the late eighties as a journalist, she witnessed the Tiananmen Square massacre and the tumultuous reforms under Deng Xiaoping.


Jan Wong: Her personal story on workplace depression, recovery, redemption and happiness.

May 8 2013 Kingston Canadian Club

Jan returned to address The Canadian Club of Kingston for a second time.

This time her subject was a much more personal and serious one. Jan was the Globe and Mail marquee investigative reporter, a company that employed her for more than 20 years. After writing an article about the gun attacks at Montréal's Dawson College, she suffered public outcries, political condemnation and unfair publicity. She wrote a story that sparked a political backlash, her employer failed to support her and later silenced her, and after she became clinically depressed, they fired her.

The Globe and Mail turned on her, Doubleday her long time established publisher- within days of publishing - left her and an unresponsive bureaucratic claims department at Manulife Insurance - the holder of her group benefit plan----kept after her to return to work and gave her ultimatums. She received no sympathy or understanding. Human resource officials at the Globe questioned her honesty.

More than any other journalist she was singularly qualified to comment on the Montreal shootings. Her ethnic background and her life in that province, unlike very few others, gave her an understanding of Quebec society and it pursuit of racial purity. Her family lived there for more than 100 years.

Peter Worthington a veteran journalist and editor in chief said that "She was an ace reporter, blending facts, analyses, perceptions and opinions arguably better than anyone in the business' He never met Jan.

Jan made the point that depression can happen to even the toughest person. She was advised by her extensive professional medical support team that part of the road to recovery is to continue to do those things that provide some pleasure. This could be music, travel, reading or writing. Keeping busy with activities like these assist in one's rehabilitation. Companies and the insurance companies that "insure" their employees have little understanding of depression. Jan has an engaging smile and even that was held against when she was accused of not being honest about her inability to continue to write. They questioned how she can smile if she is depressed!

Jan gave us a very expressive personal story of her depression. The Club members were impressed with the determination of this career woman and how well she was able to express her experience in the hope that others may benefit. Depression usually lasts 6 months. For Jan it was 2 years and there is often a 50% chance of a relapse.

Jan wrote a book about her experiences OUT OF THE BLUE. Because her publisher abandoned her she had to self-publish it. It is available at your popular bookstores.

Bradley Sumner

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Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Speaker: John Macfarlane, Editor and Co-publisher, The Walrus

Topic: National Sovereignty in the Twenty-first Century

John Macfarlane joined The Walrus in 2008 as Editor and Co-Publisher, overseeing a revamp of its editorial and art direction. He was previously editor of Toronto Life (1992-2007).

The Walrus is a national magazine about Canada and its place in the world. Since its launch in 2003, The Walrus has won more National Magazine Awards than any other Canadian periodical. It is committed to presenting "the best work by the best writers and artists from Canada and elsewhere, on a wide range of topics for curious readers."

Mr Macfarlane has had a highly distinguished career in journalism. He served as: managing director of news and current affairs at CTV; publisher and editor-in-chief of the Financial Times; publisher of Saturday Night magazine; editor of Weekend; and executive editor of Maclean's. In 2007, he received the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement from the National Magazine Awards Foundation.

He is chair of the Canadian Journalism Foundation, the Writers' Trust of Canada, and the YMCA of Metropolitan Toronto. He was educated at the University of Toronto Schools and the University of Alberta, Calgary. He is a graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.

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Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Speaker: John Molloy, President and CEO, PARTEQ

Topic: PARTEQ's role in Kingston's commercial innovations

John Molloy, President and CEO of PARTEQ Innovations, was the Canadian Club of Kingston's speaker at its luncheon on Wednesday, 13 March. His topic was: "A Kingston success story " PARTEQ's 25 years of innovations."

John Molloy (MBA, Queen's) has been responsible for the commercialization of intellectual property (e.g. inventions) at Queen's University since 1986. He has led the creation of venture funds and other financing vehicles for early stage technologies. He is an adviser to the Canadian and Ontario governments on technology transfer and related policies for building a more innovative economy. He sits on the boards of numerous private companies.

Queen's University founded PARTEQ Innovations in 1987 to commercialize intellectual property arising from university-generated research. Since then, PARTEQ has returned more than $33 million to the university. It has generated more than 45 technology companies that have attracted $1.4 billion in investor funding and created 8,000 person-years of employment.


From: http://queensu.ca/news/alumnireview/bringing-great-ideas-world

Bringing great ideas to the world

After a quarter century of successes PARTEQ, the University's technology-transfer agency, is looking ahead to new challenges and increased alumni involvement.

By Lindy Mechefske

PARTEQ Innovations recent 25th ­anniversary celebrations honoured ­researchers at Queen's and the Royal Military College (RMC) whose discoveries have led to a dazzling variety of innovations

In the quarter-century since its inception, PARTEQ has overseen the commercialization of research ideas and discoveries that have returned more than $30 million to Queen's and its inventors. The agency has also spawned the creation of more than 45 companies (two of which were recently ­acquired by global multinationals for more than $500 million), which have generated employment opportunities, raised more than $1.2 billion in investment, and brought to market products and processes that have benefited people worldwide.


PARTEQ President and CEO John Molloy (RMC 10864)

Founded in 1987 as a not-for-profit ­corporation, PARTEQ, a derivative of Partners in Technology at Queen's is entirely self-funded and reports to a board of directors made up of representatives from both University and industry.

The idea of establishing an office dedicated to commercializing the inventions of researchers and alumni was relatively novel in the mid-1980s, and Queen's was one of the first universities in North America to do so.

In 1999, PARTEQ became the first Canadian technology transfer office to attract and manage its own seven-million-dollar venture fund, offering seed financing to start-up companies that use Queen's intellectual property or are ­managed by members of the Queen's community.

John Molloy, MBAÕ84, CEO and President, has been with PARTEQ Innovations from the beginning. He came to Queen's from the Bank of Montreal and a career as an infantry officer in the Canadian military. Molloy's curiosity about research and his enthusiasm for helping to find useful applications for that research is evident. He has won a well-deserved reputation as a leading Canadian voice on the value of commercializing taxpayer-funded research discoveries.

"Universities are in the business of research and education," he says. "Our job is to identify university research with market potential and to work with researchers in pursuing patents and arranging for commercial development. Essentially we act as the technology transfer agent for the researchers and for Queen's, helping to convert important research innovations into useful applications."

According to the Conference Board of Canada, this country ranks 14th out of 17 OECD nations in terms of its capacity to innovate. Switzerland and Ireland rank, respectively, as first and second on the list.

Conversely, the Conference Board has also found that "Canada is well supplied with good universities, engineering schools, teaching hospitals, and technical institutes. It produces science that is well respected around the world."

The discrepancy between having universities that produce world-class research and our lack of capacity to innovate is referred to as "innovation lag."

"We have a cultural climate that still largely fails to recognize the merits of innovation and entrepreneurial activity," says Dr. Louis Lamontagne, Artsci77. "Innovation is perhaps one of the most important and critical engines of economic growth and prosperity for a country and determines our ability to compete on the international stage."

Lamontagne is a scientist, but he's also an entrepreneur who has spent more than two decades working in the biotech industry and helped to create one of PARTEQ's earliest success stories - a biotech company called Neurochem and a spinoff ­company, Painceptor.

"I came to understand the importance of innovation," Lamontagne says. "I chose to launch these companies through PARTEQ because it is viewed as perhaps the most successful technology transfer/commercialization organization associated with a Canadian university."

One recent measure of PARTEQ's success is GreenCentre Canada, a national Centre of Excellence for commercializing green chemistry discoveries, which PARTEQ founded with $23 million from the Canadian and Ontario governments.

With GreenCentre now serving universities and companies across Canada, John Molloy is setting his sights on another first: engaging alumni in getting innovative new technologies to market.

"We need to be even more innovative in the way we do business," he says. "Commercialization can be costly and risky, and we've come to the realization that one of the best resources we can tap into is our alumni. They're a huge repository of knowledge, networks and experience. We'd like to get this group on board in new ways. We'd like to see alumni involved in mentorship, partnership, sponsorship, investment, and advisory or consulting capacities."

For more information or to contact PARTEQ Innovations please visit: www.parteqinnovations.com.

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Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Speaker: Hugh Mackenzie, Principal, Hugh Mackenzie and Associates

Topic: More Government or Less?  The public-private shift and what it means


 Economist Hugh Mackenzie was the Canadian Club of Kingston's speaker at its luncheon on Wednesday, February 13. His topic was: "More Government or Less?  The public-private shift and what it means."

The shift has been taking place without debate. He states: "in all political parties have twisted themselves into pretzels to avoid the conversation" about taxes and public services. "This has to change."

Hugh Mackenzie is principal of a Toronto consulting firm, Hugh Mackenzie and Associates. He is a recognized expert on economic policy, public finance, and education financing. As an associate of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, he authors its annual Ontario Alternative Budget, a counterview to the official budget.

Mr Mackenzie was a key adviser to the Kingston Community Roundtable on Poverty Reduction, whose report A Living Wage for Kingston was published in 2011. He has worked as executive director of the Ontario Fair Tax Commission, and research director at the Canadian national office of the United Steelworkers. He is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario, and holds a Masters degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin (Madison).

Currently, he serves on the Ontario Pension Board, the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board, and the investment advisory committee of the Canada Post Pension Plan. He is president and chair of the Atkinson Charitable Foundation -- established in 1942 by the Toronto Star publisher Joseph Atkinson in support of health, social welfare, economic justice and education projects.

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Wednesday, 09 January 2013

Speaker: Catherine Latimer, Executive Director, John Howard Society Canada

Topic: Challenges for Corrections Canada: closures, crowding, commerce

 Catherine Latimer, Executive Director of the John Howard Society of Canada, was the Canadian Club of Kingston's speaker at its luncheon on Wednesday, January 9. Her topic was: "Challenges for Corrections Canada: closures, crowding, commerce."

The John Howard Society of Canada is an organization of provincial and territorial societies responding to problems of crime and the criminal justice system. It works with people who have come into conflict with the law; it advocates changes in the criminal justice process; and it promotes crime prevention through community and social development activities.

Catherine Latimer was appointed its Executive Director in 2011. Previously, she held senior positions in the federal government, serving in the Solicitor General's Office, Privy Council Office, and Department of Justice, where she was the Director General responsible for youth justice and national drug strategy. She has worked on issues relating to legal aid, sentencing, victims, and firearms.

Ms Latimer has a BA (Psychology and Sociology) from Waterloo, LL B (Law) from Queen's, and M Phil (Criminology) from Cambridge. She lives in Kingston.


Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Speaker: Jeffrey Simpson, National Affairs Senior Columnist, Globe & Mail

Topic: Chronic Condition: Why Canada’s Health-care system needs to be dragged into the Twenty-First Century


Jeffrey Simpson, national affairs columnist, Globe and Mail, was the Canadian Club of Kingston's speaker at its luncheon on Wednesday, December 12.  His topic was: "Chronic Condition: Why Canada’s health care system needs to be dragged into the twenty-first century.   He talked about his latest book, published in September with that title. 

Mr Simpson joined The Globe and Mail in 1974.  He became its Ottawa bureau chief in 1978; served in London UK as European correspondent, 1981-1983; and began writing his national affairs column in 1984.  He has published eight books, written numerous magazine articles, and appears regularly on television in both English and French.  He has won all three of Canada's leading literary prizes – the Governor-General's award for non-fiction book writing, the National Magazine Award for political writing, and the National Newspaper Award for column-writing.  

Jeffrey Simpson is an Officer of the Order of Canada.  He studied at the University of Toronto, Queen's University, and the London School of Economics.  He has received honorary doctorates of laws from Queen's and other universities.  He has been a member of Queen’s board of trustees and the editorial board of The Queen's Quarterly, and has taught at Queen’s Institute of Policy Studies.  He is a senior fellow at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.  He lives in Ottawa with his family.   

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Wednesday, 07 November 2012

Speaker: Dr. Walter Dorn, Professor, Defence Studies, Canadian Forces College and Royal Military College of Canada

Topic: "The Cuban Missile Crisis a Half Century Later: The Untold Story"

"It was the most dangerous moment in human history," Arthur Schlesinger, President Kennedy's historian.

"I thought I might never live to see another Saturday night," Robert McNamara, Defense Secretary.

Dr Walter Dorn, a professor of defence studies at the Canadian Forces College and the Royal Military College of Canada, was the Canadian Club of Kingston's speaker at its luncheon on Wednesday, November 7.  Looking back to when the world came closest to nuclear war, he credits UN Secretary-General U Thant for quiet diplomacy and mediation in helping end the conflict.

At the Canadian Forces College, Walter Dorn teaches officers of rank Major to Brigadier from Canada and about 20 other countries in areas of arms control, Canadian foreign and defence policy, peace operations and international security. He is actively involved in Canadian NGOs working for peace and security, including Canadian Pugwash and Science for Peace.

Dr Dorn has visited conflict areas in Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia as a United Nations consultant and field officer. He has worked at the International Criminal Court, Cornell University, Yale University, Sandia National Laboratories, the Federation of American Scientists, and Parliamentarians for Global Action. After receiving his PhD in chemistry at the University of Toronto, he was a Research Fellow in International Relations and Peace & Conflict Studies.


From: http://www.thewhig.com/2012/10/15/cuban-missile-crisis-unsung-hero

Cuban Missile Crisis unsung hero

Monday, October 15, 2012 11:33:49 EDT PM

Walter Dorn

and Robert Pauk

Fifty years ago today, on Oct. 16, 1962, U.S. President John F. Kennedy was told that a U-2 spy plane had spotted something menacing in Cuba. It was the first of a dramatic 13 day-

crisis that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.

