Since our last issue of BTH, CIIA branches have been actively working on spring programmes.
Nineteen ninety-seven has been designated Canada's Year of Asia Pacific, and the Thunder Bay Branch marked the occasion with a presentation by the National Programme Director, Daryl Copeland. For a speech entitled `Canada in the Pacific Century,' Mr Copeland drew on the experience of the area he has gained as a foreign service officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs to outline the importance of Canada's relationship with the nations of the Asia Pacific in terms of security, prosperity, and independence.
Another pacific nation, New Zealand, was on the agenda of the Hamilton Branch in January. In an event co-sponsored with the Hamilton Canadian Club, the New Zealand High Commissioner, Maurice McTigue, spoke on `New Zealand as a Blueprint for Canada.' Mr McTigue discussed the on-going radical economic and social transformation of New Zealand - a process that began in the mid-1980s - from a welfare state to a free market economy.
In February, Michael Shenstone, a former Canadian Ambassador to the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe, discussed the policy implications for Canada of current world population and migration trends. His provocative address, entitled `Growth and Movement of World Populations: Should We Worry?' was delivered to both the Saskatoon and Victoria Branches.
Howard Balloch, Canada's Ambassador to China, spoke to a large meeting organized by the Toronto Branch. In a speech entitled `China and the 21st Century: Collision or Convergence?' Mr Balloch covered both contemporary and future developments in the Middle Kingdom, and surveyed Canadian interests in terms of trade, investment, human rights, good governance, and democratic development. The question and answer period following the address generated a particularly lively discussion and debate. Please turn to page 4 for a version of Mr Balloch's speech.
Human Rights and Canadian Foreign Policy was the theme of the annual conference organized by the Kingston Branch on 1 March at Queen's University. Seminar sessions included Trade Policy and Human Rights, Government Actors and Human Rights Policy, the Role of Non-Governmental Actors, and Developing Effective Human Rights Tools. …