VANCOUVER, Jan. 28 /CNW/ - Against the backdrop of a struggling
parliament, a much-anticipated budget and a monumental change in government in
the US, a group of Canadians will descend upon Ottawa to assert a new vision
for Canada's role in the world. Building upon the work of thousands of
Canadians from across the country, these citizens will define a compelling new
narrative for a global Canada.
Citizens will meet January 30 to February 1, at the University of Ottawa.
This National Dialogue is the culmination of a national poll, face-to-face
meetings with 4,000 Canadians and on-line dialogues with another 100,000,
sponsored by Canada's World.
The National Dialogue will convene 35 citizens reflecting a microcosm of
Canadian society. Shauna Sylvester, SFU Fellow and Director of the project
explains: "We're going outside the foreign policy choir, to ask 'ordinary'
citizens what role they want Canada to play in the world. Citizens feel
disconnected from Ottawa and this process is designed to engage them in
thinking about an important federal jurisdiction - foreign policy. Although
foreign policy is often seen as a topic best suited to academic and political
experts, we've found Canadians have a great deal of knowledge and a clear
sense of the direction they'd like to see their country take."
Harnessing the momentum of citizen empowerment and calls for fresh
thinking, the National Dialogue will focus on key global challenges that
Canada faces: the changing economy, challenges of diversity, fragmentation and
governance and the environment. Citizens will explore Canada's historical and
current contributions and lay out a plan for a robust, future-oriented story
for Canada in the world. They will present their findings to political
parties, government departments, and leading private and non-profit
Based out of the SFU Centre for Dialogue, Canada's World is a
collaboration of dozens of universities, foundations, private and non-profit
organizations. It uses 'open source' and Web 2.0 tools such as forums, blogs
and social media to broaden the discussion of Canadian foreign policy.
(xx) Interview opportunity: Shauna Sylvester; Dialogue Participant
representing your region or community
For further information:
For further information: Shantini James, Tel: (778) 782-7694, Cell:
(778) 552-2575, Email: email@example.com; Shauna Sylvester, Cell: (778)
231-0715, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org