A few days later, on Oct. 22, President Kennedy's dramatic televised announcement shocked the world: the Soviet Union was installing missiles in Cuba and the U.S. was instituting a blockade of the island. The superpower navies were about to collide, and an escalation to general war with nuclear weapons was a definite possibility.

Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev wisely decided to withdraw his missiles. Historians often glorify the role of Kennedy's resolve and American military might in bringing this about, but recent sources indicate that the United Nations' unassuming Secretary-General, U Thant, played a crucial role in helping mediate and end the crisis. In fact, both Kennedy and Khrushchev encouraged his involvement.

Thant ultimately was lauded by the two leaders for his contribution as well as by many newspapers of the day. Kennedy even told New York Times Magazine: "U Thant has put the world deeply in his debt". However, history books have not been so generous.

Though rarely recognized as such, U Thant served as a crucial mediator. His first task was to de-escalate the world-threatening crisis and create a space for negotiation. He began on Oct. 24 by appealing for a Soviet suspension of arms shipments and U.S. suspension of the quarantine. This would allow time for negotiations to resolve the crisis peacefully.

Though this message was initially criticized by both Soviet and American officials, Kennedy directed the State Department to ask Thant to send another message to the Soviets "to give them a way out." Specifically, Kennedy wanted Thant to ask the Soviets, as his own proposal, to stop their ships for a few days so preliminary talks could be arranged under UN auspices.

Thant sent his second appeal on Oct. 25. Coming as a proposal from the UN Secretary-General rather than an ultimatum from the American president, it was accepted by Khrushchev and indeed, he used it to save face while withdrawing his ships.

Adlai Stevenson, U.S. Ambassador to the UN during the crisis, later lauded Thant's action. "At a critical moment 'when the nuclear powers seemed set on a collision course' the Secretary-General's intervention led to the diversion of the Soviet ships headed for Cuba and interception by our Navy. This was the indispensable first step in the peaceful resolution of the Cuban crisis."

Thus Thant enabled the superpowers to end their naval standoff and focus on the essence of the conflict: the missile sites under construction and the pending attack on Cuba. There again Thant fostered caution.

The recorded deliberations of Kennedy's top advisers, called the ExComm, reveal the powerful influence for restraint Thant was having. His initiatives for negotiations were used by Kennedy and U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk to prevent hawks from pushing the U.S. to invade Cuba. Both the President and his Secretary of State argued with their colleagues that sufficient time needed to be given to Thant's initiatives. Khrushchev, too, was influenced by Thant, and sought his "mediation" in a cable to Kennedy.

Like a good mediator, Thant also proposed solutions. When Kennedy was under enormous pressure from the military brass to attack Cuba before the Russian missiles were deemed operational, Thant proposed that the Russians would dismantle all their missiles immediately in exchange for an American guarantee that it would not invade Cuba. Thant advocated this solution publicly, then specifically insisted on it with Stevenson. Two days later it became the final agreement, accompanied by a secret commitment by Kennedy to remove U.S. missiles from Turkey.

Thant flew to Cuba to mollify Castro, the third party in the conflict, who might otherwise have upset the arrangements. While Castro refused a follow-on UN supervisory force, Thant was able to get first-hand accounts of missile dismantling.

Back in New York, he offered his good offices to find other ways to verify missile removal. Soviet and American negotiators wrestled with the issues in the UN Secretariat building as Thant shuttled between the conference rooms. They agreed that U.S. ships and aircraft could come into close proximity with departing Soviet ships to count the missiles.

Much has been written about how this conflict was resolved. Kennedy's strength certainly played a role, but so did his understanding of the need to give his opponent an honourable way out and of how to use an intermediary to achieve that.

Thus it is appropriate, on the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, to give U Thant credit for his remarkable contribution to averting the unthinkably horrific Ñ nuclear doomsday. The humble Burmese diplomat who epitomized quiet diplomacy deserves no less.

Walter Dorn is a professor of defence studies at the Royal Military College of Canada and chair of the department of security and international affairs at the Canadian Forces College. Robert Pauk is a retired Canadian military officer who served in UN peacekeeping operations.


Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Speaker: Dr. David Haglund

Topic: "The Obama Presidency and the U.S. Elections"

Dr David G. Haglund, Professor of Political Studies at Queen’s University, was the Canadian Club of Kingston's speaker at its first luncheon of the new season, Wednesday, October 10.  His topic was: "The Obama Presidency, and the US Elections."

David Haglund is a renowned expert on American and Canadian foreign policy, Canada-US and transatlantic relations.  He is the Sir Edward Peacock Professor of Political Studies at Queen’s University.  He was director of Queen’s Centre for International Relations from 1985 to 2002, and joined the faculty in 1983. 

Dr Haglund received his PhD from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington DC, then taught at the University of British Columbia.  He has held visiting professorships in France, Germany and Ireland.  He is co-editor of the International Journal, published by the Canadian International Council. 

Dr. Haglund's interesting presentation was followed by some spirited questions with comprehensive responses.

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Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Speaker: Brian Porter


Brian Porter is a great exponent of Canadian history.  He entertained the Canadian Club twice before with his portrayals of Sir John A. Macdonald and Major James Walsh NWMP.  This time he focussed on the years just before Confederation – with threats from the US Civil War and the Fenian invasions of 1866.  It was a time of rising national consciousness, when thousands of young men joined the local militias such as the Brockville Infantry Company, formed in 1862.  

Brian has just published a booklet entitled “Brockville Infantry Company - Citizen Soldiers and Canadian Patriotism in the 1860s.”  He is a founding member of the Brockville Infantry Company (1862), which gives historical re-enactments of the volunteer militia.  He wore its red uniform, with all accoutrements.  He was accompanied by his wife Renee in her 1860s costume.  The meeting ended on a strong patriotic note. 

Brian is Chairman of the Brockville Museum Board, and a member of the Brockville History Book Committee.  He taught for 32 years in Brockville until retiring in 1998.  Born and raised in Peterborough, he was educated at Peterborough Collegiate and Vocational School, Carleton University (BA History), and Ottawa Teachers' College.


Wednesday, 09 May 2012

Speaker: Gar Pardy

Topic: Halfway there: a Canadian Perspective on the American Elections

Our guest speaker was Gar Pardy, who spoke on the subject noted above.

H. G.. ( Gar) Pardy joined the Canadian Foreign Service in 1967.  He served in India, Kenya, the United States and Central America where he was Ambassador to Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.  In the late 1980s he was Director of the Asia Pacific Division in headquarters, and from 1992 to 2003 was head of the Canadian Consular Service. 

Since retiring in 2003, he has been a commentator and writer on issues of Canadian foreign and public policy.  He appears regularly in the Ottawa Citizen and Embassy newspapers and on CBC, CTV and Global television. 

He is a son of the Rock and his early education was in Norris Arm and Gander, Newfoundland.  He first worked for the Meteorological Service of Canada – in Gander, Goose Bay and Frobisher Bay.  He has an honours degree from Acadia University and a Master’s from McMaster.  He and his wife Laurel live in Ottawa.

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Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Speaker: Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, Professor, University of Toronto; Author, ”I Shall Not Hate”

Topic: "Dealing with Unimaginable Challenges – Positively "

 Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish captured hearts and headlines in January 2009, when Israeli shells hit his home in the Gaza Strip, killing three of his daughters and a niece.  That was minutes before he was to speak on an Israeli TV program, and his cry of anguish was heard around the world.  He had lost his wife to leukemia just twelve weeks earlier. 

His deepest hope is that his daughters will be the last sacrifice on the road to peace between Palestinians and Israelis.  In 2010, he wrote a bestselling book I Shall Not Hate about his life in Gaza.   He has received numerous humanitarian awards for his contribution to peace and been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Dr Abuelaish is a Palestinian physician and infertility expert.  He now lives in Toronto with his five remaining children, where he is an associate professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto.  He was born and raised in a Gaza refugee camp.  He won a scholarship to study medicine in Cairo.  He completed a residency in obstetrics and gynaecology at Soroka hospital in Israel, studied fetal medicine in Italy and Belgium, and received a Master’s degree in public health at Harvard University.  He was the first Palestinian doctor to work on staff at an Israeli hospital – the Gertner Institute of Human Genetics.

From: http://www.thewhig.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3530985

Cries gave ‘human face’ to Palestinians

By Michael Lea/The Whig-Standard

Posted 11 hours ago

The number 16 is seared into Izzeldin Abuelaish.

It was on Sept. 16, 2008, that the Palestinian doctor’s wife died of leukemia.

“I thought it was the end of the world,” Abuelaish told the Canadian Club of Kingston on Wed­nesday afternoon.

Then, just four months later — on Jan. 16 — three of his daughters and his niece were killed when Israeli tank shells hit their bedroom at their home in the Gaza Strip.

Abuelaish had just left the room seconds before and rushed back in to find a horrific scene.

“I don’t want anyone to see what I saw,” he said. “I couldn’t recognize those beautiful girls, drowning in their blood.”

One had been decapitated.

Another daughter had been severely wounded.

He said as a Muslim he fully believes everything that comes from God is for good and believes that is the reason he had previously agreed to be interviewed live on Israeli television at the same time the shells hit.

He went ahead with the interview and his heart-rending cries of pain went out live over the Israeli airwaves, the sound of a father mourning the senseless loss of his daughters.

“My cries gave a human face to the Palestinians.”

Until then, he said, Palestinians were seen by Israelis as numbers, statistics, figures without names or faces.

The following day, a unilateral ceasefire was announced.

He went to his wounded daughter and told her sisters had not died in vain.

“The blood and souls of your sisters made a difference in others’ lives,” he told her. “It saved others’ lives.”

Abuelaish said people expected him to hate Israelis.

“I may have the right, but is it the right way to bring my daughters’ justice?” he said. “With hate and revenge, you are a victim.”

He wondered how his young son would react to his sisters’ deaths; whether he would become filled with hate and turn to violence.

“My son wasn’t born violent or a terrorist or hater. He was born with love and a big heart.”

Abuelaish’s son told him to be happy, that his sisters were now with their mother.

When he heard that, Abuelaish knew he had to move forward. “I kept moving, faster, stronger, more determined not to give up.”

He said the world can endure, but to do so requires justice and truth.

“It’s time to act and to speak up,” he said. “What makes evil flourish is for good people to do nothing. How many people do we want to be killed and turn a deaf ear to what is happening in this world.

“Hope and faith without action is not effective.”

Abuelaish was the first Palestinian doctor to be on the staff of an Israeli hospital. He has received several humanitarian awards and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. He is currently a professor at the University of Toronto.

Last year, he was given an honorary degree from Queen’s University.

He wrote I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity, a best-seller in Canada that has been translated into 15 languages.

Abuelaish also established the Daughters for Life Foundation, which provides scholarship awards to encourage young women to pursue their studies at universities in Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Syria.

“This world is moving fast, but it is our responsibility to look around,” he said. “We need to know more about what is happening in this world. This world is endemic with human craziness and what is happening in this world, it is not from God. It’s man-made.”

Abuelaish was born and raised in a Palestinian refugee camp. “I never tasted childhood,” he said.

He dreamed of becoming a doctor after seeing the kindness of the medical staff in his camp.

“Medicine is the human equalizer. We all value health and (we) value medicine and when we treat our patients we treat them all with equality, with respect.”

He said the happiest moments in his life come when he hands a newborn baby to its mother, representing new hope.

“The cry of the newborn baby is the cry a new life is coming.”

“No one can prevent any of us from dreaming. So we need to dream, to dream big. Life taught me that dreams are close to reality.”

He said dreams can be achieved with hard work and determination and education is key to making changes in life.

“Education is the strongest weapon to face the misery of life.”

Though his daughters were killed by shells, Abuelaish believes “words are stronger than bullets.”

“Education is stronger than the gun.”

He said the Arab Spring showed that military regimes are weak.

“They can succeed for a short term, but the long term they can’t sustain it. So it is time to use our minds and to challenge the biggest weapon of mass destruction — the hate in our souls.”

He said the antidote of hate is success, something his wounded daughter proved by achieving 96% on her final school exam.

“She lost the sight in one eye, two fingers from her right hand, but she didn’t lose the determination and hope.”

She is now studying computer engineering at the University of Toronto.

“That’s the challenge, not to be a victim, to stand up and to succeed and to move forward.”


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Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Speaker: Dr. John Hoffer, Professor of Medicine, McGill University

Topic: "What is Orthomolecular Medicine? Is it Good? How do I Know?"

Dr Hoffer is an internationally recognized researcher into protein-energy malnutrition and using vitamins for chronic disease – including high-dose vitamin C therapy in cancer.  Orthomolecular medicine seeks to maintain health and prevent diseases through nutritional intake and supplements. 

He has a distinguished career in clinical medicine.  He is a professor at McGill’s Faculty of Medicine and an associate professor at McGill’s School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition.  He is also a senior physician in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology at Montreal’s Jewish General Hospital; and project director at its research arm, the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research.  The Hospital and Institute are affiliated to McGill’s Faculty of Medicine, all centres of excellence in Canadian health care.

Dr Hoffer earned his MD from McGill University and PhD in Human and Clinical Nutrition from MIT.  He trained in internal medicine at McGill and in nutrition and metabolism at Harvard Medical School, MIT and Brandeis University.  He is a Fellow of The Royal College of Physicians of Canada, and serves on the Nutrition and Metabolism Committee of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research.   

