May 2 – The Right Road is Straight Ahead: The Legacies of Canada’s Peacekeeping Past
Dr. Colin McCullough, Adjunct Professor, McMaster University and Ryerson University; Author
Dr. McCullough will delve into how Canada’s response to the Suez Crisis of 1956, and Lester Pearson’s winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957, shaped Canadian understandings of UN peacekeeping, and ultimately allowed this international action to become seen as an expression of the country’s national identity.
Given the Trudeau government’s stated desire but operational reluctance to re-engage with UN peacekeeping, it is vital to know more about the country’s peacekeeping past, and what past governments have done to advance the idea of Canada being a peacekeeping nation.
May 9 – Movies for the Masses: The National Film Board, “the eyes of Canada”
Joan Nicks, Film Critic; Historian
Legislated into existence by an act of parliament in 1939, the Film Board (NFB) established a pan-Canadian identity and ideology. Wartime film propaganda was the immediate goal. The long-term vision was the social use of documentary, post-war, in a changing cultural climate.
Illustrated with film footage, this lecture addresses the Film Board’s institutional purpose, documentary tradition, and emergence of a new generation of filmmakers interested in regionalism and making feature films.
May 16 – The Lives and Deaths of Stars
Dr. Michael Reid, Researcher, Lecturer & Public Outreach Coordinator, Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Toronto
When we look up at the stars, they seem to be eternal and unchanging. Star maps from thousands of years ago work nearly as well today as when they were first devised.
Yet, if we take a cosmic perspective, we find that stars live dramatic and exciting lives. Some stars have gentle births and will live for many times the current age of the universe. Other stars are born in spectacular infernos, live short lives, and die violently.
In this talk, Dr. Reid will use images from the latest telescopes on Earth and in space to document the lives of all types of stars. He will show you how, though we are not usually aware of it, we have all come from stars, depend on stars for our survival, and may someday return to the stars.
May 23 – Access and Privacy in the Digital Age
Brian Beamish, Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario
Learn about the importance of public access to government-held information, the promises and pitfalls of big data, and protecting your personal information online.
May 30 – How Free Trade with China May Impact Canada’s Domestic and International Politics
Dr. Charles Burton, Associate Professor, Political Science, Brock University
Canada’s political and business élite is strongly supportive of economic integration with China through negotiation of a free trade agreement. Canadian public opinion is less supportive due to concerns about China’s corrupt politics and business culture, and perceived lack of respect for environmental and labour regulations, as well as strong objections to pervasive violation of human rights in China.
There have been concerns raised about Chinese régime attempts to gain influence over Chinese promotion of their political and economic interests in Canada through indirect provision of economic benefits to Canadian policymakers.
China has made enhanced economic engagement with Canada conditional on Canada ceasing to politically engage with China on human rights and sensitive international issues such as China’s support for North Korea and China’s illegal expansion of military bases on islands in the South China Sea.
There is debate over whether economic integration with China to sustain and promote Canadian economic prosperity in the face of uncertainty over relations with the United States comes at too great a political cost to Canada.
June 6 – Medical Cannabis – What’s it all about?
Dr. Lydia Hatcher, MD, CCFP, FCFP, CHE, D-CAPM, Associate Clinical Professor of Family Medicine, McMaster University; Chief of Family Medicine, St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton, Ontario
In just over 100 years we have gone full circle from the much touted uses of cannabis in Victorian times to ‘reefer madness’, and now we are on the way back to legalization of marijuana in Canada and more importantly, medical research to back up some of these old and new claims of its benefit for a multitude of health problems.
While there is much debate about the merits and risks of cannabis, Lydia will lead you through an informed discussion about these risks and concerns. She will explain how and why the cannabinoid system has so many effects on our body and how this leads to the many very differing effects of this plant from ‘mind alteration’ to our immune system. She will also discuss the therapeutic uses of medical cannabis in seizure disorders, chronic pain, and mood disorders, as well as the future of research for medical cannabis.