Wednesday, 08 February 2012

Mayor Mark Gerretsen, City of Kingston,  was the Canadian Club of Kingston's speaker at its luncheon meeting on Wednesday, February 8.  The Mayor's topic was "Kingston's Strategic Directions".

Mark Gerretsen was elected the 95th mayor of the City of Kingston on October 25, 2010.  He also serves on the boards of Kingston Hydro, Kingston Economic Development Corporation, and the Police Services Board.  He was previously City Councillor for Portsmouth District, from 2006 to 2010.

He continues a distinguished family tradition in politics, as his father John Gerretsen had also served at City Hall first as Councillor then Mayor before being elected to the Ontario legislature to represent Kingston and the Islands.

A native of Kingston, Mark finished grade school at École Catholique Cathédrale in their French immersion program, graduated from Regiopolis-Notre Dame Catholic High School in 1994, and entered St. Lawrence College in their computer engineering program. After pursuing some private business interests, he enrolled at Queen's University and graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. 


Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Speaker: Leslee Thompson, CEO and President, Kingston General Hospital

Topic: "The KGH Story: Changes, Challenges and Plans for the Future

Ms Thompson was appointed President and CEO of KGH in February 2009.  She spoke to the Club that summer about her first 100 days in office and her vision for the Hospital’s future.  She returned to the Club to provide an update.

 She brings extensive health-care industry experience in both the public and private sectors to this leadership role.  She was previously Vice President of Medtronic of Canada, a global medical devices company; and before that, Vice President of Cancer Care Ontario.  She has held senior executive roles in several teaching hospitals, including Sunnybrook & Women’s Health Science Centre, Toronto Western Hospital, and the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton. 

She started her career as a critical care nurse. She is a graduate of the School of Nursing at Queen’s University and holds a Master of Science degree in Nursing from University of Toronto and an MBA from the University of Western Ontario. 

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Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The Club enjoyed the benefit of two speakers who presented two different perspectives, social and military on the War of 1812.

Dr. Jane Errington , Professor, Department of History and War Studies, RMC

Topic: "A Vain Hope for Peace': Reluctantly going to war in 1812"

 Dr. Jane Errington received her BA from Trent University and a BEd at the University of Toronto. After teaching high school for four years, she completed both her MA and Ph.D. at Queen's University. Her graduate studies focused on the history of colonial societies in North America, and particularly on the intellectual, political and social development of Upper Canada.


Dr. Errington recently retired from RMC - where she was Dean of Arts and a member of the Department of History. She continues to be a member of the Department of History here at Queen's, teaching a graduate course in Colonial North America and supervising students. Her research interests continue to centre on life in 19th century Upper Canada and imperial-colonial connections. She has two new projects on the go:  the intellectual and cultural connections between the colony and the metropole as seen through the work of colonial benevolent societies; and a study of imperial masculinity as seen through the creation and early years of RMC.


Her most recent important publications are: Emigrant Worlds and Transatlantic Communities: Migration to Upper Canada in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century: (Kingston & Montreal, Mc-Gill Queen’s University Press, 2007) and Women and Work in Upper Canada, (Ottawa: Canadian Historical Association, 2007).


 Dr. John Grodzinski, Professor, Department of History and War Studies, RMC

Topic: Kingston in the War of 1812

Synopsis: Kingston played a pivotal role in the War of 1812. It served as the transhipment point for personnel, supplies and equipment that that were necessary for the survival of Upper Canada. The dockyard at Kingston supported the naval forces based on Lake Ontario, while the garrison of British and Canadian regular troops, local militia and native warriors conducted several raids into the United States. This presentation examined the military events in and around Kingston between 1812 and 1815.


Biography: John Grodzinski is an assistant professor of history at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario. His interests include the era of smoothbore warfare, North American colonial conflicts and naval warfare in the age of sail. He is editor of the on-line War of 1812 Magazine and regularly leads battlefield studies on the War of 1812 and other conflicts. John has two manuscripts under preparation: the first is a study of the leadership of Sir George Prevost, while the second examines the conduct of the War of 1812 on the Upper St. Lawrence River.


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Kingston’s ‘reluctant warriors’ may have sung different tune

By Mike Norris / The Whig-Standard

Posted 14 December 2011

Ian MacAlpine: The Whig-Standard Dr. Jane Errington, who, along with Dr. John Grodzinski, gave a presentation about the War of 1812 at the Canadian Club meeting at Minos Uptown Village Restaurant on Wednesday. The professors of history and war studies at the Royal Military College gave their presentation about military and social perspectives of the war.

Not all residents of Upper Canada, including Kingston, were gung-ho about the War of 1812, according to a Queen's University history professor.

An early victory, led by Maj.-Gen. Isaac Brock, over the Americans at Detroit in August 1812 spawned the patriotic song The Bold Canadian, which celebrated the triumph.

"Kingstonians were not the 'bold Canadian' boys in the song," said Jane Errington, one of two history professors who spoke about the War of 1812 at a Canadian Club of Kingston luncheon Wednesday.

"They were reluctant warriors. Some left the community to go farther south."

The topic of Errington's speech was "A Vain Hope for Peace: Reluctantly Going to War in 1812."

The early months of the war, which began in June, were inspiring for Canadians, she said.

"In popular culture, and to the chagrin of some of us, it was the first real test of a new people," said Errington. "In 1812, Upper Canadians fought gallantly for their homes and king. The Canadian victories, first in Detroit and the war itself, confirmed the just cause of the Loyalists. The war represents the beginning of nationhood."

There's another side to this tale, however, said Errington.

"I want to tell another story, largely rooted in Kingston, about the war in June 1812 and how people responded to it," she said.

"For more than 20 years, Kingstonians lived in hope that the hostilities of 1775 to 1783 (the American Revolution, between the British Kingdom and the 13 British colonies in North America) would not resume."

Among the locals who didn't want Upper Canada to get involved, she said, was Richard Cartwright, "who many would argue is the founding father of Kingston. He exemplified all the virtues we associate with a founding father."

Cartwright (1759-1815) was born in Albany, N.Y., and, following a brief military career, settled in Kingston in 1785, becoming a prominent businessman, judge and political figure.

Cartwright's father, also named Richard, came to the U.S. from England in 1742, but his loyalty was not with the patriots during the American Revolution. As a businessman, the younger Cartwright had many dealings with the British army, and by 1800 he was also supplying U.S. garrisons with pork and flour.

"He was a proud member of the British Empire," said Errington. "His opposition to the war remained strong. He was a classic loyalist."

Americans advocated going to war against Great Britain for a number of reasons, including a series of trade restrictions introduced by Britain to impede American trade with France, with whom Britain was at war.

In June 1812, the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate voted to declare war and the conflict began on June 8, 1812, when President James Madison signed the measure into law. It was the first time the U.S. declared war on another nation.

Between 1791 and 1812, said Errington, "Richard Cartwright and Kingstonians are aware of the situation in the U.S. In their new world, they recognize the empire and the king, but most of the population is from the U.S.

"Cartwright is conscious of the innate tension that exists. Many of his friends are federalists.

"Many Kingstonians were told by Cartwright, 'Don't create problems with our neighbours.' "

Errington called it an unnatural war.

"By 1807, (Cartwright) begins to argue that Upper Canadians should be prepared to go to war, but never to seek war."

Despite his opposition to the war, Cartwright served as a senior colonel in the militia in Kingston during the War of 1812.

The other speaker at the luncheon was Maj. John Grodzinski, who teaches military history at Royal Military College and is an expert on the War of 1812. His topic was "Kingston in the War of 1812."

Although Kingston was the home of the Royal Navy Dockyard, the city had a limited, yet significant, role during the war, he said.

"The action, as spirited as we may like to think of it, were just skirmishes, but they helped define our homeland and our city as well," said Grodzinski, who shared his expertise on air in the recent PBS TV documentary The War of 1812. "In a European context, these would be minor skirmishes. To North Americans, it was a series of skirmishes between forces, many numbering in the dozens to a couple hundred to thousands."

During the war, Kingston served as a shipping point for personnel, supplies and equipment necessary for the survival of Upper Canada. The dockyard at Kingston supported the naval forces based on Lake Ontario, while the garrison of British and Canadian troops, local militia and native warriors conducted several raids into the United States.

"By the end of 1814, Kingston had become an extremely powerful naval presence — 450 guns, a garrison of 500 regular troops and some militia," said Grodzinski, the editor of War of 1812 online magazine.

The war ended in 1815. Unofficially, the British had 8,600 killed, wounded or missing, while the American casualties numbered about 11,300.

"Britain was exhausted after 22 years of war," said Grodzinski, referring to the Napoleonic Wars (1793-1815). "The U.S. was exhausted after 21/2 years of war. They were broke."


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Wednesday, 09 November 2011

Speaker: Dr. Monia Masigh, Author and Renowned Human Rights Activist (wife of Maher Arar)

Topic: "National Security and Human rights: Where Does Canada Stand?"

Dr Monia Masigh, author and renowned human rights activist, wass the Canadian Club of Kingston's speaker at its luncheon on Wednesday, November 9.  Her topic was: "National Security and Human Rights: Where Does Canada Stand?"


Monia Mazigh, says a Toronto Star article, is “the Laura Secord of our time.”  In 2002, her husband Maher Arar was deported to Syria, tortured and held there without charge for over a year.  She campaigned tirelessly to obtain his freedom and clear his name.  In 2007, after a lengthy inquiry, her husband finally received an apology from the Canadian government and compensation for the “terrible ordeal” his family had suffered. 


Dr Mazigh described this harrowing story in her 2008 book Hope & Despair: My Struggle to Free My Husband, Maher Arar.  She was born and raised in Tunisia and immigrated to Canada in 1991.  She holds a PhD in finance from McGill University and speaks English, French and Arabic fluently.  She has worked at the University of Ottawa and taught at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia.  In 2004, she was the NDP candidate for Ottawa South, coming third but gaining the most votes there the NDP had ever received.  She lives in Ottawa with her husband and two children.


Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Speaker: Hon. Peter Milliken, Former MP and Speaker, House of Commons

Topic: "The Role of the Speaker"


The Hon. Peter Milliken, former MP and Speaker, House of Commons, was the Canadian Club of Kingston's speaker at its first luncheon of the new season, Wednesday, October 12.  His topic was: "The Role of the Speaker.” 


 Peter Milliken, the longest-serving Speaker of the House of Commons, recently joined Queen’s University as a Fellow in the School of Policy Studies.  He was first elected to the House of Commons in 1988 as the Liberal Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands.  He was re-elected in six consecutive elections before retiring in 2011.  He was elected as Speaker of the House in 2001 and re-elected three times, serving until retirement.  He is renowned for his knowledge of the rules of parliament and respect for its traditions.


Mr Milliken was born and raised in Kingston, Ontario.  He was educated at Queen’s, Oxford, and Dalhousie Universities.  In 1973, he was called to the bar of Ontario and enrolled as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Ontario.  He was a partner in a Kingston law firm from 1973 until 1988, when he was first elected to Parliament.  In 2001, he received an honorary Doctorate of Laws from the State University New York at Potsdam.  In 2003, he was named Honorary Commander of the Fort Henry Guard and was appointed Honorary President of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada – Hamilton Branch.

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Wednesday, 08 June 2011

Speaker: Paul Wells, Senior Columnist, MacLean's Magazine

Topic: "The Election - and Beyond"


Paul Wells, senior columnist, Maclean's Magazine, was the Canadian Club of Kingston's speaker at a special end-of-season luncheon meeting. 


As Senior Columnist for Maclean's magazine, Paul Wells is one of Canada's foremost political commentators. Fresh, funny and authoritative, he was hailed by Mordecai Richler as "a columnist for whom I have the highest regard" and by Robert Fulford as "a first-class Ottawa reporter."


 His first book, Right Side Up: The Fall of Paul Martin and the Rise of Stephen Harper's New Conservatism was a national bestseller. He has written for Time magazine, the National Post, La Presse and the Literary Review of Canada. His blog, Inkless Wells, is required reading in Ottawa and wherever people spend too much time worrying about politics.


Paul provided the large audience with his perspective on the election process and its results, with a focus on what might happen over the next four years of Conservative majority government.


Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Speaker: Dr. Alec Douglas, Ex-Director of History,  Department of National Defence

Topic: "Old wine into New Wineskins: Canada’s Navy at the century mark"


Alec Douglas was the speaker for the subject luncheon.  He provided an informative and entertaining set of extracts from the long and proud history of the Canadian Navy.  He answered several questions arising from his interesting historical perspective on the Canadian Navy, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2010.


Commander (Retired) Douglas served in the Royal Canadian Navy from 1950 to 1973.  He enjoyed a lively career at sea, serving in naval ships Ontario, Quebec, Outremont, Ottawa, Kootenay and Fort Erie; and as Equipment and Trials Officer to the Flag Officer Atlantic Coast.


While in the Navy he earned a Master's Degree in History from Dalhousie University and a Doctorate in History from Queen's.  He became the official historian of the Canadian Armed Forces in 1973, retiring as Director General History in 1994.  He is one of our most prolific writers of naval history - author of a long list of publications.  He has taught at the Royal Military College as well as Duke, Cambridge and Carleton universities.  He is Past President of the Canadian Battle of Normandy Foundation and of the Canadian Nautical Research Society.


His publications include: Out of the Shadows: Canada in the Second World War, (Oxford, 1977) (Dundurn 1995), with Brereton Greenhous; The Creation of a National Air Force: The Official History of the RCAF, Volume II, (Toronto, 1986); The RCN in Transition. 1910-1985 (UBC, 1988) (editor); No Higher Purpose: The Official History of the Royal Canadian Navy  Vol II, part I (Vanwell, 2003), A Blue Water Navy: The Official History of the Royal Canadian navy Vol. II, part 2, (Vanwell, 2007) (with Roger Sarty and Michael Whitby).  He is the Past President, Canadian Battle of Normandy Foundation, the Past President, Canadian Nautical Research Society.  He was the visiting Professor of History, Duke University, 1988-89, 2001-2002, and the Visiting Fellow (1996) and life member, Clare Hall, Cambridge.  He is also an Adjunct Research Professor of History, Carleton University.


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Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Speaker: Louis Delvoie, Senior Fellow for International Relations, Queen’s University

Topic: "Egypt and Libya: Causes, Differences and Consequences"


Louis Delvoie was the replacement speaker (for Paul Wells who had to withdraw because of Federal Election commitments) for the subject luncheon held, as usual, in Minos Village Restaurant.  He provided a very enlightening perspective on the past, current, and possible future events and activities in the North African nations of Egypt and Libya.


Louis Delvoie has had a most distinguished career in the Foreign Service and since then in academia.  He is a Senior Fellow in the Centre for International Relations at Queen's University and a visiting lecturer at the Canadian Foreign Service Institute in Ottawa.  He has written extensively on Canadian foreign and security policy and on international relations.


In the Foreign Service, he served as Ambassador to Algeria; Deputy High Commissioner to the United Kingdom; and High Commissioner to Pakistan.  Earlier postings included Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey, Algeria, Belgium and Yugoslavia.  In Ottawa, he served as Director General for International Security and Arms Control in the Department of External Affairs; and Assistant Deputy Minister for Policy, Department of National Defence.  He was educated at Loyola College, University of Toronto, McGill University, and the National Defence College of Canada.


This is a summary of the highlights of the speaker’s subject presentation, which he characterized as “a very brief and superficial overview of the topic”.



The Mid-east and Arab worlds are usually treated as unstable regions.  However, in fact, there has been remarkable stability in Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, and Libya.  Changes of regime have only been by death or coup, with the exception being Lebanon.  Hence, the recent ouster of the President of Tunisia, by popular uprising, was revolutionary.  The resulting shockwaves throughout the Middle East triggered popular unrest in Egypt, Bahrain, Syria, and Algeria.  The focus of this presentation is on Egypt and Libya – causes, differences, and consequences.


The causes are long-standing and systemic, exacerbated by short-term triggers.  Such realities as the massive youth unemployment and under-employment, where youth represent an ever increasing proportion of total population,  coupled with unfulfilled expectations, is part of the uneven distribution of benefits of economic progress.  Massive political and bureaucratic corruption compounded the situation of growing despair with the continuing repression of all political opposition, especially Islamist-based.  The virtual police state nature, with its arbitrary arrests, torture, and denial of political and human rights, in a climate of fear, eventually was overtaken by seething discontent.

There were three principal factors which precipitated the recent unrest.  First, news of the Tunisian example spread quickly and widely.  Second, the contribution of the increasing array of social-based media, much of it on-line via the Internet, was immense in overcoming the previous isolation, and provided an improved potential for organization through communications.  Third, the extreme discontent caused by increases in the prices of food and other basic commodities combined with the previous two to produce an explosive mixture.


The two nations of Egypt and Libya were, however, very different in terms of at least the regimes and the basis of the populations.  Egypt is very old with a strong sense of national identity and corresponding national unity.  Libya is a relatively young country deeply divided among its tribes and geographic areas (Cyrenica and Tripolitania).  Whereas Egypt has strong, albeit flawed, institutions (cabinet, parliament, judiciary, and national armed forces), Libya has nothing comparable (one-man rule supported by an army more like a praetorian guard than a national institution, supported by a separate security apparatus).  President Mubarak, despite his flaws, was a rational leader, whereas Colonel Gadhafi, while a skilled political tactician, displayed two strains of mental illness – narcissism and megalomania.

Thus, when the situation unravelled in Egypt, the leadership of the Armed Forces eventually decided that it was in the national interest that Mubarak should retire, and he accepted that verdict.  No such institutional response occurred in Libya, and Gadhafi reacted to events totally differently.


In Egypt, the revolution is anything but complete.  The situation remains fluid, with the outcome thoroughly unpredictable at this stage.  There are three possible scenarios:

a.         first, a continuation of military rule by the Generals, whether direct or indirect, with a promise of democratic elections;

b.         second, an elected government dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood (not because a majority of Egyptians are Islamists, but rather the Brotherhood is the only organized opposition movement); and,

c.         third, an elected government dominated by secular and nationalist forces drawn primarily from the educated middle classes – business/professionals.

In Libya, there would appear to be two possible scenarios in the short term:

a.         first, the continuation in power of the Gadhafi regime, weakened by revolutionary events, but still able to maintain control through the unscrupulous use  of the regime’s military and security apparatus (a reign of vengeance/terror?); and,

b.         second, the overthrow of Gadhafi, followed by a period of chaos and civil war as various tribes jockey for position and power (accentuation of the east-west split between the Cyrenica and Tripolitania, with the possible break-up of the country).

Hence, for both Egypt and Libya, a period of uncertainty and perhaps instability, lies ahead.  In the wider Arab world, events in both Egypt and Libya may serve to encourage further popular uprisings the resultant instability.  This, in turn, will foster further uncertainty in the world-at-large.  Indeed, the effects of that uncertainty are already evident in the sharp rise of oil prices, fuelled just as much by fear and speculation as by the realities on the ground  (Libya accounts for only 2% of world production, although it is of the preferred “sweet crude” variety favoured for production of oil-based products).  This situation may put in jeopardy western alliances with Arab countries, with the associated economic consequences, plus the security consequences in the struggle against Islamist extremism and terrorism.  Regionally, all this could inflame confrontation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, with the attendant implications for armed conflict and nuclear weapons proliferation.  Some of these difficulties are currently playing out in Bahrain.  This may also complicate the efforts of the USA to complete its withdrawal from Iraq.  These events could have important political and security implications for Israel, particularly in the form of an Egyptian government less committed to the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty of 1979, and one less interested in playing a constructive role in Arab-Israeli affairs.

Finally, the decision of a number of western countries to intervene militarily in Libya, under cover of a UN Security Council Resolution 973, coordinated via NATO, is fraught with uncertain outcomes.  This mission is ill-defined as to both methods and objectives.  Is it simply the creation of a No-fly zone?  Is it the protection of all civilians against the forces of Gadhafi?  Is it the overthrow of the Gadhafi regime?  This mission has already provided serious divisions within NATO and the European Union.  It will continue to do so as disagreements persist regarding objectives and exit strategies.

Louis Delvoie entertained several questions on the topic.  These related to Mid-East areas other than Egypt and Libya, e.g. Jordan, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, and the UAE.  He provided well-reasoned, but succinct, responses to complement his already highly effective coverage of the topic.

Summary by Colonel (Retired) R. Bruce Morris


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Wednesday, 09 March 2011

Speaker: Dr. Hector Mackenzie, Senior Historian at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada

Topic: "My very long weekend in Kingston -- A personal perspective on stroke recovery"


Dr Hector Mackenzie, Senior Historian at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada, was the Canadian Club of Kingston's speaker at its luncheon meeting on Wednesday, March 9.  His topic was: "My very long weekend in Kingston -- A personal perspective on stroke recovery." 


Hector Mackenzie joined the Department of External Affairs as an historian in 1989.  He has published numerous articles and reviews on the history of Canada's international relations; and has edited two volumes in the series Documents on Canadian External Relations.  He is also an adjunct research professor at Carleton University, where he teaches courses on the history of Canada and its international relations.  He had earlier taught at the University of Toronto and the University of Western Ontario.  He was educated at the University of Toronto and Oxford University, from which he received his doctorate.


In 2008, Hector Mackenzie had a stroke for which he was treated at Kingston General Hospital and from which he recovered promptly and completely.  He was able to resume his work within a month of that trauma.  Since then, he has spoken several times about his experience to medical conferences, in addition to his scholarly presentations and publications.


Wednesday, 09 February 2011

Speaker: Brian Porter, Author; Founder– Brockville Infantry Co.(1862)

Topic: "Major James Walsh of the North West Mounted Police, friend of Sitting Bull"


Brian Porter, a great fan of Canadian history, provided the luncheon attendees with an enacted life of Major James Walsh NWMP.  He had previously entertained the Canadian Club in March 2009 with his portrayal of Sir John A. Macdonald.  Major Walsh, born in Prescott in 1840, was one of the original nine officers of the NWMP, founded by Sir John A in 1873.  Walsh led the first recruits across the Dawson Trail to Fort Garry, Manitoba. In 1874, his troop built Fort Walsh in Saskatchewan.  In 1877, Sioux Chief Sitting Bull crossed into Canadian territory with his people, after defeating Lt. Col. Custer at Little Bighorn. Walsh rode into their camp to enforce Canadian law.  He retired to Brockville and lived until 1905.


Brian taught for 32 years in Brockville until retiring in 1998.  He is Chairman of the Brockville Museum Board, a member of the Brockville History Book Committee, and a founding member of Brockville Infantry Company (1862) – which gives historical re-enactments of the volunteer militia.  Born and raised in Peterborough, he was educated at Peterborough Collegiate and Vocational School, Carleton University (B.A. History), and Ottawa Teachers' College.


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Monday, 10 January 2011

Speaker: Agathe Côté, Deputy Governor, Bank of Canada

Topic: Trends in the Canadian economy, with a focus on the household sector


        Agathe Côté's speech attracted much media attention.  Here is how the television station CKWS summarized it.  She spoke about the importance household spending has played in Canada's recovery.  She said a number of factors – like the tax rebate on home renovations and consumer confidence – brought Canada out of the recession.  But all that spending has led to higher debt loads for consumers.  Canada's recovery is closely tied to the United States -- which is our largest trading partner.  She said: “Going forward the bank expects the composition of demand to shift away from government and household spending towards business investment and net exports and in that regard the surge in business investment that started in the past year is a very encouraging start.”  Her full speech is available on the Bank of Canada’s website.


The luncheon was held at Minos Uptown Village Restaurant, Kingston, and was attended by 102 people.  Invited guests were: Peter Milliken, MP for Kingston and the Islands, and Speaker of the House of Commons; John Gerretsen, Ontario MLA and Minister of the Environment; Brian Reitzel, Councillor, Pittsburgh District; Florence Campbell, President, Community Foundation for Kingston and Area; Frank Milne, Queen's University, BMO Professor of Economics and Finance - and formerly Special Advisor, Bank of Canada; Lloyd Fleming, Regional VP, Bank of Montreal; and John-Paul Shearer, Director of Business Development, KEDCO.


Agathe Côté is one of two deputy governors responsible for overseeing the Bank's analysis and activities in promoting a stable and efficient financial system.  As a member of the Bank's Governing Council, she shares responsibility for decisions with respect to monetary policy and financial system stability, and for setting the strategic direction of the Bank.


Ms Côté joined the Bank in 1982 as an economist.  After assuming a series of positions of increasing responsibility, she was appointed Deputy Governor effective 30 July 2010.  Born in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, she received a bachelor's degree in economics in 1981 and a master's degree in economics in 1983, both from the University of Montréal.


The Bank of Canada is the nation's central bank. It is responsible for Canada's monetary policy, bank notes, financial system and funds management. Its main role, as defined in the Bank of Canada Act, is "to promote the economic and financial welfare of Canada."  It does not offer banking services to the public.

Summary by John Foster


Wednesday, 08 December 2010

Speaker: Bob Hepburn, Journalist, Toronto Star

Topic: "The changing role of the media in Ottawa/Washington and the world"


Bob Hepburn is an award-winning journalist who has worked as the Star’s bureau chief in Ottawa, Washington and the Middle East. He has reported from more than 30 countries for the Star and has also served as the Star’s editorial page editor, assistant managing editor, national editor and foreign editor.  His column appears every Thursday.


Bob Hepburn provided an interesting backdrop of the recent history of the evolution of journalism, with a focus on the newspaper industry.  He Bob highlighted the impact of the changes to the presentation of news events and activities being forged by the developments in the Internet, the social media such as YouTube and Facebook, and the technology of cell phones, IPods, IPads, Wikipedia, and wickileaks.  He described the current and evolving framework within which the news is to be reported, and the waning professionalism of the wider variety of sources now involved in reporting.  He noted the challenges to the newspaper, radio, and television media to retain some semblance of integrity in reporting, given the reduced resources able to be brought to bear on the traditional reporting environment. Overall, Bob presented the challenges to clients/customers of news to appropriately filter the myriad of information flows from competing sources of reporting.


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Wednesday, 03 November 2010

Speaker: Ted Barris, Author, Journalist, Broadcaster

Topic: "Breaking the silence - getting our Veterans to talk"


Ted Barris is an renowned journalist, author and broadcaster. For nearly 40 years, his writing has regularly appeared in the national press and magazines.  He has hosted or contributed to most CBC Radio network programs and TV Ontario. He is a professor of journalism at Toronto’s Centennial College.


Barris is the author of 16 non-fiction books, including a series on wartime Canada.  All have received critical acclaim and bestseller status. His 16th book, Breaking the Silence: Veterans’ Untold Stories from the Great War to Afghanistan, a bestseller, was published earlier this fall.  His writing has been twice short-listed for the Pierre Berton national history prize.


Among the awards Ted Barris has received are the international Billboard Radio Documentary Award, the Yorkton Film Festival’s Golden Sheaf, and several ACTRA nominations. He is an active member of numerous military associations.  He has received numerous awards in recognition of his contribution to the awareness and preservation of Canadian military history and traditions. 


Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Speaker: Colin Robertson, Senior strategic advisor, international law firm McKenna, Long and Aldridge LLP

Topic: "The Obama presidency, Tea Party movement and Mid-term Elections: how do they impact on Canada?"


Colin Robertson was the Canadian Club of Kingston's speaker at its luncheon meeting on Wednesday, October 13.  His topic: "The Obama presidency, Tea Party movement and Mid-term Elections: how do they impact on Canada?"  The previously scheduled speaker, Dr. Alec Douglas, has had to reschedule for a later meeting.


A former Canadian diplomat, Colin Robertson is a senior strategic advisor for the international law firm McKenna, Long and Aldridge LLP and works in Ottawa.  He is a senior research fellow at the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University.  He is on the boards of Canada World Youth and the Conference of Defence Associations Institute. He is president of the National Capital Branch of the Canadian International Council.


With Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Mr. Robertson had been minister at the Canadian Embassy in Washington DC; consul general in Los Angeles; and counsellor and consul in Hong Kong.  He has served at the Permanent Mission to Canada at the United Nations and the Consulate General in New York. He helped negotiate the Free Trade Agreement with the United States and later coordinated the NAFTA implementing legislation. 

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Thursday, 13 May 2010

Ken Watson, author and member of Friends of the Rideau,  was the Canadian Club of Kingston's speaker at its luncheon meeting on Thursday, May 13.  He spoke about "The Rideau Route."   The luncheon was held at Minos Uptown Village Restaurant, 2762 Princess Street, Kingston.


Ken Watson worked as a geologist in the Yukon and northern Ontario before moving to the Rideau area in 1995.  He is a renowned expert on the Rideau Canal.  He has developed an amazing website on the Canal (http://www.rideau-info.com) and published two books: A History of the Rideau Lockstations, 2000; and The Rideau Route: Exploring the Pre-Canal Waterway, 2007.  He is publishing a new book this year: “Tales of the Rideau.” 


Ken is a director of Friends of the Rideau (http://www.rideaufriends.com) and The Delta Mill Society (http://www.deltamill.org).  He volunteers with various other heritage organizations, including the Rideau Canal Museum, Kingston Historical Society, Rideau Heritage Network, Chaffey’s Lock and Area Heritage Society, Merrickville and District Historical Society, and Canadian Canal Society.  He lives beside the Rideau Canal Waterway with his wife Pat and dog Tika. 


Thursday, 08 April 2010

Speaker: Don Drummond, Senior Vice-President & Chief Economist, TD Bank

Topic: "What comes after the Great Recession?"


Don Drummond was the Canadian Club of Kingston's speaker at its luncheon meeting on Thursday, April 8.  He spoke about "What comes after the Great Recession?" 


Don Drummond joined the TD Bank in June 2000 as Senior Vice President and Chief Economist.  He leads TD Economics’ work in analyzing and forecasting economic performance in Canada and abroad.  He travels widely across Canada and abroad, speaking about the Canadian economy and its prospects, and he is frequently quoted by the media on economic and policy issues.


Mr. Drummond joined the federal Department of Finance upon completing his studies at Queen’s and held progressively more senior positions in areas of economic analysis and forecasting, fiscal policy and tax policy.  His last position was Associate Deputy Minister -- responsible for economic analysis, fiscal policy, tax policy, social policy and federal-provincial relations.  In particular, he coordinated planning of the annual federal budgets.


Don was born and raised in Victoria BC, where he graduated from the University of Victoria.  He received his MA in Economics from Queen’s University.


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Thursday, 11 March 2010

Speaker: Alia Hogben, Executive Director of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW)

Topic: "The Challenges of being Muslim." 


 Alia Hogben was born in Burma, was raised in India and lived in other countries as the daughter of an Indian diplomat. She currently lives with her family on a farm near Kingston.


Founded in 1982, CCMW is the most prominent Muslim women's group in Canada.  It assists Muslim women and others to learn about Islam and its message of equality, pluralism and inclusiveness; and to participate as fully as possible in all aspects of living.  CCMW opposed the implementation of Sharia law during the debate in Canada.


Alia writes a monthly column on Islam and Muslims for the Kingston Whig-Standard.  She speaks regularly at domestic and international events; and she is frequently interviewed by Canadian and international media.  Prior to joining CCMW, she worked with the Ontario Ministry of Community & Social Services.  She has also served as Director of the March of Dimes; taught human studies at St Lawrence Community College; and worked with the Children’s Aid Society.


Thursday, 11 February 2010

Louis Delvoie was the substitute speaker at this luncheon meeting.  His topic was "Afghanistan: The Return of History?".


Thursday, 14 January 2010

Dr. Jacalyn Duffin  was the Canadian Club of Kingston's speaker at its luncheon meeting on Thursday, January 14.  She holds the Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine at Queen's University.  She spoke about "Music and Memory: What Can Dementia Teach Us about the Brain?".


Dr. Duffin is an award winning scholar and educator.  She is a medical historian and haematologist, and she is a great speaker.  She was one of the Top 10 lecturers in the 2008 TVO Big Ideas Best Lecturer Competition.


She has made significant contributions to the field of history of medicine, and is the author of five books and editor of several others.  Her research interests include 19th century French and Canadian medicine, medical illustrations, and medical saints. 


In 2005, she co-authored, with Dr Lola Cuddy, professor emeritus of psychology at Queen’s, a prize-winning study of a woman with severe Alzheimer's disease who showed surprising musical memory.  They researched the question: is music recognition spared in dementia, and how can it be assessed?  The results are both uplifting and fascinating. 

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Thursday, 10 December 2009

Dr. Ted Hsu Executive Director, SWITCH

Topic: Cap and Trade for Greenhouse Gases: What is it, why does it matter, Kingston benefits”


Ted Hsu’s interest in global warming and climate change has grown steadily in recent years.  He is Executive Director of SWITCH – a non-profit organization that aims to make Kingston a leading centre for alternative and renewable energy.  It provides a network for businesses, research institutions, public sector participants, and volunteers.  He spoke about our energy economy, greenhouse gas offsets, and ways to influence public policy.


Ted is highly active in the community.  Among other things, he co-chairs the Kingston Environmental Advisory Forum – which assists the City in environmental strategy.  He studied physics at Queen's University, received his PhD at Princeton with a thesis on high temperature superconductivity, and worked as a research scientist at UBC, CNRS Grenoble, and AECL's Chalk River Laboratories. He then moved into finance, working with Banque Nationale de Paris in Philadelphia and Paris, and with Morgan Stanley in Tokyo.


   Ted provided members and guests with a highly informative session on the "cap & trade" framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions within Canada, and in cooperation with the United States and other world nations.  He described the framework for attacking the CO2 portion of global warning in a succinct manner, with an excellent demonstration using an example for three sample CO2 emitters.  The short question period was handled effectively, but it was all too brief to satisfy the obvious interests of the enthusiastic audience.


Thursday, 12 November 2009

Florence Campbell, Vice President of the Community Foundation for Kingston & Area

Topic: Kingston’s Vital Signs” – a new report by the Community Foundation for Kingston & Area


Florence Campbell is Vice President of the Community Foundation for Kingston & Area.  This is one of over 160 community foundations in Canadian cities and towns.  Its report on Kingston’s Vitals Signs is a community report card, with key indicators measuring the community’s “health” and vitality.  The idea began in Toronto in 2001 and was made a national program of the Community Foundations of Canada.


Florence Campbell has a distinguished background in community board governance.  In the health area, she serves on boards of the Community for Excellence in Health Governance, and Queen’s University Family Health Team; and was earlier on those of the Kingston General Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Foundation, and Ottawa Heart Institute.  She has served as Vice Principal, Queen's University; and Vice President, Conference Board of Canada.  She has been on boards of the Kingston Symphony Association, Grand Theatre Fundraising Restoration Committee; and the Canadian Clubs of Toronto and Ottawa.


Florence provided a succinct summary of the subject report to the audience at the luncheon.

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Wednesday 07 October 2009

Dr. Henri Habib, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Concordia University

Topic The Middle East in 2009 : Peace or Conflict?


 Dr Henry Habib, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Concordia University, Montreal,  was back by popular demand as the Canadian Club of Kingston's guest speaker.  At its first luncheon of the new season, Wednesday, October 7, he spoke on:  “The Middle East in 2009 : Peace or Conflict?”


Dr Habib is a highly respected scholar and an authority on the politics of the Middle East, on which he is frequently invited to speak and comment.  He has published two books on Libya and numerous articles on Arab unity, the Palestinian question and other Mid-East topics.  He is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Concordia University, Montreal; a Visiting Professor in Islamic Studies at McGill University; and a Governor Emeritus of Concordia’s Board of Governors.


 Dr Habib founded and chaired the Political Science Department at Loyola College and its successor Concordia University until his retirement in 1999.  He graduated in Political Science from the American University of Beirut.  He studied at Princeton University and received his MA in Political Science at Fordham University.  He taught for several years at the American University of Beirut and at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  He received his PhD from McGill.

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Friday 19 June 2009

Leslee Thompson, President and CEO, Kingston General Hospital

Topic : “The Way Forward for Kingston General Hospital”


Leslee Thompson, President and CEO of Kingston General Hospital,  was the Canadian Club of Kingston's speaker at its luncheon meeting on Friday, June 19.  Her topic was "The Way Forward." 

Ms Thompson was appointed President and CEO of KGH this February.  She brings extensive health-care industry experience in both the public and private sectors to this important leadership role.  She will tell us about her first 100 days in office and how KGH will move towards the future.


She was previously Vice President, Health System  Strategies with Medtronic of Canada, a global medical devices company.  She has served as Vice President, Cancer System Integration and Performance with Cancer Care Ontario.  She has also held senior executive roles in several teaching hospitals, including Sunnybrook & Women’s Health Science Centre, Toronto Western Hospital, and the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton.


Ms Thompson started her career as a critical care nurse. She is a graduate of the School of Nursing at Queen’s University and holds a Master of Science degree in Nursing from University of Toronto and an MBA from the University of Western Ontario.


08 April 2009

Don Carty, Chairman of Porter Airlines and Virgin America Airlines

Topic : Porter Airlines and new Innovations in Aviation.


Don Carty has a distinguished corporate career.  He is chairman of Porter Airlines and Virgin America Airlines (both since 2006).  He is a director of Dell Inc, Hawaiian Airlines, Sears Roebuck, CHC Helicopter Corporation, and Barrick Gold Corporation.  Until last year, he was vice chairman and chief financial officer of Dell Inc (2007-2008).  He is an Officer of the Order of Canada.


He was previously Chairman and CEO of AMR Corporation, the parent company of American Airlines (1998-2003).  He joined the airline in 1978 and rose to become Executive Vice President for finance and planning, then President of AMR and American Airlines.  In between, he served as President and CEO of Canadian Pacific Airlines (1985-1987).  Before joining American Airlines, he had worked with Celanese Canada, Air Canada, and Canadian Pacific Railway. 


Mr. Carty was born in Toronto, graduated from Queen’s University and Harvard Business School, and holds an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Queen’s.  He and his wife, Ana, live in Dallas, Texas.  He is chairman of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, a board trustee of Southern Methodist University, and a board director of the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Foundation.


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12 March 2009

Brian Porter, Brockville Infantry Company (1862)

Topic : “Sir John A, the Man Who Made Us”


Brian Porter, Brockville Infantry Company (1862), aka Sir John A. MacDonald, was the Canadian Club of Kingston's speaker at its luncheon meeting on Thursday, March 12.  His topic was "Sir John A, the Man Who Made Us."  He was accompanied by his wife aka Renee Porter, aka Lady Agnes Macdonald.


Brian Porter is a great fan of Canadian history.  He enjoys telling the life stories of Sir John A. Macdonald and Major James Walsh NWMP.  Brian Porter has been playing Sir John for the past ten years and has spoken to over two hundred groups, visiting historical societies, schools, conferences and more.


Brian is an elementary school teacher and taught for 32 years in Brockville until retiring in 1998.  He is Chairman of the Brockville Museum Board, a member of the Brockville History Book Committee, and a founding member of Brockville Infantry Company (1862) – which gives historical re-enactments of the 1860s volunteer militia.  He was born and raised in Peterborough, and was educated at Peterborough Collegiate and Vocational School, Carleton University (B.A. History) and Ottawa Teachers’ College.


10 February 2009

Jim Sandford, Economist, Canadian Automobile Workers

Topic Rethinking Economics: Why the Current Crisis Should Spur Us to Challenge Conventional Wisdom


The well-known economist Jim Stanford was the Canadian Club of Kingston's speaker at its luncheon meeting on Tuesday, 10 February 2009.   Insights into the new Federal Budget were anticipated – he’s been prominent on CBC radio recently.


  Jim Stanford  is a Senior Economist with the Canadian Auto Workers, Canada's largest private-sector trade union.  He is also a Research Associate of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.  He is the author of Paper Boom (published in 1999), and Economics for Everyone (Pluto Press and Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, 2008).  He writes a regular economics column for the Globe and Mail.  He is a member of CBC TV’s regular National News economics panel.  Jim received his Ph.D. in Economics in 1995 from the New School for Social Research in New York, and also holds economics degrees from Cambridge University and the University of Calgary.  He lives in Toronto with his partner and two daughters.


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08 January 2009

Katherine Barber, Former Director, Oxford Canadian Dictionary (CBC’s Word Lady)

Topic “Bachelor for Rent”


 The definition of knowledgeable – Katherine Barber

Long-time editor-in-chief of Canadian dictionaries delivers address to Kingston Canadian Club


Billed as "Canada's Word Lady", Katherine Barber - former editor of the Oxford Canadian Dictionary - speaks to the Canadian Club of Kingston Thursday about the use of language in Canada.

Michael Lea /Whig-Standard

Look up the word hockey in your dictionary, Katherine Barber suggests, and you'll see what makes Canadian English so distinctive.

"If you look in a British dictionary or one of these so-called Canadian dictionaries," Barber said during a speech yesterday to the Canadian Club of Kingston, "you will discover that hockey is defined as, 'A game played on a field with 11 players.' "

That's not generally the image that comes to mind when we think of the nation's most beloved winter sport and for Barber, known as Canada's Word Lady, it illustrates the need for a dictionary from a truly Canadian perspective.

As editor-in-chief of Canadian dictionaries at Oxford University Press from 1991 to 2008, Barber ensured that when we say hockey, "we mean the thing that's played on ice, we do not mean the thing that is played on grass."

In her distinctively witty style, Barber's address - titled Bachelor For Rent - kept the audience entertained with examples culled from her years as a leading authority on Canadian English.

No dictionary, it seemed, could be free of cultural bias, even for seemingly objective words such as place names.

"Dieppe,' Barber said, "is defined as follows in the Oxford British Dictionary: 'A port in Normandy from which ferries depart for Newhaven, Sussex.' " Barber paused for laughter.

"This is only slightly Britocentric," she I wrote to my colleagues in Oxford and said, 'If you're going to have an entry on Dieppe, don't you think that you should mention the war?'

"They wrote back and said, 'Did something happen at Dieppe in the war?' "

Language, as Barber said, is in her genes. Her mother was an English teacher and her father was always interested in languages. Although she was raised in Winnipeg, Barber was born in England and lived there until she was eight.

"It was a real eye-opener to me that people could speak English in such different ways," she said. "The difference between British English and Canadian English ... piqued my interest."

Aside from a unique combination of British and American spelling, Canadian English developed into its present form through British political institutions and the country's bilingual status, which helped terms from Canadian French -poutine, anyone? -seep into the lexicon.

"The fact that Canada is a multicultural society means that we borrow from Italian and Ukrainian and Icelandic ... and Canadian native peoples," Barber said. "Then, of course, we have to use words that describe our particular geographic reality, dealing with the winter and so on."

Barber's most reliable rhetorical device was describing Canadian English from the perspective of an American visitor, for whom terms like "loonie," meaning dollar, and "Can Stud," meaning Canadian Studies, can be incomprehensible.

"If we are to maintain Canadian English," Barber concluded, "we have to make sure that we maintain our Can-Stud attitude and never run out of loonies."

Article ID# 1379974

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11 December 2008

Dr. Art McDonald Gray Chair in Particle Astrophysics, Queen’s; Director SNO Institute

Topic: Observing our Universe from 2 km Underground: SNO and the new SNOLAB


Dr Art McDonald was the Canadian Club of Kingston's speaker at its luncheon meeting on Thursday, December 11.  He holds the Gray Chair in Particle Astrophysics at Queen's University, and is Director of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) Institute.   His topic was "Observing our Universe from 2 km underground." 


 Dr McDonald joined Queen’s in 1989.  He spearheads an international research project studying tiny particles emitted from the sun.   This is one of the most important scientific experiments being conducted in Canada today.  The SNO Laboratory is located 2 km underground in one of INCO’s old mines in Sudbury, Ontario.  It is designed to detect solar neutrinos and study major scientific questions such as the nature of dark matter.  He explains: “The research that we are doing ... really bridges the entire universe. We … try to understand the most detailed things about the universe, how it was created and evolved; in short, the origins of the universe.”


Dr McDonald is an Officer of the Order of Canada.  He and his team have received some of the world’s most prestigious prizes in physics. They include the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics (past winners Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell, Marie and Pierre Curie), and the Bruno Pontecorvo Prize, the world’s top award in particle physics. 


13 November 2008

Jeffry Simpson, Columnist, Globe and Mail

Topic “Hot Air”


Jeffrey Simpson, The Globe and Mail’s national affairs columnist,  was the Canadian Club of Kingston's speaker at its luncheon meeting on Thursday, November 13.   His topic was “Hot Air”, the title of his latest book. 


Mr. Simpson joined The Globe and Mail in 1974.  He became its Ottawa bureau chief in 1978; served in London UK as its European correspondent, 1981-1983; and began writing his national affairs column in 1984.  He has published eight books.  His latest, published in 2007, with Mark Jaccard and Nic Rivers, is titled Hot Air: Meeting Canada’s Climate Change Challenge.  He has written numerous magazine articles and is a regular contributor to television programs in both English and French.


Jeffrey Simpson has won all three of Canada's leading literary prizes – the Governor-General's award for non-fiction book writing, the National Magazine Award for political writing, and the National Newspaper Award for column-writing (twice).  In 2000, he became an Officer of the Order of Canada.


He studied at the University of Toronto, Queen's University and the London School of Economics.  He has received honorary doctorates of laws from Queen's and other universities.  He has been a member of Queen’s board of trustees and the editorial board of The Queen's Quarterly.  He has taught at Queen’s Institute of Policy Studies and The University of Ottawa Law School. He is a senior fellow at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.  He lives in Ottawa with his wife Wendy, and they have three children.

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Globe columnist lambastes ‘national incoherence’ on carbon emissions - Posted By Lynn Rees Lambert on Kingston This Week Website 27 November 2008

Now that we won’t have the Bush administration to bash, get ready to see Canadians hitch their wagons to the newly-elected Obama administration’s policy on handling carbon emissions.

Jeffrey Simpson, the national affairs columnist for “The Globe and Mail” and winner of all three of Canada’s major literary prizes, provided a journalist’s insight into the issue as the guest speaker at the Canadian Club of Kingston meeting Nov. 13.

While climate change has grabbed headlines over the last decade, Simpson, whose latest book “Hot Air, Meeting Canada’s Climate Change Challenge,” co-authored with Mark Jaccard and Nic Rivers, pointed out that the last six months have put a completely different spin on the topic.

In essence, it’s been put on the back burner as the “economic downdraft” packs a global wallop.

“Fourteen months ago, when we wrote this book, we anticipated that oil would rise in a measured steady fashion,” he explained. At the time, policy makers were toying with a form of carbon tax and a range of options to combat climate change.

Not now.

Two things have completely changed the landscape: the rapid rise in the price of oil, which started in the summer, and the economic meltdown that began in the United States and has washed over the globe.

When gas prices skyrocketed, “people were overwhelmed with talk about a carbon tax,” said Simpson. “SUV sales went down, factories closed and the sale of fuel-efficient cars went up.”

“People will change their behaviour when faced with a new economic reality but people can’t adjust that quickly,” he noted.

And, while the public appears to be united in wanting to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, he said, how and at what cost is another story altogether. It’s a case of NIMBY — not in my back yard, he said.

“We go for energy-efficient light bulbs, energy-efficient appliances, but paying higher prices for energy or gas is an unpalatable option.”

Plus, the general public is distrustful of all politicians when they say a carbon tax will go to reducing taxes.

“They fear it will be wasted, sent overseas or they’ll lose it.”

Simpson lambasted the “national incoherence” on the political scene, noting that the world is watching.

“We’re naked as newts,” he said of our scandalous, but rarely talked about, emissions record, pointing out that we have the worst record on Kyoto emission levels. Our emissions have gone up faster than during the Bush administration’s, he said.

But being “morally superior Canadians,” we have a plan: a 20-per cent reduction in emissions by 2020, a target that is “arithmetically impossible,” as long as we continue to develop the oil sands.

What’ll we do?

“We’ll join the Americans, since we can’t come up with a national solution.”

Through this confusion, Simpson believes we are headed in a new direction.

“We are living in the early stages of a revolution, or re-organization, towards a new kind of energy mix,” Simpson stated. “We’re beginning to develop alternatives but we’re not sure when or its application. A lot will be trial and error.”

But, again, with the “economic downdraft” front and centre, these issues will get short shrift.

The auto industry, “a catastrophe,” is one area that needs analysis.

“Four years ago the government gave a subsidy to GM to build Camero muscle cars,” he pointed out. And, while he is sympathetic to the workers and families who will be affected by the massive layoffs that are predicted for the Big 3 companies, should the government decide to offer bailouts, “every penny has to be invested into green technology.”

Simpson also pushed for a national transportation grid, acceleration on the infrastructure that is useful, as in a fast train from Toronto to Quebec, and an accelerated public transit project.

“We also need to figure out a way of pricing carbon.”

The right time to start such a campaign is now, he said, while gas is low.

Because it won’t stay this low for long.

Article ID# 1318894

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09 October 2008

Don Curtis Communications Consultant and Strategic Planner

Topic: Kingston's Liquid Assets - its Blue Belt Lifestyle and Kingston’s Unequalled Historic Assets"


Don has over 40 years experience handling communications for over 75 of the largest corporations in the country.  He was partner and managing director of Goodgoll Curtis Advertising, 1990-2000; and managing director of Vickers and Benson Advertising, 1972-1989.  Since retiring and moving to Kingston in 2000, Don has been highly active in the community.  He has conducted a strategic study of the city; developed a walking-tour book on the Historic Churches of Kingston; developed Kingston’s Blue Belt (water lifestyle) strategy; developed historic tours; and is now developing Kingston 360 – a website to bring Kingston’s unique assets to the attention of the world.  Don is a member of the Kingston Imagine Round Table, a contributing writer to the Kingston Whig-Standard and to Kingston This Week, and a guest lecturer at St. Lawrence College.


Don provided a scintillating set of highlights about Blue Belt-Kingston – surrounded by fresh, blue waters, Lake Ontario to the south, the St Lawrence River and the magnificent 1000 islands to the east, the historic Rideau Canal to the northeast, the Bay of Quinte to the west and a myriad of fresh pristine lakes to the immediate north. This gives rise to the finest water lifestyle in North America.  He also extolled the considerable virtues of Kingston's over 600 historic buildings, most still in daily use, all authentic, with fascinating stories.  His presentation was augmented by an interesting set of colourful slides of the many blue water and historic heritage jewels in and around Kingston.

Don reported that 355 years after Count Frontenac arrived on our shores in 1673 and one of his party purportedly said “This is one of the most beautiful and agreeable harbours in the world", Kingston remains a magnificent city site.  It’s why later Fort Henry was built here to defend the supply route of the St. Lawrence and Great Lakes, it’s why we were a major shipbuilding centre, its why the Naval dockyards were here, why the Loyalist chose to come here, it’s why many of the audience came here A map of the Kingston region reveals that the city is surrounded by fresh, blue water:  Lake Ontario to the south, the Bay of Quinte to the west, the St. Lawrence River and 1000 Islands to the east, to the north-east, the historic Rideau Canal and to the immediate north hundreds of pristine lakes.

Within a 60 KM circle from Kingston, there are 38 lakes in the circle.  Kingston is the Fresh Water Sailing Capital of the World.  The water and wind are why Kingston was the site of the 1976 Olympic sailing races, are the site of the  yearly CORK races featuring the world’s best young sailors.  As for Power Boating, Kingston has an unsurpassed diversity - 3 entirely different kinds of boating from one starting point 1.  Lake Ontario, 2. St. Lawrence River & the 1000 islands - there are 3 channels trough the islands, where one can stop at quaint towns on either side of the river, explore the  20 National Park Islands, swim, picnic, hike and at every twist and turn of the river you have incredibly beautiful and different vistas.  3. Or travel up the Rideau, a 3-5 day trip - explore towns and villages of this UNESCO heritage site. Kingston has the potent to be the Dive Centre of Canada based on 335 years of Marine commerce - ships from the war of 1812, to every type of schooner etc - 5 minutes away just off Wolfe and Amherst Islands, with a Virtual under water museum to provide a history lesson in the types of ships that plied the Great Lakes over the centuries.

As for Fishing, there are 2 different types:  Lake Ontario charter  fishing, like deep sea fishing, cold water, trolling 85 feet down for 50 pound salmon, 25 inch brown trout and record muskellunge.  Then there are the back lakes, with every kind of fresh water fish - Perch, Large-Mouth Bass, Small-Mouth Bass, Pickerel, and, Rainbow trout.  For Canoeing and Kayaking, all those 38 lakes, silver ribbon of lakes, are ideal for such outings.  One could kayak or canoe a different lake everyday for a couple of months if one includes the 20 lakes in Frontenac Park.  For Competitive Rowing, Kingston boasts world class winning championships starting in 1837, with a resurgence in 1870 because of Ned Hanlon, leading to the first official rowing competition in1881.  On to Windsurfing and Kite-boarding right by Queen's.  From the waterfront, one can view CORK sailboat race going on further out in the harbour, the kite boarders, the Wolfe Island ferry going across, and the St. Lawrence tall ship passing by.  As for Hiking, particularly in Frontenac Park, with its 20 lakes and 170 km of trails, Kingston is blessed with many superb areas. The Park is part of  the Frontenac Arch which has world heritage designation.  And if one wants more hiking, close by are Charleston Lake Park, Bon Echo Park, Lemoine Point Park, Little Cataraqui Conservation Area - a hikers paradise.  

Don proceeded to recount the highlights of its History and Heritage.  Kingston has been called the Historic Heart of Canada, having been around for 335 years, with Canada being only 141years old. Kingston is one of only four cities in Canada with significant historic pasts - Halifax, Montreal, Quebec being the others!  Kingston has over 600 historic buildings in our downtown alone - all authentic, all still in use, not roped off  from the public - a mix of commercial buildings, houses, and beautiful mansions.  Kingston was where of Upper and Lower Canada were united.  It was the first capital of Canada, the first parliament was held here, the first 2 Governors General lived here (and died here ) and, of course, the first prime minister, our own Sir John A. Macdonald, Father of Confederation, founder of the Mounties, chief author of the BNA act, builder of the national railway, considered by experts as the most important political figure in Canadian history, grew up ,worked and is buried here.  Kingston is where the United Empire Loyalists came to build a new nation based on British laws, government and religion and their families, and over the next couple of generations built a lot of the magnificent homes still standing.  The old British Whig building on King Street is the oldest newspaper daily in Canada.  Kingston is home to 13 old 19th century stone churches.  St Georges Cathedral, founding church of Anglican religion in Canada, originally was a wooden structure where the old British Whig building now stands.  The catholic Church of the Good Thief on west King Street, is the only church of the Good Thief in the world.  St. Paul’s  is the oldest protestant cemetery in Canada with many founding families buried there.   St. Andrews is round inside, St. George’s plaques tell a history onto themselves.   Don mentioned that each of the heritage houses has a story associated with it, and he recounted several examples.  For a King Street experience, one can drive the 4 KM from City Hall to Portsmouth Village and pass 72 points of historic interest - houses, statues, commercial buildings, parks.  One can stroll up Princess Street, originally called Store Street, with its examples of amazing architecture.

Don related some key aspects of the role of Kingston and impact on the city residents of War of 1812, where Kingston was not attacked because of a very strong commanding view over the bay.  The war had nothing to do with Canada.  The British declared victory because no boundaries changed, the Canadians declared victory because they had repulsed the enemy, and the Americans declared victory because they won the last battle - the Battle of New Orleans, even though the battle was waged three weeks after the treaty was signed.  The real losers were the natives who fought so valiantly hoping to get their lands back from the US government - they got nothing!  The war that seemingly achieved nothing in fact gave rise to a feeling of nationalism in Canada and gave rise to a new nation, with an important early role for Kingston.

Don highlighted the fact of  Kingston being surrounded by our history.  One can stand on the waterfront and look out at the bay where Frontenac, LaSalle, Molly and Joseph Brant, Lord Sydenham and Sir John A. Macdonald stood.

To emphasise the role of history in Kingston, Don quoted from  Arthur Lower, noted Historian and Queen’s History professor: “History is in some ways to see the past as vital and living.  History in an attempt to see backwards along the path we have come to perhaps glean some inkling of the path down which we are going.  As a Canadian city, Kingston is unique, unique for its structural material of which it is constructed - much of Kingston built itself out of itself, small wonder it is called the Limestone city.”

In closing, Don noted that the architectural remnants, including both the magnificent and mundane of old Kingston, touch the lives of all citizens.  The elegant City Hall, a legacy from the triumphant, exuberant Kingston of the 1840’s, dominates its waterfront, a few hundreds yards away from the partially excavated foundation of Fort Frontenac, each within view of the Martello Towers on the shore and that in Fort Frederick on the Royal Military College grounds across the harbour.  Don encourage all attendees to become active ambassadors for this beautiful city blessed with so much of natural environmental and historical heritage.

Summary by Bruce Morris

In thanking Don Curtis, Bradley Sumner of the Canadian Club Kingston Executive, provided the following:

Your comments make some of us wonder what the future is for a city that displays perhaps its greatest pride in its 206 year old cemetery! Surely this strange remark makes Kingston unique from any other city on the planet!

That got me to wondering whether life for many in Kingston is like the movie GOLDEN POND or if it resembles the 1937 film LOST HORIZON. Or both.

In the Lost Horizon, in the mysterious Eden like valley of Shangri La, its people are protected in the mountains from the world outside – a seductive escape for all who live there. Shangri La is a place without illness, war or any type of dispute - clearly different from any Kingston community experiences!

In Kingston we do not have the protection of mountains. But we do have Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal on our boundaries, and maybe that bigger city cover has inhibited our progress. We have our public service sector here that provides us with an economic base that should have, but has not been, a cornerstone of business development.

You have provided us with a very thoughtful analysis of ways in which this community can build on the remarkable geography and history with which we have been blessed.  To not do so is letting down the generations that follow us.

There are few people who come to this community, or any other one for that matter to retire, look around their neighbourhood and decide that changes have to be made – so that we are in fact not a Golden Pond or a Lost Horizon.

You have seen a lost opportunity here, and you are bringing to it your life’s experience so that you and others can have a positive impact on this community.

On behalf of our Club many of us would like to see action taken on your ideas.

In your presentation you mentioned our world class sailing and power boat waters. Using that metaphor our history should not be an anchor on our community progress, but instead a chart to a progressive future

Again thanks for showing us your chart and suggesting that the many winds on our back here steer us to needed changes.

Bradley D. Sumner

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08 May 2008

David PhillipsSenior Climatologist, Atmospheric Environment Service

Topic: Confessions of a Weather Weenie

 David Phillips is the country's most popular weatherman. He is Senior Climatologist with Environment Canada's Atmospheric Environment Service.   He appears frequently on national radio and television as a commentator on weather and climate matters and is well known as the expert on The Weather Network.   He writes the 'Weatherwise' column for Canadian Geographic magazine and originated Environment Canada's Canadian Weather Trivia Calendar.

David has published several books, papers and reports on the climate of Canada. They include essays in The Canadian Encyclopedia; a book on The Climates of Canada; and two bestsellers: The Day Niagara Falls Ran Dry and Blame It On The Weather.

In 2001, he was named to the Order of Canada.  He has received the Patterson Medal for Distinguished Service to Meteorology in Canada and twice received the Public Service of Canada Merit Award.  He graduated from the University of Windsor and holds an honorary Doctorate of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo.  David, his wife Darlene and Winston the Weather Dog, live in Aurora ON; they have two grown daughters.


10 April 2008

Steve Maich – Deputy Managing Editor, Maclean’s Magazine

Topic: Freedom of the Press versus Political Correctness

Steve Maich writes mainly on business and national affairs.  In 2006 he won the National Magazine Award for commentary.  Prior to joining Maclean’s in 2004, he was a reporter and columnist for the Financial Post.  He began his career in 1998 with the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, where he covered municipal politics and native affairs.  He is a graduate of Queen’s University.

Steve was a four-time Atlantic Journalism Award nominee and two-time winner for his work investigating financial corruption in native politics.  He is co-author of a new book The Ego Boom: why the world really does revolve around You, to be released this fall by Key Porter Books. He lives in Toronto with his wife Erin, and their daughter Avery.

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13 March 2008

Dr. Mohamed Bayoumi – Chair, Local Kingston Islamic History Month, Canada

Topic: “A Framework for Understanding Islam”

Dr Bayoumi is a pillar in Canada’s Muslim community.  He is a board member and regional director of the Canadian Islamic Congress.  He is a Past President of the Islamic Society of Kingston.  He chaired the Kingston Committee on Islamic History Month Canada (October 2007).  He has spoken on Islam at numerous groups, schools and churches. 

His other volunteer activities are legion.  Inter alia, he is a governor and board member of Kingston General Hospital (KGH).  He is a board member of Queen's Theological College. 

Dr Bayoumi is a Professor Emeritus in Electrical and Computing Engineering at Queen’s University.  He had a distinguished career there and also taught at the Royal Military College (RMC).  He initiated the area of robotics at Queen's and helped establish the Robotics Laboratories at both institutions.  He was born in Alexandria, Egypt where he graduated in electrical engineering.  He holds a Masters degree in Mathematics and Doctor of Technical Sciences from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.  A Canadian citizen, he lives in Kingston.


14 February 2008

John Foster - International Energy Economist

Topic:Afghanistan and the new great energy game”

John is an expert on the world oil scene.  He’s visited and worked in more than thirty countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.  Born in London, England, he graduated from Cambridge University in economics and law. After service in the Royal Navy (including Suez), he joined British Petroleum, working on strategic planning in London UK, then came to Montreal for a two-year posting.  He moved on to the World Bank (Asia Department) in Washington DC, working on country economic assessments and loan operations and becoming the Bank's first petroleum economist. When Petro-Canada was created, he served as its lead economist in Ottawa and Calgary.  Later, he returned to Washington DC and worked with the Inter-American Development Bank on energy and development issues in Latin America.

Summary: Afghanistan has become the major focus of Canadian defence, aid and foreign policy. Why? Official answers omit Afghanistan’s strategic importance in the geopolitical rivalry for control of the oil and gas resources of Central Asia – the New Great Game. At stake are pipeline routes to get energy resources to market, and power and wealth in the region. Afghanistan’s role as an energy bridge – a geographic link between Central and South Asia – has long been recognized, but rarely talked about in Canada. Intelligent decisions on Canada’s future role in Afghanistan and NATO require attention to energy issues.


10 January 2008

Dr. Ken Wong – Professor & Teaching Fellow in Marketing, Queen’s University School of Business

Topic: Kingston’s Economic Prospects”

Ken is a faculty member and Teaching Fellow in Marketing at Queen's School of Business.  He has taught in degree programs at Carleton University, Cornell, Radcliffe and Harvard, and in executive programs at the universities of Alberta, Dalhousie, Toronto and York.  He has received numerous awards for courses in Strategic Planning, Marketing, and Business Strategy.  He is co-author of Canada’s largest-selling introductory marketing text, Basic Marketing.

Ken is a frequent speaker and facilitator at conferences and executive development programs around the world.  He consults on strategic planning and marketing issues to a galaxy of private corporations, public agencies and associations.  He anchors a regular feature in the National Post and is one of Canada’s most frequently cited authorities in media coverage of marketing issues.  He is on numerous Boards of Directors and Advisory Boards.  He received his B.Comm and MBA degrees from Queen’s University prior to doctoral studies at Harvard Business School.

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13 December 2007

Louis Delvoie – Canadian Ambassador (Retired)

Topic: “A Catalogue of Failures: The Foreign Policy of the Bush Administration”

Louis Delvoie has had a most distinguished career in the Foreign Service and since then in academia.  He is a Senior Fellow in the Centre for International Relations at Queen's University and a visiting lecturer at the Canadian Foreign Service Institute in Ottawa.  He has written extensively on Canadian foreign and security policy and on international relations.

In the Foreign Service, Louis Delvoie served as Ambassador to Algeria; Deputy High Commissioner to the United Kingdom; and High Commissioner to Pakistan.  Earlier postings included Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey, Algeria, Belgium and Yugoslavia.  In Ottawa, he served as Director General for International Security and Arms Control in the Department of External Affairs; and Assistant Deputy Minister for Policy, Department of National Defence.  He was educated at Loyola College, University of Toronto, McGill University, and the National Defence College of Canada.


08 November 2007

Jan Wong – Author and Globe & Mail Columnist

Topic: Beijing Confidential”

Jan Wong was the much-acclaimed Beijing correspondent for the Globe and Mail from 1988 to 1994 – reporting on the tumultuous era of capitalist reforms under Deng Xiaoping.  Her first book, Red China Blues: My Long March From Mao to Now, was named one of Time magazine’s top ten books of 1996 and remains banned in China.  She returned to China in 1999 to make a documentary and to research her second book, Jan Wong’s China: Reports from a Not-So-Foreign Correspondent.  It tells the story of China’s headlong rush to capitalism and offers insight into an ever changing country.

She first went to China in 1972 during the Cultural Revolution as one of only two Westerners to enrol at Beijing University.  She met and married the only American draft dodger from the Vietnam War in China.  During those six years in China, she learned fluent Mandarin and earned a degree in Chinese history.

Besides the Globe and Mail, Jan Wong has also written for The New York Times, The Gazette in Montreal, The Boston Globe and The Wall Street Journal.  She has received numerous prestigious awards for her reporting.  She is a graduate of McGill University, Beijing University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.  She is a third-generation Canadian, born and raised in Montreal, and she lives with her family in Toronto.

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11 October 2007

Dr. Brian Osborne – Past President Ontario Historical Society, and Professor Emeritus Queen’s University Geography Department

Topic: “The Future of Kingston: Building on the Past for the Future”

There is no better authority on the topic than Dr Osborne.  He has published extensively on the Kingston area.  He is now working on a new edition of his classic book “Kingston: Building on the Past for the Future”, which he co-authored in 1988.  He tells us of the successive phases of First Nations, French, and Loyalist settlement in this region.  He describes the evolution of the city with its commercial, military, and governmental roles in the past two centuries.  He adds a new theme: the search for a strategy to enhance Kingston’s economic and social viability, yet protecting its distinctive sense of place and enhancing its quality of life and ambience.

Professor Osborne is currently Past President of the Ontario Historical Society, a former President of the Kingston Historical Society, and serves on the boards of several heritage organisations.  He has taught at Queen’s University since 1967. He has also consulted for the National Capital Commission, Heritage Canada, Parks Canada, Canada Post and the National Film Board.




10 May 2007

Mr. Jameel Jaffer – Lawyer, American Civil Liberties Union

Topic: "Civil Liberty Abuses."


12 April 2007

Dr. Elizabeth Eisenhauer – President, National Cancer Institute and Director, Investigational New Drugs Program (Oncology) Department of Medicine, Queen’s University

Topic: “Cancer: Are we close to a cure?”

The topic was of great interest to everyone.  There is no better authority in Canada than Dr Eisenhauer to give an assessment on progress in the battle to conquer it.  Since 1982, she has been Director of the Investigational New Drug Program of the Clinical Trials Group at the National Cancer Institute of Canada (NCIC).  Her major responsibilities lie in identifying and bringing new anti-cancer agents into clinical trial.  In 2002 she was appointed to the Board of Directors of the NCIC and in 2006 was elected as its President.

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08 March 2007

His Excellency Lu Shumin - Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Canada

Topic: "China's Role in the World Today"


08 February 2007

Mr. Volker Thomsen – President, St. Lawrence College

Topic: “New Energy Sources and Opportunities for Kingston”

 Mr Thomsen has long been involved in renewable energy initiatives (wind, biomass, solar), particularly in Denmark and Germany.  In 2006, he helped found the World Wind Energy Institute—dedicated to learning in the field of renewable and sustainable energies.  He is a proponent of the wind park planned for Wolfe Island.  St Lawrence  SEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1College has installed a wind generator at its Cornwall campus; plans others at its Kingston and Brockville campuses; and is engaged in a large-scale community plan for renewable energy.  He sees an opportunity for Kingston to become the Canadian centre for renewable energy innovation and conservation.


11 January 2007

Mr. Sean Conway – Director, Institute of Intergovernmental Relations, Queen’s University

Topic: “Meeting the Energy Demands of Ontario


14 December 2006

Dr. Peter Taylor – Head of Queen’s University Mathematics Department

Topic: “What’s Wrong with High School Mathematics?”

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09 November 2006

Dr. Henri Habib – Professor Emeritus, Concordia University

Topic: “Dynamics of Iraqi Politics”


 Dr. Habib provided the audience of over 100 interested listeners with a very comprehensive overview of the historical and current perspective on the politics of Iraq, an artificial nation comprising three key separate territorial realms of Kurds, Sunnis, and Shiites.  He included lucid descriptions of the ethnic players involved and the impact of the deeply-rooted historical experiences mainly of the Shiites and the Sunnis within the territories of the middle-east countries of Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Syria, Afghanistan, Lebanon, and Turkey.  He focussed on the implications to the west of the historical developments among the regional countries and their peoples.  An important part of the theme was the resurrection and resurgence of the Islamic movement, spearheaded by the Shiite-dominated Iranians, as they manoeuvre towards the establishment of a crescent Shiite “empire” closely resembling the Persian Empire of old.  He related the historical involvement of the Sunnis who dominated Iraq for many centuries, despite their minority status.  He explained the role of the Sunni-dominated monarchical regime of Saudi Arabia, and their fear of the Islamic fundamentalists within their nation.  Among the many historical highlights which are impacting the current and future relations among the Islamic peoples and nations, and between the Islamic and Non-Islamic nations, were the great impact of key events in the seventh century on the pilgrim behaviours in both Saudi Arabia (Sunnis) and Iraq (Shiites).  He provided his perspective of the dangers to non-Islamic nations (USA, Canada, the European Union, etc) of ignoring the harsh realities of the great significance to Islamic peoples of these key historic events.  Dr. Habib noted that Iran's aspirations are increasing just as Iraq's are disappearing -perhaps forever.  The ultimate outcome will be a resurrection of the Persian Empire.  He also explained that Hezbollah, not previously given much consideration, is now an arm of Iran.   Iran's aspirations were assisted by the U.S.  attack on the Taliban and the crushing of Saddam Hussein.  The U.S. has displayed and continues to display no understanding of the history of the area or the religious and ethnic crosscurrents that are centuries old.  Henri mentioned to watch for the emergence of Iran and its Hezbollah 'arm' and for Turkey and Israel to gain strength in the area.  He indicated there are no Arab leaders to address the situation.  The U.S.A. would be well served by putting their Ambassador back in Damascus and to become a nation much better in the diplomatic area.  He does not hold out much hope for the Saudi regime, an area with most of the oil and with links to the U.S.  Dr. Habib answered a large number of questions from the audience with the same clarity and completeness as his delivery of the highly effective overview.  In answer to one of the questions he indicated that he sees little hope for any positive outcome in Afghanistan and he regrets our Canadian involvement in that area.  Overall, Dr. Habib provided listeners with a comprehensive framework within which witnesses of the Islamic “revolution” can view past, current, and future events related to the interrelationships among the various factions within Shiites and Sunnis, and among the nations involved in the continuing struggles of Islamic versus non-Islamic peoples.

Summary by Bruce Morris

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12 October 2006

Dr. Jack Preger – “Street Doctor of Calcutta” and Queen’s University 2006 Dunning Trust Lecturer

Topic: “Care of the Poor in West Bengal”




11 May 2006

Jack Chiang – Photo Editor, Kingston Whig-Standard

Topic:Canada in pictures and stories”


13 April 2006

Ernesto Senti Darias – Cuban Ambassador to Canada

Topic:Cuba Today”


The Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba, Mr. Ernesto  Senti Darias' address was “ CUBA TODAY”.  At the time of his comments the Cuban people continue to endure almost a half a century of sanctions from the United States.  The President of Cuba, Fidel Castro, has held power over the same period as ten different U.S. Presidents.  The Ambassador emphasized the importance of human relationships for each other in this world.   He was particularly proud that Centifegues, Cuba and Kingston, Ontario formed the first formal sister-city partnership in Canada.  He mentioned that Cuba has a very large Terry Fox Run, second only to Canada.  Millions of Cubans participate and he noted that some from Kingston join in the run.  He stressed his and Cuba's thanks for the warm relationship that Canada has had with Cuba for such a long time.  Health care, medicine and education are areas where Cuba has provided assistance to its citizens and where Canada has and will continue to find further opportunities.  The Ambassador’s wife accompanied him.  She has been prominent in Cuba for advancing the causes of women.

Many club members asked questions and The Ambassador was forthright in his response.  Thanks were given to him for honouring The Club and Kingston with his presence.

Summary by Bradley Sumner


09 March 2006

Dr. John Smol – Professor, Queen’s University and Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change

Topic: “Warnings from Lake Mud; Long-term Environmental Changes in the Arctic”


John Smol provided the audience with a wide range and interesting insight into the results of his many years of research in the sediments taken from core samples from Arctic lake bottoms.  He described a fascinating spectrum of information on climate changes over the centuries, and the resultant impacts on plant, animal, and sea life.  John described the processes by which the raw data was obtained and the processing required to arrive of some frightening conclusions regarding climate change and its impact on the environment.  He highlighted the role of climatic changes, increased UV penetration, deposition from airborne contaminants, and pollution from local sources on the changes to the overall environment.  John acknowledged the constraints imposed on any study of climatic change by the relatively recent historical recordings of temperatures (less than three centuries).  John’s specialty (Paleolimnology: Tracking long-term ecosystem changes using information preserved in lake and river sediments) has been instrumental in arriving at so many conclusions relative to the impacts of climate changes.  John outlined the role of the atmospheric fallout, the catchment, and the aquatic system, in contributing to the raw data and the derived information on impacts. The focal role of Diatoms [Bacillariophyta, abundant and diverse, excellent environmental indicators, and siliceous cell walls (frustules)] was explained to the fascinated listeners.  John used his theme of “warnings from lake mud” to explain the extreme dangers of the rapidity and severity of the impacts of climate change on the sensitive Arctic region, and the flow-down effects on the rest of the world.  John was warmly thanked for his unique perspective presented in an informative manner.

Summary by Bruce Morris

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09 February 2006

Dr. John Rapin – Past-President, Ontario Medical Association

Topic: "Public / Private, Whither Medical Care"


12 January 2006

Ron Ridley, Curator, Fort Henry National Historic Site

Topic:Inside the Walls: A Chronological Journey through Fort Henry


08 December 2005

Dr. Henri Habib, Professor Emeritus, Concordia University, Montreal

Topic:Clash of Civilizations: Myth or Reality


10 November 2005

Hon, Herb Gray, Chairman, International Joint Commission

Topic:The Future of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement


13 October 2005

Dr. Karen Hitchcock, Principal, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario

Topic: “The Engaged University”



2004 – 2005


12 May 2005

Werner Hirschmann, former U-boat Officer

Topic:Another Time, Another Place


Werner grew up in Germany and served in the Second World War as an engineer officer on U Boats.  On the 60th anniversary of the end of that war, Werner spoke to the membership about those years.  He recounted the many interesting episodes of his naval career, including serving on the destroyer that escorted the Bismarck on her last operation.  On his last patrol to North America, his submarine U-190 sank HMCS. Esquimalt, the last Canadian warship to be lost during the war.  After his submarine surrendered to the Canadian navy in 1945, he spent a period in Canada and Britain as a prisoner-of-war before being repatriated to Germany.  In the 1950's he emigrated to Canada.  He is an honorary member of the veterans' association HMCS Esquimalt of the warship his U-boat sank.  He remained close to many of the sailors from that ship and spent time in Esquimalt at many of their ceremonies.  Our membership was pleased to be able to hear a first hand account from a German submariner who spent his time at sea, and was able to provide a commentary on what it was like.  Werner also wrote an award winning book ANOTHER PLACE, ANOTHER TIME - A U Boat Officer's Wartime Album.  He has also been an active member of many Canadian Naval Associations and Clubs.

Summary by Bradley Sumner

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14 April 2005

Terry Dickenson, O.C., Astronomer, writer, owner/editor of Skynews

Topic:A Brief Tour of the Universe


10 March 2005

Ian Baines, CEO, Canadian Renewable Energy

Topic:Wind Energy in Kingston


10 February 2005

Gordon Nixon, CEO, Royal Bank of Canada

Topic:Achieving Canada's Potential in the 21st Century


13 January 2005

Tom Courchene, Professor, School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University

Topic: “NAFTA – Where Next”


09 December 2004

Bjarni Tryggvason, Astronaut, Canadian Space Agency

Topic:Space – A National Resource for Canada


10 November 2004

His Worship, Harvey Rosen, Mayor of Kingston

Topic:Kingston – Challenges and Opportunities


14 October 2004

Louis Delvoie, Queen’s University

Topic:Canadian Foreign Policy – An Identity Crisis?

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2003 – 2004

13 May 2004

The Honourable Bob Rae, Rhodes Scholar and 21st Premier of Ontario

Topic: “Canada and Public Affairs”


08 April 2004

Dr. Rae Fleming, Biographer, Researcher, Lecturer, and Editor

Topic: “Canadian Railways – Past, Present, & Future”


11 March 2004

Sandy Nelson, Operations Department, Bruce Power, and Canada’s Representative on the United Nations “Mission Antarctica” Endeavour

Topic:Mission Antarctica”

 Sandy Nelson provided an interesting personal perspective of the situation respecting a massive environmental clean-up effort in Antarctica based on her trip as part of a group of essay-writing winners on the subject.  She related the role of Robert Swann, the British driving force behind the monumental effort, to the challenges and accomplishments.  Through the means of slides with embedded video clips, Sandy entertained the audience with a wide range of insights into the environment and wildlife (e.g. Minke whales, elephant seals, Weddel seals, and penguins) of Antarctica.  She described her experiences at the Ukrainian Base of Vernadsky, and of her voyages on the sailing ship “2041” from Puerto Williams Chile to that Antarctic base.  Overall, Sandy captivated the attendees with her fascinating descriptions augmented by her personally-gathered photos and videos.  The environmental aspects of this Antarctic area were an effective eye-opener to many in the audience.

Summary by Bruce Morris


12 February 2004

Janet Matthews, writer, editor, teacher, and co-author / creative producer of “Chicken soup and the Canadian Soul

Topic: “Chicken Soup for the Canadian Soul”


15 January 2004

Brigadier-General (Retired) Don Macnamara, Senior Fellow, Queen’s University Centre for International Relations

Topic:Understanding Canada’s National Security Interests

 Don Macnamara provided a comprehensive overview of the highlights of the ever-changing Canadian National Security situation, within a Department of National Defence perspective.  He summarized the current status of the state of major conflicts throughout the world.  Don explained the role of national security within the context of a definition as National security is the matter of guarding national values and interests from both internal and external dangers.  He described the Canadian national values and interests, covering the total spectrum of sectors that are the most significant to Canadians.  Outlining Canadian security concerns, within an international context, he described the security interests for Canada. Don described briefly a security policy framework for Canada, and followed that up with a series of insightful questions relating to the future of Canadian national security policy and its implementation.  In all, Don stimulated some provocative thinking in respect of Canada in an uncertain ever-changing world, full of serious threats to our national well-being.

Summary by Bruce Morris


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11 December 2003

Dr Christine Overall, Professor of Philosophy and Associate Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science, Queen’s University, and Journalist

Topic: “Live Long and Prosper?  The Ethics of Human Longevity”


13 November 2003

Trina McQueen, Vice-Chair, Historica Foundation of Canada, and former President and COO of CTV Inc.

Topic: "Giving Our Past a Future - Memories Matter"


09 October 2003

Captain (N) (Ret’d) Ted Davey, RCN former Director of the Juno Beach Centre Association

Topic:Juno Beach”



Please see the new brochure for the 2008-2009 Program on its own webpage.


Luncheon meetings for the Canadian Club of Kingston are on Wednesdays 11:30 for 12 noon, in the Minos Village Restaurant at 2762 Princess Street.  Reservations for the luncheon are required and may be made by telephoning Minos at 613-384-2021.  Luncheon price is $24 for members and $29 for non-members. .  Membership forms are available at each of the luncheon meetings. Information regarding membership may be obtained by calling 613-530-2704, or emailing Marg Kubalak at admin.cc@sympatico.ca.



Associated Website Links

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sl.on.ca/ (St Lawrence College)

http://royalmilitarycollege.ca/ (Royal Military College)

heritagekingston.com/ (Frontenac Heritage foundation)



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